Admission information for DACA students

Information last updated July 2021

The information on this page applies to you if you've been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

"Since 2012, DACA has allowed undocumented immigrants, often known as 'Dreamers,' the ability to work and study without fear of deportation from the United States. At Ohio State, we are committed to providing support for all students so that they may focus on the pursuit of higher education for the betterment of themselves, their families and society."

– Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson (read the full statement)

You'll follow the same steps as other applicants, but there are a few things to be aware of.

  1. You should apply as an international student. Determine if you are applying as an international freshman (you have taken no college courses after graduating from high school) or an international transfer student (you have taken college courses after high school; dual enrollment credit earned through high school does not apply), then follow the step-by-step admission instructions for that student type.

  2. You may be eligible for an application fee waiver if you meet one of the criteria.

  3. Have ACT or SAT scores sent to Ohio State directly from the testing agency.

  4. Ohio State has adopted a TEST-OPTIONAL policy for most 2022 applicants. Please read the Testing FAQs.
    • Freshman applicants: Students who finished high school two or more years prior to their intended term of enrollment are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score.

    • Transfer student applicants: If you have more than a full year of college credit earned after high school, you do not need to submit an ACT or SAT score. If you have less than a full year of college credit and graduated high school less than two years ago, you will need to submit an ACT or SAT score.

  5. Some undergraduate programs at Ohio State have competitive criteria for direct enrollment into the college or major, and students may be admitted to the university without being enrolled in a specific academic program. Learn more about enrollment criteria for freshmen or enrollment criteria for transfer students.

  6. If there are items on your application checklist that you're unsure about, contact us at 614-292-3980 or int.undergrad@osu.edu, and be sure to identify yourself as a DACA student.

Freshman applicants

  • International freshman applicants complete the Common Application, an application platform offered by nearly 900 colleges and universities worldwide.

  • Complete the citizenship questions on the Common Application to the best of your ability. Be sure to accurately list your country of citizenship and place of birth.

  • The Ohio State supplement to the Common Application will ask if you are an international student — be sure to mark "No."

  • The Ohio State supplement to the Common Application will ask if you are a DACA student — be sure to mark "Yes."

Transfer applicants

  • International transfer applicants use an Ohio State-specific application.

  • The following citizenship questions are asked of you:

    • Country of Citizenship: Make sure you accurately list your country of citizenship. Do not select the United States since, as a DACA recipient, you are not a U.S. citizen.

    • Country of Birth: List the country where you were born.

    • City of Birth: List the city where you were born. If you're unsure, list the capital city of the country where you were born.

    • Under Citizenship Status select “DACA.” This will trigger a menu to appear. From that menu, select the option that applies to you: “I have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” or “I am in the process of seeking DACA approval.”

    • Under the Address Outside the USA section, select "No" to requesting a I-20 or DS-2019. Leave the country blank.

  • Answer all other questions to the best of your ability.

  • Even if you've earned more than 30 hours of post-secondary work after you graduated from high school, you should submit your high school transcript.

  • Your application may be flagged for proof of English language proficiency. After you have submitted your high school transcript (yes, even transfer students should submit their high school transcript), if the requirement is still on your checklist, contact us at 614-292-3980 or int.undergrad@osu.edu to have it removed (be sure to identify yourself as a DACA student).

  • If you're asked to submit a bank statement, affidavit or passport, please contact us at 614-292-3980 or int.undergrad@osu.edu so we can get these documents waived (be sure to identify yourself as a DACA student).

If you have current or pending DACA status and you grew up in Ohio, you may be eligible for Ohio residency.

  • Eligibility for in-state tuition
    If you apply using the instructions above under Applying, we'll automatically send your file to our residency office to be reviewed for residency. You will also be directed to submit your I-797 notice of DACA application or approval. If you meet the criteria, the residency office will designate you as a "resident for tuition purposes."

  • Submitting your residency documents
    It is very important that you submit your high school transcript, even if you are a transfer applicant. This is one of the documents used to determine Ohio residency. If you are admitted, you will be asked to upload your I-797 notice of DACA application or approval.

  • Eligibility for merit scholarships
    At this time, merit scholarships are only for freshman applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

  • Eligibility for Pell Grant and associated programs at Ohio State
    The Pell Grant is federal financial aid that is awarded to eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

If you're designated as an Ohio resident for tuition purposes, you may be eligible to be considered for a regional campus.

Freshman applicants

If you'd like to be considered for admission to a regional campus, follow the guidelines under Applying above. Note that your application will be for the Columbus campus.

Once you've applied, you have two options:

  1. Contact us after you've applied: After receiving confirmation that your application has been received, contact us at 614-292-3980 or int.undergrad@osu.edu and request that your application be switched to a regional campus (be sure to identify yourself as a DACA student). At this time, we may request residency information in order to make the switch.

  2. Contact us after you receive your admission decision: No matter what decision you received, contact us at 614-292-3980 or int.undergrad@osu.edu to let us know you wish to be considered for a regional campus. Be sure to identify yourself as a DACA student.

Transfer applicants

When you submit your application to transfer to Ohio State, you will need to select the Columbus campus. If you would prefer a different campus, please contact us at 614-292-3980 or int.undergrad@osu.edu after you submit your application (be sure to identify yourself as a DACA student). Note that as a transfer applicant, denial to one campus precludes you from being considered for another campus.

Ohio State supports our DACA students unequivocally, and we are committed to your success. Whether you have questions or want to explore, you may find the following resources helpful:

ACT and SAT policy

Ohio State has adopted a test-optional policy for 2022 applicants.

Read our Testing FAQs