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DACA Status

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DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - Yes, it is possible to attend college! 

Residency status (in-state versus out-of-state) is now determined by the North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS). It is a FREE service. Before applying to Isothermal Community College, students will need to complete their residency status. Be sure to write down your Residency Certification Number (RCN). You will need it when you fill out an application to the college. For information on how DACA students should answer the residency questions, follow the directions at RDS Online Interview for DACA Students, select the Students and Parents tab for information in English and Spanish.

Current North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) policy allows Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants to enroll in community colleges. Students with DACA classification are not eligible for in-state tuition, but if a North Carolina employer employs a DACA student and the employer would like to pay the students tuition, the North Carolina employer will be charged the in-state tuition rate.

In addition, “Individuals with DACA classification are not eligible to obtain the in-state tuition rate under the public school graduate exception or nonprofit sponsorship exception.” Students in this category should be treated like others who are lawfully present in US, but they cannot be granted professional licenses.

Student applicants are responsible for presenting documentation to establish that they have DACA classification: 

  • EAD – Employment Authorization Card with a Category C33
  • I-797 – Notice of Action stating DACA approval

Please be aware that being an out-of-state student will not impact your ability to be accepted into a program at Isothermal Community College; it simply indicates the type of tuition rates that will apply. In-state and out of state tuition rate tables. 

Submit documentation to the Director of Enrollment Management, Diane Dickerson. Her office is located in the Student Services building off the main lobby. For questions and clarification, her email is or call 828-395-1495.

Implications For Financial Aid

Currently, all Isothermal Institutional scholarships require students to be classified for in-state tuition. DACA students are currently classified as out-of-state for tuition purposes and do not qualify for institutional scholarships. DACA students can seek employer sponsorship as listed above.