Federal law does not prohibit undocumented students from enrolling in college, but it does something nearly as effective, banning them from receiving government aid. In recent years, though, some undocumented students have stumbled upon a little-known, nonprofit online university that doesn't charge tuition and doesn't care about students' legal status.
University of the People certainly got the attention of Miguel Angel Cruz. The 27-year-old entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico a decade ago. He settled near Tampa, Fla., where he now shares a small trailer with his father. Cruz learned English and earned his GED. But his dream of going to college was just that — a dream — because of the high cost. Then, he started searching online.