First of all you "are" not "an illegal", you may be a person who is incidentally out of status, but as far as it goes, you "are" a human being and that is not illegal. I do not know what you mena by a "status date". Are you waiting to be granted relief or the right to remoan in the U.S. by a court or immigration service? Although you may not qualify for federal student loans or grants, there are some schools that may allow you to enroll as a student. It all depends on where you reside, and whether you are looking at a public or provate university...
Your question is best directed to an immigration attorney
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This is not an immigration question. I suggest that you do your research through your guidance counselor or call the universities. Schools in CA, for example, are taking steps in the right direction and allowing students in your similar situation to register.
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Law Office of Luis A. Guerra (954) 434-5800. This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice.
If you are under 18 1/2, you may be able to depart and return with a student visa. If you are over 18 but not older than 19, you may be able to depart and return but will have to obtain a voluntary departure grant and depart timely. If you are over 19 and depart, then you will be barred from reentering for 10 years. All this assumes your definition of "illegal" is that you entered without inspection and are not 245(i) eligible to adjust status.
Why are you shouting.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.