A small but growing number of public and private colleges are rolling out their own welcome mats for students who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

Schools in several U.S. states with large immigrant populations are offering in-house financial aid, scholarships solicited from private donors, law clinics and on-campus offices to provide targeted support for such students.

The University of California, Davis dedicated a bright, centrally located and clearly marked meeting space last fall where an estimated 200 students lacking lawful immigration status can find legal advice, tutoring, mental health counseling and a sense of belonging.

University of California President Janet Napolitano is hosting a two-day conference starting Thursday on how colleges and universities can better serve students living in the country illegally.