The Senator Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act gives undocumented and other students
access to New York State administered grants and scholarships (ie: Excelsior Scholarship,
Tuition Assistance Program) that were not previously available to them, which help
support their higher education costs. For more information and to begin your application,
please visit the HESC website.
Undocumented students are students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or “eligible
non-citizens.” Undocumented students are sometimes referred to as "Dreamers." This
term generally refers to undocumented youths who have lived in the United States from
a very young age. The term “Dreamers” is derived from the legislation introduced in
Congress and known as the “DREAM Act.” You can read more about the "DREAM Act" here. Within the larger group of undocumented students, there is a subgroup of students
who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
DACA is the name used for a process announced by the Secretary of Homeland Security
on June 15,2012. Under this process, if you came to the United States as a child and
meet several key guidelines, you may contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, to request consideration
of deferred action. “Deferred action” refers to a decision to defer (delay or put
off) removal action of an individual. DACA may be granted by USCIS for a period of
two years and may be renewed under certain circumstances. Deferred action does not
provide an individual with lawful status; however, recipients of deferred action may
obtain work authorization.
A DACA student has received deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals process. Most DACA students are also granted work authorization; and if a
student has work authorization, the student may be eligible to obtain a Social Security
number. For more information about obtaining a Social Security number, click here
No. Undocumented students, including DACA students and Dreamers, are not eligible
for federal student aid.
If you have a Social Security number, you may complete the FAFSA, and we encourage
you to do so at fafsa.gov. Some University scholarships require students to meet need-based criteria as
calculated by the FAFSA. In these instances, you may be able to complete the FAFSA,
not for purposes of receiving federal aid, but for purposes of being considered for
need-based University Scholarship.
It depends. In some cases, undocumented students, or specifically DACA students, are
eligible to receive in-state tuition. Please visit our Student Accounts website for information on how to apply for NYS Residency for tuition purposes.
All incoming first time/full-time freshmen students are considered for our University
merit based scholarships and grants.
There are a variety of organizations that have scholarships available for undocumented