We want to honor the efforts of undocumented students to pass the New York State DREAM Act (NYDA), which became a reality after years of constant advocacy and demonstrates the power that undocumented students have in policy.
The bill was written by undocumented youth from the NYS Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC) in 2010 after the failure of the Federal Dream Act. NYDA was passed in 2019, which means it took nine years to pass this bill. It was through the advocacy and tenacity of student organizing that made this bill a reality.
The NYSYLC is the first undocumented- youth and member-led organization in New York. Before centers were created, they provided space for empowerment, student organizing development and leadership training through DREAM Teams on CUNY campuses. Follow the DREAM Team Network here or on Instagram here @nysylc.
The José Peralta New York State DREAM Act allows undocumented and other students access to New York State‐administered grants and scholarships that support their higher education costs.
If you attended or graduated from an NYS high school, attended an approved NYS high school equivalency program, or received an NYS equivalency diploma, you may be eligible for state financial aid.
The DREAM Act opens the doors of higher education and provides access to the Excelsior Scholarship, the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and other state-administered scholarships.
Your permanent home is in NYS and you are or have ONE of the following:
Temporary protected status, pursuant to the Federal Immigration Act of 1990
Without lawful immigration status (including those with DACA status)
AND you meet ONE of the following criteria:
You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years, graduated from a NYS high school, and enroll or enrolled for undergraduate study at a NYS college within 5 years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years, graduated from a NYS high school, and enroll or enrolled for graduate study at a NYS college within 10 years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
You received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and enroll or enrolled for undergraduate study at a NYS college within 5 years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
You received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and enroll or enrolled for graduate study at a NYS college within 10 years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
You are or will be charged the NYS resident in-state tuition rate at a SUNY or CUNY college for a reason other than residency.
To learn more and apply, please visit www.hesc.ny.gov/dream/
With the passage of the Jose Peralta New York Dream Act in 2019, immigrant students, including undocumented students, are now eligible to participate in Opportunity Programs including SEEK.
Undocumented Students are eligible for NYS Opportunity Programs, specifically for SEEK at John Jay College. Please review this guide that breakdown how to access SEEK.
If you received an email that you qualify for SEEK & are eligible for the NYS DREAM ACT, but are struggling with next steps, please reach out to Denise Vivar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you were granted the Excelsior Scholarship under the NYS Dream Act, your award needs to be packaged manually. This means the Financial Aid office needs to manually apply your scholarship to CUNYFirst. The award will NOT post if you do not contact them.
You can contact the following people for your award to be applied:
In your email please make sure you include the following:
- Copy of NYS Dream Act Application
- Copy of signed Excelsior Contract
If you're unsure on how to obtain the documentation required feel free to email Denise at email@example.com
Additional Financial Resources
Emergency financial support is open to John Jay immigrant students who are unable to meet essential/legal expenses due to Covid-19. Undergraduate and graduate John Jay students who are not eligible for federal financial aid may apply, regardless of immigration status. Priority will be given to students without permanent legal status.
Application currently closed
Wellness Center Emergency Funding
Thanks to the generosity of private donors, all John Jay students, including undocumented students are eligible for emergency grants of up to $2,500. Click here for more information.