Your Rights as an Undocumented & Immigrant Student Accessing Higher Education
- Can undocumented students apply to college?
Undocumented students can apply and attend college. This includes all CUNY, SUNY, and Private Colleges in New York and out of state. Students applying to out-of-state colleges should check with the college to verify admission requirements.
While securing financial aid to cover SUNY or Private College expenses may be challenging, undocumented students are eligible to apply to these types of colleges. Undocumented students, just like their U.S. citizen counterparts, are strongly encouraged to create a balanced college list with safeties, reaches, and targets— including SUNY and private colleges as there are colleges that offer financial aid to undocumented students.
- Can undocumented students receive In-State Tuition?
A09612, signed into law on June 25, 2002, provides in-state tuition to eligible undocumented students if they attend at least two years of high school in New York, graduate from a New York high school or receive a GED, apply for attendance at an institution within 5 years of receiving a diploma, show proof of residence, and file affidavit declaring that you will file for legal status when able.
- Can undocumented students apply to opportunity programs?
The New York State Dream Act (NYSDA), clearly outlines that undocumented students are eligible to access opportunity programs. This means that students who submit a NYSDA are eligible to apply for opportunity programs such as SEEK/CD, ASAP/ACE, EOP, and HEOP.
- Can undocumented students apply for state financial aid?
Eligible Undocumented students can apply for the New York State Dream Act (NYSDA) which gives them access to apply to various state aid programs such as TAP, Excelsior Scholarship, Enhanced Tuition Award, STEM Incentive Program, and more. Students will be able to access these applications through the same portal used to apply and submit their NYSDA. They should first apply for the NYSDA eligibility before applying to the other state aid programs. Check out the New York State Dream Act page for eligibility and requirements.
Immigrant Student Success Center and Counseling Services Center Present Counseling Services:
Meet with the Immigrant Liaison Counselor, Saron Mullings from the Counseling Services Center. You can email Saron or notify Denise Vivar that you will like to be referred. All services are free and confidential.
Counseling Center General Information:
Email: Dr. Cory Head: firstname.lastname@example.org
or walk into L.68.00NB
Additional Resources and Services
1. NYC Care: 1646-692-2273
NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. All NYC Care services are provided through NYC Health + Hospitals.
With NYC Care, you can get a unique membership card to access health services, choose your own doctor, and get affordable medications.
Callen-Lorde is the global leader in LGBTQ healthcare. Since the days of Stonewall, we have been transforming lives in LGBTQ communities through excellent comprehensive care, provided free of judgment and regardless of ability to pay. In addition, we are continuously pioneering research, advocacy, and education to drive positive change around the world, because we believe healthcare is a human right.
If you do not qualify or cannot afford any of the free or low-cost available health insurance options, you can find out about programs to help lower costs of medical care, prescription drugs, and other care, and health care facilities that offer discounted fee programs based on your income and ability to pay.
If you have immigration-related questions such as questions about legal screenings for other legal options, there are resources available at John Jay, CUNY, and from many nonprofit organizations that provide free or low-cost, high-quality, and confidential immigration law services. Contact us at Immigrantsuccess@jjay.cuny.edu and someone will contact you.
Please also beware of fraudulent and deceptive practices by persons posing to be lawyers, such as those claiming to be “notaries.” When in doubt about a person or organization's legitimacy, check with a knowledgeable and reputable source, such as the ones on this site, before you proceed.
Work Authorization Renewals
The ImSSC encourages students eligible to renew and apply for DACA to do so. We also understand that other students under other immigration statuses like TPS, Asylum pending, and folks in deportation procedings also need to renew their work authorization, please reach out to us for financial and legal support. The ImSSC can connect you and your family members to a trusted legal provider. Contact Denise Vivar at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
ImSSC also helps schedule appointments for legal screenings for you and your family to determine possible legal pathways forward. Screenings sessions are free and available twice a month. Contact Denise Vivar to make an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ImSSC encourages students eligible to renew for DACA and Work Authorization through other programs to do so. The ImSSC can connect you and your family members to a trusted legal provider. Contact Denise Vivar at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
ImSSC also helps schedule appointments for legal screenings for you and your family to determine possible legal pathways forward. Screenings sessions are free and available twice a month. Contact Denise Vivar to make an appointment.
Immigrant Student Success Center
Denise Vivarv | firstname.lastname@example.org
Yaritma Cabral | email@example.com
New York State Dream Act Support
Michael Scaduto | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Officer
Rose O’Neil | email@example.com
Office of the Bursar
Erica Pabon | firstname.lastname@example.org
NYSYLC Guide to UndocuWorking - Guide on working with various immigration status, opening a bank account, developing your credit score, taxes and independent contracting.
Spark Entrepreneurship Hub for Immigrants - Interactive guide to starting your own business, nonprofit, or entrepreneurship. Website provide diverse examples of undocumented entrepreneurs in various fields.