DREAM Act for Non-Citizens

Students

The Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act gives undocumented and other students access to New York State‐administered student financial aid to support their higher education costs.

Students eligible to apply for financial aid through the NYS Dream Act must also complete an application for each program they are interested in obtaining aid from. 

 

Note: A student seeking New York State financial aid, including TAP, for the first time must pass a federally approved ATB test identified by the Board of Regents if the student does not possess a U.S. high school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

If you fit one of the descriptions below, you may be eligible for one or more NYS student financial aid awards under the DREAM Act:

  1. Your permanent home is in NYS, and you are or have ONE of the following:
    1. U-Visa
    2. T-Visa
    3. Temporary protected status, pursuant to the Federal Immigration Act of 1990
    4. Without lawful immigration status (including those with DACA status)
    5. AND you meet ONE of the following criteria:
      1. 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
      2. 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
      3. 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
      4. 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
      5. 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.
  2. Your permanent home is outside of NYS, and you are or have ONE of the following:
    1. U.S. citizen
    2. Permanent lawful resident
    3. Of a class of refugees paroled by the attorney general under his or her parole authority pertaining to the admission of aliens to the U.S.
    4. U-Visa
    5. T-Visa
    6. Temporary protected status, pursuant to the Federal Immigration Act of 1990
    7. Without lawful immigration status (including those with DACA status)
    8. AND you meet ONE of the following criteria:
      1. 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
      2. 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
      3. 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
      4. 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
      5. 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.

Students meeting the NYS Dream Act eligibility criteria can apply for one or more HESC-administered grant and scholarship programs and be directed to the NYS DREAM Act application powered by International Scholarship & Tuition Services (ISTS).

The application is simple and straightforward, and the information provided will be used ONLY to determine eligibility for and administer awards.

Applicants without lawful immigration status will NOT be asked for their home address and will NOT have to upload financial records.

Once you have submitted an application, it is your responsibility to monitor its status and ensure its completion. After submitting your application, you will be able to upload any required documentation and monitor its status online.

You will be notified by email when a determination has been made regarding your eligibility for each award for which you have applied. If you are determined to be eligible for an award, your next step will be to accept the award!

For certain awards, you must sign a contract agreeing to live and/or work in New York State for a required number of years after graduation as a condition of receiving the award. If you decide not to accept an award with a post-graduation requirement, please indicate this on the contract.

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Terms To Know

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. if during the time they were in the U.S. something catastrophic happened in their country of origin preventing their safe return – for example war, famine, natural disaster, or epidemic. TPS allows people to work legally and be protected from deportation.
T-Visa
Allows the granting of lawful status to noncitizen victims of human trafficking, as well as their immediate family members, who assist in the prosecution of the trafficking. It allows people to remain and work temporarily in the U.S.
U-Visa
Allows for the granting of lawful status to noncitizen crime victims who suffered significant physical or mental abuse (and their immediate family members) who assist in the prosecution of the crime. It allows people to remain and work temporarily in the U.S.
Without Lawful Immigration Status
Living in the U.S. unlawfully either because lawful status never existed (including those with DACA status) or has ended.