Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights

Your Rights as an Undocumented and Immigrant Student Accessing Higher Education

  1. 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. 

  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Can undocumented students apply for state financial aid?

    Undocumented students are eligible to 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.

Know Your Rights with ICe

Immigrant Defense Project

IDP, has extensive resources on the following - 

  • Know your rights at home
  • Know your rights in your car
  • Know your rights when ICE lies
  • How to prepare if you or a loved one is detained by ICE

You can access all this information by clicking on this link.