Higher Education Services Corporation

Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act

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

The DREAM Act opens the doors of higher education to thousands of students, providing access to the new Excelsior Scholarship, the Tuition Assistance Program, as well as other state‐administered scholarships that were not previously available to them.

Step 1: Determining Your Eligibility

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
    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 applied for attendance in an undergraduate program at a NYS college within five 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 applied for attendance in a graduate program at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
      3. You attended an approved program for a NYS high school equivalency diploma, received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and applied for attendance in an undergraduate program at a NYS college within five years of receiving a NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      4. You attended an approved program for a NYS high school equivalency diploma, received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and applied for attendance in a graduate program at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      5. Are charged in-State college tuition for any reason
    6. Note: Individuals without lawful immigration status will be required to file an affidavit with their college stating that they filed an application to legalize their immigration status or will file such application as soon as they are eligible to do so.
  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
    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 applied for attendance in an undergraduate program at a NYS college within five years of receiving a NYS high school diploma OR
      2. You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years, graduated from a NYS high school, and applied for attendance in a graduate program at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
      3. Attended an approved program for a NYS high school equivalency diploma, received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and applied for attendance in an undergraduate program at a NYS college within five years of receiving a NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      4. You attended an approved program for a NYS high school equivalency diploma, received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and applied for attendance in a graduate program at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      5. Are charged in-State college tuition for any reason
      6. Note: Individuals without lawful immigration status will be required to file an affidavit with their college stating that they filed an application to legalize their immigration status or will file such application as soon as they are eligible to do so.

Step 2: Completing the Application

Students meeting the eligibility criteria can apply for one or more HESC-administered grant and scholarship programs by visiting our website. Check back for more details and launch date for the application.

You may apply for multiple grant or scholarship awards, but will only need to complete one application.

The application will be simple and straight forward, and all information provided will be used ONLY for determining eligibility for and administering awards.

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

Step 3: Monitoring the Status of Your Application

Once you have submitted an application, it is your responsibility to monitor the status of your application and to make sure your application is complete. You will be able to monitor the status of your application online after submitting your application and uploading any required documentation.

Step 4: Award Notification and Acceptance

You will be notified by text or 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, and let us know why.

Term Definitions

Tax Implications

Any award payment received may have tax implications. Any questions regarding this should be directed to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.

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