NYS DREAM Act FAQ
- What is the NYS DREAM Act?
- 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.
To be eligible to apply for one or more New York State student financial aid programs, you must:
- Have both attended a New York State high school for at least two years and have received a NYS high school diploma OR received a NYS high school equivalency diploma OR qualified for in-state tuition at SUNY or CUNY colleges.
- Apply within five years of earning you NYS high school diploma or equivalency diploma if pursuing an undergraduate degree or 10 years if pursuing a graduate degree.
- Have one of the following citizenship/immigration statuses:
- Have a T-Visa
- Have a U-Visa
- Have Temporary Protected Status
- Be without lawful immigration status
- Be a U.S. Citizen whose permanent home is not in New York State
- Be a paroled refugee whose permanent home is not in New York State
- Be a Permanent Resident Alien whose home is not in New York State
- Do I automatically get New York State financial aid awards if I qualify under the NYS DREAM Act?
- No. If you qualify under the provisions of the NYS DREAM Act, you must separately apply for and satisfy the eligibility requirements of each program for which you are seeking an award.
- Can my parents now open a 529 Savings account for me?
- The NYS DREAM Act authorizes the use of taxpayer identification numbers by account owners and beneficiaries of New York 529 College Saving Program accounts. Visit www.nysaves.org to learn more about New York’s 529 College Savings Program. Visit www.nysaves.org to learn more about New York’s 529 College Savings Program.
- Who will be able to see the information I provide through the NYS DREAM Act application?
- Information provided on your application will be seen by HESC and its vendor, International Scholarship & Tuition Services (ISTS). Certain information (such as income) may be verified by other State agencies such as the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance or the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, to the extent necessary to determine your eligibility. However, for purposes of your application for NYS financial aid, your citizenship or immigration status will only be known by HESC and its vendor, ISTS.
- Can my college share my immigration status with others?
- Colleges are prohibited by law from reporting a student’s immigration status without the consent of the student.
- My parents do not want me to apply because they fear deportation. What do I tell them?
- Under the law, the immigration status you provide on the NYS DREAM Act application must be held confidential by New York State and your college. The information will only be used to the extent necessary to determine your eligibility for an award and for the purposes of administering financial aid that you are eligible to receive.
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