NYS DREAM Act Panel Discussion Questions from Attendees
Immigration or Citizenship Status
- Can you apply for NYS DREAM ACT with a G1 visa?
- Students with a G1 diplomatic visa are not eligible for NYS financial aid under the NYS DREAM Act. Please see full eligibility requirements at hesc.ny.gov/dream.
- Can a student with an illegal immigration status apply for the NYS DREAM Act?
- Yes, students who are without lawful immigration status, including those with DACA status, are eligible provided they also meet one of the educational criteria, which are:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Does the NYS DREAM Act have any connection to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
- DACA is a federal immigration policy allowing some individuals with unlawful presence in the US after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation to become eligible for a work permit. The NYS DREAM Act is a NYS law that enables students with certain documented and undocumented statuses, including DACA status, to apply for and receive NYS student financial aid.
- Are there any materials about the NYS DREAM Act available for high school counselors and teachers?
- A downloadable information flyer on the NYS DREAM Act can be found on the HESC website here. Detailed information about eligibility as well as a NYS DREAM Application guide, available in English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese and Korean, can be found at hesc.ny.gov/dream.
- Will HESC incorporate the DREAM ACT data with the FAFSA Completion Initiative and provide schools with an update on how many NYS DREAM Act application have been processed by their students?
- At this time, HESC has no plans to incorporate the NYS DREAM Act data with the FAFSA Completion Initiative.
- I was notified that I was eligible for TAP under the NYS DREAM Act and that I was eligible to receive it, but my college indicated that they have not received any payment. What should I do?
- HESC has asked schools to defer student tuition for the value of their TAP awards. If you have not received a tuition deferral for the value of your TAP award, please contact your school’s financial office to ensure you remain eligible for TAP. In the meantime, HESC is working to send award payments to schools as soon as possible.
- When will the Excelsior Scholarship application be open to apply for 2021-22 and how long will it be open?
- The Excelsior Scholarship application for 2021-22 is expected to open in the spring of 2021. NYS DREAM-eligible students will be notified when the application is available through their NYS DREAM Act email accounts. The application will be open for at least 30 days.
- On the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application, whose income do I include if I don’t live with my parents, stepparents or adopted parents?
- Under the law, students are considered dependent upon their parents for TAP purposes unless they demonstrate that they are independent students. For more information on how to determine your status and whose income to include, please watch What is Your Dependency Status? or click here, and review the Student Status section.
- For TAP, what is the maximum income allowed for independent students?
- According to NYS law, the NYS TAP program has a $10,000 income ceiling for single, independent students with no dependents. HESC is required to administer the program according to law.
Independent students with a higher annual income may want to consider applying an Excelsior Scholarship. The Excelsior Scholarship provides eligible students with family incomes of up to $125,000 with funding to cover tuition at a SUNY or CUNY college or university.
- The Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) at Fordham Graduate School has been conducting FAFSA Completion Workshops virtually for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners. At present RBERN has transitioned to offering DREAM ACT workshops for Undocumented Students.