Tips for College-Bound Students

  • You have the right to attend K-12 schools and college in the state of New York.  Undocumented students who have graduated from a NYC public high school are eligible for in-state tuition at CUNY and SUNY.
  • Look into private colleges. Public colleges are mostly funded by state and federal money so they will not offer financial aid to undocumented students in New York State.  
  • Some schools do not take immigration status into consideration when giving out financial aid. Call the Financial Aid office and speak to a counselor about your options.
  • Speak to the admissions counselors from colleges you are interested in and ask if they have any advice or tips for you as an undocumented student. Getting to know your counselor before you apply can put you ahead of the game. Try to connect with students at the university as well.
  • Apply to as many private scholarships that are applicable to you as possible.
  • Apply to as many schools as possible. Students who cannot receive FAFSA must apply to as many schools as possible to see which school provides the most financial aid. For most schools, application fees can be waived.  More info here.  You can also apply for a fee waiver through the common application.  
  • Do not give up. Be persistent. Ask questions.

General College Resources

NYIC College FAQ

College Board: For Undocumented Students

My Documented Life: Applying to College

Scholarship Resources

NYSYLC Scholarship

Immigrants Rising 2017-2018 Scholarship List

How to Apply For In-State Tuition at New York Public Colleges

All students who have attended a New York State high school for at least two years and received a high school diploma are eligible to receive in-state tuition at a public college in New York.  If you are undocumented, you do not need to include a social security number on your application.  

Note: It is important to make sure that you are not classified as an international applicant because those students pay much higher tuition and need to provide a student visa.


Help for Undocumented Students Seeking to Attend College in New York State

CUNY Undocumented Students FAQ

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