Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act

Applying for the New York State Dream Act and TAP as an Undocumented Student

The New York State Dream Act and Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) are two crucial programs that together allow students with various immigration statuses in New York to apply for NYS financial aid if eligible.

1. The New York State Dream Act allows undocumented students to apply for and receive state financial aid, such as scholarships,grants and tuition assistance. (Excelsior and Tuition Assistance Program TAP)

2. TAP is a state-funded program that provides financial assistance to eligible students attending approved New York State colleges and universities. Visit the New York State TAP site for more info.


Eligibility for the New York State Dream Act and TAP as an Undocumented Student:

  • Immigration status: Undocumented, DACA, T-Visa, U-Visa, TPS, Asylum Pending and without immigration status
  • Attend a NYS high school for two years and graduate from a NYS high school OR have a NYS diploma/GED
  • Be enrolled in an approved New York State undergraduate college or university within five years of receiving your
  • NYS diploma/GED
  • Meet certain income requirements: dependent, no more than $80,000; independent/married, $40,000; independent/single, $10,000
  • Demonstrate financial need

How to Apply for the New York State Dream Act and TAP

1. Go to DREAM Act for Non-Citizens | HESC ( and submit an application for the New York State Dream Act.
2. Once approved, you will have access to the TAP application on the same website.
3. If you choose to waive your right for the New York City Public Schools to validate your transcripts, you must provide proof of your New York State residency.

Double Check:
       Make sure you list your accurate email address.
       Make sure your date of birth is correct.
       Make sure your address is redacted on any documents.

Common Challenges - Not meeting the eligibility requirements

To be eligible for the New York State Dream Act, applicants must meet certain criteria.

Tip: Make sure you understand all of the eligibility requirements before applying and make sure you meet them. Visit DREAM Act for Non-Citizens | HESC ( for the full list.

Not having the required documents

Applicants must submit certain documents to prove their
eligibility, such as proof of New York State residency, proof of attendance at a New York State high school, pay stubs in some cases and proof of Independent Student Status
(if independent).

Tip: Make sure you have all the required documents ready
before you submit your application. Visit
for additional resources.

Not filling out the application correctly

Applicants must fill out the application correctly and completely in order to be considered for the New York State Dream Act.

Tip: Read the instructions carefully and make sure you fill out
the application correctly. If there’s a mistake, email to fix it right away.

Not submitting the application on time

Submit your application between July 1st and June
30th of the school year.

Example: A student enrolled in Fall 2023 needs to submit TAP
application between July 1st, 2023 and June 30th, 2024; after that, you will not be eligible for funds for 2023 - 2024. However, you can still apply next year.

Not following up on the application

After submitting the application, applicants must follow up to make sure their application was received and is being processed.

Tip: Make sure you follow up, log in to the website to check and continue with your TAP application once you received the green COMPLETED mark.

Who to contact

  • If there’s an error in your application or you need confirmation:
  • If you have not heard back about your application:
  • If there’s a hold on your classes regarding the money, please reach out to your campus Immigrant Liaison:
  • If you reached out and no one has helped you, fill out the survey at this link:
  • For other resources that help with school funding, visit:
  • If you need additional help, please fill out our intake form:

Tips to Remember:

TIP 1. Any and all information regarding your current immigration status is confidential and cannot be shared with federal agencies or other states. If you would like to be extra safe, you can also redact your addresses on all required documents.

Tip 2: Qualified Dependent and Independent Status Students must indicate whether they are “dependent” or “independent.”

  •  A dependent student: Is financially reliant on their parents or    guardians; under 24 years old; legally single; Has no children or other dependents.
  •   An independent student:Is financially independent of their parents or guardians; at least 24 years old; married; Has children or other dependents or has special circumstances that make them independent.

Tip 3. If you waive your right for the New York City Public Schools to validate your transcripts, you have to remember to upload your official transcript when you finish school.

Please complete form for a CUNY staff member to assist in an effort to assist with completion of the application, receiving responses and funds on time.

CUNY Immigrant Student Success New York Dream Act Support

Undocumented or out-of-status students are eligible for in-state tuition based on their attendance and graduation from a New York State high school or a GED/TASC in New York State. Click here for more FAQs on financial aid. Below are some of the scholarships that are highlighted because they are popular with undocumented CUNY students.



Last Updated: 05/14/2024 12:12