IMMIGRANT RIGHTS: College tuition aid 101

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Immigrants, including certain undocumented ones, have many opportunities to study in U.S. colleges and universities.

Immigrants, including certain undocumented ones, have many opportunities to study in U.S. colleges and universities.

Most higher education institutions accept students regardless of their immigration status.

Financial assistance may be available, even for some undocumented students.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Permanent residents and certain others lawfully in the U.S.

The federal, state and New York City government provide financial aid – grants, loans and college work-study wages – to students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, asylees and refugees and several other categories.

For more information on federal financial aid, go to studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/non-us-citizens

Similar rules apply to the NY Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Learn more about TAP eligibility at: www2.cuny.edu/financial-aid/student-eligibility/non-citizen-eligibility

TAP applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for every academic year to be considered for financial aid. Submitting the FAFSA generates an application for TAP awards. Apply online at fafsa.gov or call 1-800-4-FED-AID.

Undocumented Students

Most public and private colleges and universities admit undocumented students. Although undocumented students do not qualify for federal financial aid, in a few states (not yet in New York, though) they may qualify for state aid.

However, many public and private colleges offer merit scholarships, financed by private sources. Contact the financial aid office of an institution for more information.

DACA and TPS

Students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protective Status (TPS) enrolling as first-time college students or who are community college graduates may be eligible to apply for scholarships of up to $25,000 for two- or four-year degrees.

For more information on scholarship eligibility, go to thedream.us

Students can get free DACA and TPS application assistance from CUNY Citizenship Now. Email citizenshipnowinfo@cuny.edu or call 212-652-2055.

NYC Council Merit Scholarship

High-achieving New York City high school graduates who apply for admission to CUNY are automatically considered for the New York City Council Merit Scholarship.

The awards, $400 per semester or $800 per academic year, are given to U.S. citizens and certain non-citizens, such as asylees and refugees, who are New York City residents attending CUNY.

Scholarship Resource Guides

MALDEF, the nation’s leading Latino legal civil-rights organization, offers a free resource guide that has an extensive list of scholarships that do not inquire about immigration status.

MALDEF’s Law School Scholarship Program, whose awards are based on academic and extracurricular achievement, is open to students enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. law school. For information: maldef.org/leadership/scholarships/index.html

Another good site for scholarship listings is unitedwedream.org

In-State Tuition

At New York State’s public universities, CUNY and SUNY, undocumented students can qualify for the same low in-state tuition paid by U.S. citizens and permanent residents. No proof of citizenship or other legal status is required.

To qualify, a student must have graduated from a New York State high school after attending it for at least two years, or have earned a New York State GED and applied to college within five years of receiving a diploma or GED.

To get in-state tuition, undocumented immigrants must file an affidavit stating that they have applied to legalize their status or that they will apply to do so as soon as they are eligible.

For information about CUNY, go to CUNY.edu or call 1-800-CUNY-YES. For SUNY, go to SUNY.edu

Many other states offer in-state tuition for undocumented students.

To learn more, go to finaid.org/otheraid/stateresidency.phtml

This article was sourced from http://obd2news.com