13 Scholarships for Undocumented Students NYC

One of the sad things about being an undocumented student is that there is no federal financial aid for you. Well, there are other scholarships for undocumented students NYC, though not so many when compared with financial assistance given to documented Immigrants and regular citizens.

As of now, there are 676,105 Undocumented Immigrants in New York according to Higher ED Immigration Portal. Which means there should be special consideration for these people, right?

Sadly, there’s no serious care for them, even to qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) — a program created by former President Barack Obama to give eligible undocumented youth government protection from deportation and the ability to legally seek employment and higher education — has several strict eligibility requirements.

Most students who intend to further higher education are not eligible, and you might be one of them.

The bright side is several undocumented students are still succeeding in the midst of these, most of them, regardless of their DACA status still complete their education, and have amazing professions. Another good news is that there are some scholarships for these students in New York that can help you reduce the financial stress in university.

Also there are other scholarships for immigrants in the State that will benefit first-gen students or even scholarships specifically for minority women. And if you intend to pursue your career in healthcare, there is still some financial assistance solely for students in healthcare.

Let’s go straight ahead to list these scholarships.

scholarships for undocumented students NYC

Scholarships for Undocumented Students NYC

1. The Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act

This Act gives undocumented and other students access to New York State‐administered grants and scholarships that support their higher education costs. For you to be eligible for any of their assistance, you must have attended or graduated from an NYS high school, attended an approved NYS high school equivalency program, or received an NYS equivalency diploma, plus other requirements.

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2. The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

This is among the financial assistance and scholarships for undocumented students NYC that helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Eligible students, including undocumented students, can receive up to $5,665 worth of grants, and just like every other grant, you don’t need to repay them. 

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3. New York University – Scholarships for Undocumented Students

NYU is one of the Universities that doesn’t discriminate between documented Immigrants and undocumented students, you will be eligible for the same scholarships as documented students. However, there are some eligibility requirements you must meet, and your scholarships are based on financial need.

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4. NYSYLC Scholarship Program

The New York State Youth Leadership Council provides scholarships worth between $1,000 to $10,000 to students, regardless of their immigration status, who aspire to continue their higher education and be active in the immigrant rights movement.

This is among the scholarships for undocumented students NYC that gives preference to students with limited or no means to obtain financial aid for college, and those without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or other forms of immigration relief.

Also, the scholarship doesn’t put much consideration into academic performance, 

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5. New York Dream Act

This is another Act that provides undocumented students who meet their requirements, access to benefits such as in-state tuition, New York State-administered financial aid, and scholarships. Candidates that intend to apply for the NY Dream Act must have lived in the state of New York for 2+ years; are undocumented or have DACA, a U-Visa, T-Visa, or Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

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6. MALDEF Scholarship

The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund provides a law school scholarship program to support law students who seek to further the foundation’s mission of advancing the civil rights of the Latino community in the United States. They provide up to $10,000 worth of scholarships to 15 outstanding law Hispanic/Latino students.

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7. Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarship Fund 

To be eligible for the Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarship Fund, Puerto Rican and Latino Law students need to remain in good standing and enroll full-time at an accredited ABA Law School in New York State, which is also permanently residing in New York State.

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8. Ascend Educational Fund Scholarships

  • Worth: ranging from $2,500 to $20,000

These scholarships for undocumented students NYC are for immigrant students and children of immigrants who are graduating from a NYC high school. This scholarship doesn’t consider your ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status, but it’s necessary to enroll full-time at an accredited public or private college or university.

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9. TheDream.US National Scholarship

  • Worth: up to $16,500 for associate degrees and $33,000 for bachelor’s degrees

This is among the scholarships for DACA students in New York provided by TheDream.US for highly motivated undocumented students with serious financial need that is still unmet. The scholarship won’t be giving so much concern about your academic record like your GPA, but their major concern is on the level of commitment you’ve shown community service and your ability to overcome the barriers and challenges that undocumented students face each and every day.

Apart from the tuition fund they will award, they will also provide stipends worth $4,000-$5,000.

Priority is given to undocumented immigrant students with or without DACA or TPS who came to the U.S. before the age of 16 and before Nov. 1, 2017.  

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10. Golden Door Scholars

This is one of the scholarships for undocumented students NYC the providers believe that immigration status should not determine opportunity; that tenacity and hard work should. Besides being a documented student to be eligible, you also need to have a minimum GPA of 3.2 for high school seniors and 3.0 for college transfers and must live in the United States for at least four years.

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11. TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship for Locked-out Dreamers

  • Worth: Up to a maximum of  $80,000

This scholarship is solely for undocumented students who live in states where they can’t have access to college education — this could either be because they have to pay out-of-state tuition or the state they are residing in won’t just admit them into their universities. The scholarship will cover your tuition, fees, on-campus housing, and meals at one of their Partner Colleges for a bachelor’s degree.

And one of the best parts is the scholarship is renewable.

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12. Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

  • Up to a maximum of $15,000, annually

This scholarship is for students actively working for peace and social and economic justice in their communities. Though the maximum grant is $15,000, the average grant is $7,500 and students can be granted more than once.

Students are advised to apply each year even if they are recipients of the previous scholarship.

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13. The Esperanza Education Fund

  • Worth: Community college students will receive $3,000 to $7,000, whereas students attending four-year universities will receive $4,000 to $16,000.

The Esperanza Education Fund doesn’t only provide scholarships to qualified candidates, but also mentorship. Students need to be immigrants or the children of immigrants and must plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, public two-year community college or four-year university in the US.

Other than the scholarships recipients will receive, they will also have access to mentorship and annual programming.

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Even though going to college or university as an undocumented student is not easy, it doesn’t make it impossible. We believe as time goes on, there will be more opportunities created not just by different organizations, but also by alumni who graduated from schools in Florida and other states.

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