More than the 4,500 undocumented students that graduate from New York high schools each year will now be able to access state financial aid to help cover the cost of college at public state institutions of higher education.

  • Create a DREAM fund commission and a DREAM fund in order to advance the educational opportunities of the children of immigrants by providing scholarships to college bound students.

  • Eliminate potential financial obstacles to obtaining State financial aid and extends the opportunities for undocumented students to attend higher education institutions.

  • Eliminate barriers for immigrant aliens to save for their families higher education expenses by allowing such individuals to open a New York State 529 family tuition account under the New York State College Tuition Savings Program and/or be a designated beneficiary on an account if they have a taxpayer identification number.


  1. Determine Your Eligibility: visit the New York State Higher Education (HESC) site to determine if you’re eligible for one or more NYS student financial aid awards under the DREAM Act.

  2. Complete the Application: elegible students can apply for one or more HESC-administered grant and scholarship programs here and be directed to the NYS DREAM Act application. If you’re undocumented, you will not be required to submit your home address or your financial records.

  3. Monitoring the Status of Your Application: make sure you complete and submit your application.

  4. Award Notification and Acceptance: You will received an email with a response for each award for which you have applied. If you are determined to be eligible for an award, your next step is accepting it!

HOW lead HELPED make dream a reality

In January 2019, The Senate Majority Conference passed the José Peralta New York State DREAM Act.  As a result, undocumented students across the state will now have access to state financial aid, allowing them to make their higher education dreams a reality. The LEAD Coalition, powered by the Hispanic Federation, advocated to make the DREAM Act a reality in New York State.