onondaga bridge - for undocumented students

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a social security number in order to apply for college?

No. A social security number is not required to complete the application for admission.

I am attending a SUNY community college, is a Certificate of Residence (COR) required?

The COR is only required for students attending community colleges outside the county in which they reside. Some counties require the COR be notarized, others do not.

I am having difficulty obtaining the Certificate of Residence (COR) for the community college I am attending. What should I do?

Contact Julieta Schiffino at Julieta.Schiffino@suny.edu for advice and/or assistance.

Is an SSN required for the Certificate of Residence (COR)?

No, counties are prohibited from asking for your SSN to complete this form.

How do I get my Certificate of Residence (COR) notarized?

Check with your campus financial aid office and/or community library for assistance.

Am I eligible for federal or state financial aid?

Under the Dream Act, undocumented students may be eligible for New York State administered grants and scholarships. You cannot receive federal aid unless you are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.

Do I qualify for the resident tuition rate?

You may be eligible for the resident tuition rate if you meet the following requirements:

  • You attended an approved New York State high school for two or more years, graduated from an approved New York State high school and applied for admission within five years of receiving a New York State high school diploma; or
  • You attended an approved New York State program for a General Equivalency Diploma (GED or TASC) exam preparation, received a GED or TASC diploma and applied for admission within five years of receiving the GED or TASC; and
  • You submit to the campus a notarized affidavit stating that you will file an application to legalize your immigration status as soon as you are eligible to do so.
    Note: It is not shared; the university will vigorously defend the privacy rights of students.* The affidavit is a simple form to complete and requires notarization. Most campuses provide free notary services. If you need more information about the notarized affidavit or where to find a notary, contact Julieta Schiffino at Julieta.Schiffino@suny.edu.
    *Prior to the release to law enforcement of any student or group of student records the university requires a subpoena, court order, search warrant, or other applicable exception to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Am I eligible for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)?

U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for admission to EOP. However, you must meet  New York State residency, income and academic requirements

Students under the New York Dream Act may be eligible to receive state aid including support from the EOP program.

May I apply for scholarships as an undocumented student?

Yes. Here are some resources:

Can my campus require me to complete the FAFSA to be considered for scholarships?

While many campuses do require the FAFSA, they may have alternative forms available for students without social security numbers. Please ask your campus financial aid office for guidance.

My college requires students to complete the FAFSA to apply for institutional scholarships. If I have been granted DACA status and have received a social security number, can I complete the FAFSA?

Since you have a social security number, you can complete the FAFSA. There is no penalty for doing so, but undocumented students - including DACA recipients - are not eligible for federal aid. If you choose to complete the FAFSA, the Federal Student Aid office provides specific instructions for DACA students at: studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out/undocumented-students.

Will I be eligible for payment plans?

Yes. You can enroll in a payment plan.

How can undocumented students apply for admission on the SUNY application?

“Visa Type” is a required question for non-U.S. citizens on the SUNY application for admission. As an undocumented student, you have the option to select “Other” at the bottom of the dropdown list for this question. This option is considered a valid response and we recommend this choice for undocumented applicants, including those with DACA status.

Why am I being asked to submit TOEFL scores or other documentation for international students?

If a college contacts you requesting that you send TOEFL scores, foreign transcripts or financial statements, they have assumed that you are an international student. Call the admissions office to clarify.

If the DACA program is canceled or revoked, will my status as an enrolled student protect me from deportation?

Enrolled student status does not necessarily provide protection from removal; however, a 2011 memo from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) designates college campuses as “sensitive locations,” meaning that college campuses would not be the focus of law enforcement actions (i.e. arrests, searches, interviews, and surveillance) unless: (a) exigent circumstances exist; (b) other law enforcement actions have led officers to campus; or (c) prior approval is obtained.

How can I connect with other undocumented students?

Please send an email message to Julieta Schiffino (Julieta.Schiffino@suny.edu) to learn about ally groups and support networks.

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