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College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students > The City University of New York (CUNY)

Updated: January 2014

Does your college knowingly admit undocumented students?


Would you advise the disclosure of their status in the application process through their essay or counselor recommendation?

Not necessary

Contact person for undocumented students, parents, and counselors:

Any admissions person
CUNY Welcome Center
(212) 997-2869

Do you have institutional aid or merit/talent based scholarships for which an undocumented student would be eligible?


In NY State, any student who graduates from a NY State high school and has attended the high school for two years is eligible to pay in-state tuition the the two public university system (CUNY & SUNY) regardless of immigration status.

In addition, any student who has DACA can become eligible to pay in-state tuition at CUNY after living in NY State for one-year.

How would an undocumented student apply for financial assistance or a need-based scholarship at your institution? Are they required to complete a CSS Profile or an institutional financial aid application in lieu of a FAFSA?


When completing the question on the application regarding citizenship is there an applicable choice such as “non-citizen” or “other” and if not, should they leave the question blank? Is a blank field permitted when completing an online application?

There is an option to state “other”.

How should an undocumented student answer the question regarding social security number? Should they use zeros or leave it blank? Again, is a blank field permitted when submitting an online application?

There is an option to select “I do not have a social security number”. The applicant will then be assigned a CUNY ID number.

Can students submit an online application if they are paying the application fee with a fee-waiver?


If undocumented students are required to complete a paper application, do the online instructions direct them to do so?


Do any state laws exist that restrict an unauthorized student’s access to higher education or could cause them to feel generally unsafe living within the state?


Are there any institutional policies that exist at your college requiring administrators to report a student’s status?


Do you believe that the mission of your institution creates an environment where an undocumented student would be embraced and feel welcome on your campus?


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