Eligible U.S. Citizenship Status, DACA, and Green Card

Cornell University meets full demonstrated financial need for all admitted students who are United States citizens and eligible non-citizens. Eligible non-citizens include permanent residents, refugees and asylees, students who hold DACA status, students who have been long-term undocumented students, and students who have been long-term Green Card applicants but have not yet achieved Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card) status.

Green Card Applicant Documentation Requirements:

Cornell will offer institutional financial aid to admitted and currently enrolled undergraduate international students who have been long-term Green Card applicants but have not yet achieved Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card) status. Undergraduate students who are determined to have satisfied Cornell's documentation requirements will be eligible for need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid like any U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

As part of the aid application process, students will be asked to document the following:

  • Born on or after June 16, 1981;
  • Came to the United States before reaching 16th birthday;
  • Continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 up to the present time;
  • Currently in school, has graduated high school, or obtained a general education certificate (GED);
  • Filed an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status by no later than June 15, 2007;
  • Meets financial aid application requirements.

Undocumented Student Documentation Requirements (with and without DACA status):

Students with DACA Status

Undergraduate students who hold DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) status granted by the federal government will be considered domestic students by Cornell University for purposes of admissions and financial aid, and thus are eligible for need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid like any U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Students with DACA status must provide copies of the following documentation in the financial aid application process. Original documents must be reviewed by our office when students arrive on campus. If you have applied for DACA status, and your application is currently pending, see the Important Information section below.

  • Copy of the written notice that DACA status has been approved
  • Copy of your Employment Authorization Document

All currently enrolled Cornell students who had DACA status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) will continue to be considered in the "domestic" financial aid pool (need-based, meeting full demonstrated need) for the remainder of their Cornell undergraduate program.

Long-term Undocumented Students without DACA status

Cornell will offer institutional financial aid to admitted and currently enrolled undergraduates who have been long-term undocumented students.

As part of the aid application process, students will be asked to document the following:

  • Born on or after June 16, 1981;
  • Came to the United States before reaching 16th birthday;
  • Continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 up to the present time;
  • Currently in school, has graduated high school, or obtained a general education certificate (GED);
  • Meets financial aid application requirements.

Undocumented applicants residing in the U.S. without DACA status and who do not meet the above criteria should follow the steps to apply for financial aid as an International Student.

 

Eligible Non-Citizen Documentation Requirements:

Eligible non-citizens must provide documentation of permanent residency or citizenship status. Original documents must be provided to our office for review. Acceptable forms of documentation include:

  • Resident Alien Card (I-551)

    OR
  • Arrival/Departure Record (I-94) with all endorsements and temporary I-155 stamp that has not expired and I-797 (Notice of Action) showing that you have applied for permanent residency

When applicable, documentation will be sent to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) for review and determination of eligibility for federal student aid.

If the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not have a record of your current citizenship status, you may be required to verify your status when you apply for financial aid. We will include details regarding how to resolve this on Student Center and in an email notification. If you are unable to present your citizenship documentation to our office in person, please complete the Citizenship Affidavit, have it notarized, and return it with a copy of your citizenship documentation. If you are an eligible non-citizen, you must also submit a correction to your FAFSA to indicate that you are an eligible non-citizen and also provide your Alien Registration Number.

 

Important Information for students with pending U.S. permanent residency or DACA status:

Students who have filed an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status prior to June 15, 2007, and have not received approval for Legal Permanent Resident status should refer to our Green Card Applicant Required Documentation. If you meet the stated criteria, please contact our office to discuss your aid eligibility.

Prospective Students/Incoming New Students:

Deadline for documentation:

Must document permanent residency or DACA status by the admission deposit deadline. If you will not be able to document permanent residency or DACA status, apply for financial aid as an international student.

If you miss the deadline:

If granted permanent residency later in the academic year, you will be considered for William D. Ford Loan and Federal Pell Grant only (does not apply to DACA status). Be sure to submit a complete continuing student financial aid application and apply for full financial aid for the following academic year.

Continuing Students:

Deadline for documentation:

Must present original documentation of permanent residency or DACA status before the start of the semester to our office.

You must also present original documentation of your permanent residency or DACA status in person to the International Student Scholars Office (ISSO) to update the university’s records.

 

If you miss the deadline:

Students waiting for DACA status approval should apply for financial aid as an international student.

If documentation of permanent residency is provided before the start of the fall semester, then you will be considered for Cornell and federal aid funding for the academic year (does not apply to DACA status). 

If documentation of permanent residency comes in after the start of fall semester but before the beginning of the spring semester, you will be considered for the William D. Ford loan and Federal Pell Grant for the fall semester and reviewed for eligibility for all sources of aid for the spring semester (does not apply to DACA status).

If documentation of permanent residency comes in after the start of spring semester, you will be considered for the William D. Ford Loan and Federal Pell Grant only. You can submit a complete continuing student financial aid application and apply for full financial aid during the following academic year (does not apply to DACA status).