Resources for Students, Faculty and Staff
Welcome! Cornell University and the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) strive to create an accessible and inclusive home for learning and success for all our students. We wholeheartedly believe that all community members have the potential to transform our world through scholarship, service, leadership and the commitment to the greater good. We affirm and celebrate our students’ talents, intellect, histories, and passion that motivate their invaluable contributions to our university, our state and our world, regardless of citizenship or residency status. Cornell University admits and enrolls students regardless of citizenship or immigration status, and uses non-governmental resources to facilitate the success of current undocumented students.
This page is Cornell’s first step in pulling together the evolving set of resources for undocumented students and allies. Whether you are a current or prospective undocumented student or a relative or advocate of an undocumented student, we hope this website provides information to support you. We hope that this website serves as an empowering resource for Cornell’s undocumented students to live fearlessly and claim their right to the education and bright future that Cornell promises all its students.
Planning for College
Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) is a non-profit organization that offers essential information and guidance to undocumented students planning a college education. http://e4fc.org/home.html
1,000 Dreamers - 1,000 Leaders is a binational program with the goal of empowering the Dreamer population in the US and Mexico by unlocking their full professional potential. https://www.usmexicofound.org/give/1000-dreamers-1000-leaders
DACA – Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
A number of Cornell students have found it helpful to register for DACA http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
As of December 2016, we are recommending no new registrations until the future status of DACA is clear.
If you have questions about DACA or other legal concerns, please contact Stephen W. Yale-Loehr firstname.lastname@example.org.
Undocumented Students with DACA Status
Beginning in Fall 2016, undergraduates who are granted DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status by the federal government will be considered domestic students by Cornell University for the 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.
While federal and state financial aid (including grants, loans, and federal work-study) is not available for DACA students, Cornell University provides institutional financial aid in place of federal/state grants and loans; summer savings and academic-year work may be included in the financial aid package, and DACA students are expected to obtain federal work authorization as part of their federal DACA status. Undergraduate students with DACA status will be charged non-resident tuition.
Cornell will extend financial aid eligibility to all DACA students enrolled at Cornell, including newly enrolled as of Fall 2016 as freshmen or transfers, and continuing students matriculated in prior years.
Cornell's financial aid policy for students with DACA status can be found here.
Details on applying for aid as an undocumented student with DACA status can be found here. Students with DACA status should contact Jessica Potter at email@example.com with questions.
Graduate School Statement on Funding For DACA Students
Cornell graduate students holding DACA status and receiving funding through the university have expressed concerns about their personal situations and funding should DACA, which includes federal work authorization, be discontinued. All assistantships (TA, RA, GRA, and GA) currently require federal work authorization.
Effective immediately, all currently-enrolled graduate DACA students will continue to receive funding for the complete length of time they were offered in their admissions letters (assuming satisfactory academic progress). If DACA is discontinued and students lose the ability for federal work authorization, instead of being awarded an assistantship, fellowship funding, which does not require federal work authorization, will be provided to these students to honor the funding commitment each student received at time of admission to Cornell.
Undocumented Students without DACA Status
Cornell provides financial aid on a limited, need-aware basis to international students and undocumented students without DACA status.
International applicants and undocumented applicants without DACA status who indicate on their admissions applications that they will not be applying for financial aid (and who are admitted) will not be eligible to apply for financial aid at any time as an undergraduate at Cornell. Applicants who anticipate the need for financial assistance at any point during their undergraduate course of study at Cornell must apply for aid when they apply for admission.
Details on applying for aid as an undocumented student without DACA status can be found here. If you have questions or concerns about financial aid eligibility, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment at 607-255-5145.
Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) scholarships page offers important guidance as well as researched scholarship lists for undocumented students seeking funding for a college education http://e4fc.org/resources/scholarshiplists.html.
Cornell’s Latina/o Studies Program maintains an additional list of resources at http://latino.cornell.edu/academics/internship-scholarship-opportunities.cfm.
International Travel and Study Abroad
For international travel and re-entry (including study abroad, Cornell programs)
- “DACA students should come back to the United States from any education abroad program before inauguration day on January 20. If DACA is rescinded while the student is out of the country, there may be no way to return. For now, DACA students need to understand the uncertainty of their status if they apply for a study abroad program, and only sign up if they can back out at the last minute."
The mission of Cornell’s D.R.E.A.M (Development, Relief, Education for Alien Minors) Team is to promote the common value and shared community standard of “any person, any study” by empowering undocumented students through advising and providing a support network. We aim to expand awareness and acceptance in the local community through advocacy and educational outreach.
The Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of students’ educational records regardless of immigration status. Please visit the following websites for information on FERPA and student records confidentiality, and Cornell’s policy on access to student information.
- U.S. Department of Education FERPA Basics
- Cornell University Policy 4.5: Access to Student Information
College University Presidents Call Us to Uphold and Continue DACA
Message from Interim President Hunter Rawlings
Cornell Sanctuary Letter and Signatures
Santuary Letter Law School
Guidance for Faculty, Staff, Students and Families
Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) http://e4fc.org/ offers a wealth of valuable guidance regarding program planning and staff training, advising and serving undocumented students, as well as guidance for students and families. Of particular note: the 2015 U.S. Department of Education’s Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth at http://e4fc.org/images/USED_ResourceGuide.pdf, including the FAQ section at the end.
Harvard Sanctuary Campus Toolkit