February 2, 2022
Undocumented Students Still Need Support
By Lisa Herforth-Hebbert
The struggles facing undocumented youth in New York City have only been heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It took Farah Said almost seven years to complete her undergraduate studies as an undocumented student in New York City. After enrolling in CUNY City College’s Childhood Education Program and completing 113 credits, Said was told she could not graduate. Even though she had applied and was accepted to the program as an undocumented student, administration later informed her that she would not be able to complete the last, required part of the curriculum—student teaching. “Student teaching requires finger printing and finger printing requires a social security number, which I did not have,” says Said.
Said is among 51,000 undocumented students who currently reside in New York and of 569,000 in the United States. New research indicates that undocumented students account for approximately two percent of all students in higher education in the United States; these students are often encouraged to apply to the City University of New York. CUNY is known to offer specialized support for undocumented youth through programs like the Dream.US Scholarship, which grants up to $29,000 to students going for two- or four-year degrees at CUNY who are eligible to be covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).