A new scholarship program wants to make higher education a reality for some of the estimated 65,000 young undocumented immigrants who graduate from high school each year but cannot access federal- and state-funded financial aid for college.
The Dream.US Opportunity Scholarship will specifically help students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protective Status who either can’t afford to pay the out-of-state tuition rates many states require for undocumented immigrants, or are not allowed to enroll in their state’s institutions of higher learning at all. Organizers partnered with the governors of Connecticut and Delaware—and officials at Eastern Connecticut State University and Delaware State University—to help those students continue their education.
The 500 out-of-state would-be undergraduates who win the scholarship will have up to $80,000 of their tuition, on-campus housing, meals and fees covered. The scholarship is privately funded, so it will not draw from state or federal coffers. Eligible students must live in one of the following 16 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin. TheDream.US will also award 100 scholarships of up to $7,250 for in-state DREAMers to attend the two partner universities.
“Education is an American value; we should help every student who has worked hard,” Donald E. Graham, co-founder of TheDream.US said in a press release emailed to Colorlines. “TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship will help immigrant students fulfill their dreams of obtaining a college education so they can better the lives of their families, communities and our nation.”
The application deadline is June 9. Click here for more info.