Several states have passed legislation that makes undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, while other states have passed legislation expressly prohibiting such benefits. Undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients, however, are prohibited from receiving federal student aid, and thus many must rely on private loan providers and private scholarships to finance their educations.
In response, Don Graham (formally of the Washington Post), activist Henry R. Muñoz, and DREAMer Gaby Pacheco convened a group of national and state-based organizations, post-secondary educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, and DREAMers to discuss the creation of a scholarship fund to provide low-cost, high quality college education to undocumented students. From their meeting emerged a program, “TheDream.US” that offers college scholarships of up to $25,000 to DACA recipients. Scholarship recipients may renew their awards by showing that they remain DACA-eligible, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, and remain enrolled in their academic programs on at least a part-time basis. The program’s founders envision adding more partner institutions and expanding its geographic reach. There are currently 12 institutions in the program: Long Beach City College; California State University, Long Beach; Trinity Washington University; Miami Dade College; Kingsborough Community College; Bronx Community College; Borough of Manhattan Community College; El Paso Community College District; University of Texas, El Paso; South Texas College; University of Texas, Pan American; and Mount Washington College.