Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have given $5 million to TheDream.US, a scholarship fund that helps hundreds of immigrants in the Bay Area attend college, the Mercury News reports.
The gift will enable TheDream.US to provide four hundred Bay Area "dreamers" — students whose parents brought them into the country illegally as children — with college scholarships. Launched in February 2014 with twelve participating colleges and university partners, the fund has expanded to sixty community colleges and state colleges and universities in areas with significant concentrations of its target population, including southern Florida; New York; Houston, El Paso, and McAllen in Texas; Phoenix; Los Angeles; and the Bay Area. The couple's latest gift to the fund will help it provide a midyear round of scholarships. Last year, Zuckerberg and Chan awarded $2.5 million to the fund through their Startup: Education organization.
The typical "dreamer" is headed for a community college and has plans to transfer to a state college or university. The scholarship amount awarded depends on need and cost of attendance but is capped at $12,500 for an associate degree and $25,000 for a bachelor's degree. Applicants for the coming year must be eligible for the Obama administration program that temporarily delayed the deportation of immigrants whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally when they were children.
"We ought to welcome smart and hardworking young people from every nation, and to help everyone in our society achieve their full potential," said Zuckerberg. "If we help more young immigrants climb the ladder to new opportunities, then our country will make greater progress."