TheDream.US has announced scholarships totaling $30 million to more than twelve hundred undocumented immigrant college students — known as DREAMers — across the country.
Although DREAMers were brought to the United States as young children and have known no other country, they are not eligible for federal tuition assistance. And with the long-term fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in question under the Trump administration, the scholarships come at a particularly uncertain time for the nearly eight hundred thousand DREAMers who are protected under the program.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, scholarships for a hundred and thirty-nine DREAMers were funded by a grant of $3.4 million from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and matching contributions from individual donors. Since 2015, two hundred undocumented Bay Area students have received scholarships through TheDream.US, which has formed a coalition of colleges and universities that are committed to addressing the challenges DREAMers in the region face in getting into and through college. The coalition includes San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, CSU East Bay, Sonoma State University, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, Evergreen Community College, and DeAnza Community College.
"TheDream.US is helping to even the playing field for promising students to reach their potential," said Chan Zuckerberg Education president Jim Shelton. "DREAMers face unique challenges in getting to college, lacking federal financial aid options and facing a range of other barriers largely dependent on the state. TheDream.US has proven to make an impact, with scholars progressing through college at extraordinarily high rates. Programs like this can help these students open a door to higher education even as other options are foreclosed to them."