Undocumented students eligible for new scholarship program

Mar 16, 2014, 11:28 AM | Updated: 12:06 pm

After United States Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act in 2010, several federally-independent initiatives have arisen to offer financial aid to undocumented college students.

Fifteen states currently have their own versions of the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) legislation, which was first introduced during the 107th Congress in April of 2001.

A new private scholarship, called TheDream.US, is the latest program to assist prospective and current college students who aren’t documented U.S. residents, as NBC News detailed.

The scholarship’s name is a pointed reference to the elephant in the room: the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which would provide some young immigrants brought here as children with conditional permanent residency, making them eligible for federal student loans and work-study programs. Launched last month by former Washington Post CEO Don Graham, the $25 million TheDream.US scholarship program promises to provide 1,000 students with up to four years of free tuition.

Despite the impact of the scholarship on as many as 1,000 undocumented students, however, some have described the initiative as measly in scope. A University of Arkansas professor quoted in the NBC story referred to the scholarship as a “drop in the bucket” when considering the the 1.9 million students who are eligible for such assistance. The real impact, that professor said, was found in the program’s “effectiveness to place political pressure on legislators,” not in its quantitative reach. And sweeping legislation, the professor says, is what’s needed long-term to help students in such situations.

The scholarship is the latest, most high-profile attempt to sidestep congressional inertia by funneling private money into helping students who would be helped by the DREAM Act’s passage. Since 2008, Educators for Fair Consideration, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, has been providing DREAMers with up to $7,000 in tuition. In 2012, University of California-Berkeley announced a $1 million scholarship fund for DREAMers, a donation from the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Foundation. Billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’ widow, have poured money into public campaigns supporting DREAMers.

For more information on TheDream.US scholarship or to donate or apply, visit thedream.us

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(CVS Health Photos)...
KTAR.com

Affordable housing development in south Phoenix holds grand opening

UMOM New Day Centers held a grand opening ceremony Wednesday for an affordable housing development in south Phoenix.
1 day ago
This Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich is part of the new food menu approved by the NFL for the S...
Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

First look: State Farm Stadium ups the ante on Super Bowl food, beverage offerings

Those attending the NFL’s championship game, which will be played in Glendale on Sunday, can expect an elevated food and beverage menu.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/City of Mesa Police Department)...
KTAR.com

4 Mesa children reported missing found in Texas, father arrested

Four Valley children who were reported missing earlier this week were found safe in Texas, authorities said Wednesday. 
1 day ago
(Phoenix Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix woman who was subject of December Silver Alert found safe

Authorities canceled a Silver Alert for a missing Phoenix woman on Wednesday, two months after it was issued.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
Danny Shapiro

Spending limit lifted this year for Arizona public schools after Senate vote

The aggregate expenditure limit for public schools this year was lifted Wednesday, allowing districts to avoid massive budget cuts.
1 day ago
Disturbed (Live Nation Photo)...
KTAR.com

Disturbed to hit Phoenix this summer on Take Back Your Life Tour

It's going to be sick when Disturbed brings its brand of chugging heavy metal to Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre this summer.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Undocumented students eligible for new scholarship program