Despite Uncertainties, ‘Dreamers’ Are Heading to College
The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients under the current administration is uncertain, but while politicians are deciding their future, students across the country are still trying to further their education.
For most, it’s far from an easy journey. Although DACA allows 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children to work and attend public school, recipients aren’t eligible for federal student aid. Access to aid from colleges and state programs is spotty, so many students have to look elsewhere for financial assistance.
This year, the nation’s biggest scholarship fund for Dreamers, TheDream.Us, will award financial aid to almost 3,000 students, reports Maya Rhodan in a recent story for Time. The fund, a bipartisan group funded by corporate and private interests, was intended to be a temporary solution until immigration reform was resolved at a national level. But as efforts have stalled, it’s become an important bridge to success for thousands of scholars.
Gaby Pacheco, TheDream.Us’s director of advocacy, development, and communications, says that after last September’s threats from the Republican administration, a record number of students applied for their tuition scholarships this year. Almost 1,200 students will be awarded up to $29,000 towards a Bachelor’s Degree or $14,500 for an associate’s degree at one of TheDream.Us’s 76 partner schools.
“In the U.S. right now, I think one of the safest places for an undocumented student is on a college campus,” she says.