A new scholarship program has been announced that will help cover the cost of tuition for young people who would not otherwise be able to receive a higher education. This program is a little different than most others you have heard about: it is focused on those known as “Dreamers.”
Dreamers are young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and without documentation. The program, known as TheDream.US, was just recently announced. The idea was implemented by Donald Graham, CEO of the Graham Holdings Company, activist Henry Muñoz, and former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.
The Dream.US has already raised a total of $25 million to help Dreamers attend college. At this point, twelve U.S. colleges have joined the project. The program is now in effect and will only be impacted by the government passing the Dream Act or other similar types of legislation. However, the founders of TheDream.US aren't planning on any significant immigration reform laws being passed anytime soon. “We are not waiting for Washington to solve these challenges,” Gutierrez said.
The new scholarship program acknowledges the fact that paying for college can be difficult when you are a young person who is an undocumented immigrant. The founders have been able to partner with a variety of schools throughout the nation “that have work-related programs and good support systems to help Dreamers stay in.”
The details of the program include funding as much as 100% of a student's tuition, or approximately $25,000 over four years. Decisions related to funding will be based on the need of the applicant. To be eligible, the applicant must have been granted deferred action under President Obama's DACA policy. This means that there are just about 455,000 qualified applicants.
In addition to their deferred action status, these young immigrants must have already graduated from high school with a minimum 2.5 GPA or have received a GED with “a score equivalent to that GPA.” It is also necessary that the applicants plan on achieving an associate's or bachelor's degree that is “career-focused at one of the schools partnering with TheDream.US.” If an applicant is granted a scholarship, he or she must maintain a 3.0 GPA or above throughout their schooling.
It is reported that the scholarship has already donated money to 39 Dreamers. These applicants received their scholarships in December of 2013, before the program's official announcement.
I think this is a great idea. There are too many lawmakers, politicians and others who continue to talk about the problem, while TheDream.US is doing something about it. It has taken a responsible and intelligent approach to making life better for those who came to the U.S. as young children without documentation. It is organizations and programs like TheDream.US that are not only positively impacting current immigration conditions, but encouraging others to do the same.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that this new scholarship is a good idea? Will it encourage others to do the same?