In the past, many undocumented immigrant students had difficulty enrolling in higher education. Since Obama created the DREAMers program, more American immigrant students are finding opportunities, including scholarships. The University of California, Berkeley has announced that it will create a $1 million scholarship fund for undocumented immigrant students. This is the largest fund dedicated to helping DREAMers. Similar scholarships and funding could soon be available to students in Miami, Florida and nationwide.
Undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition; however they are barred from receiving Pell grants, federal loans, and from participating in work-study. The Dreamers Fund is dedicated to helping 200 students from 20 different countries and will take effect next year. Supporters of the fund believe that young immigrant students are an asset to the state and the country. The $8,000 scholarships will be distributed to undocumented UC Berkeley students on the basis of need. Recipients must have at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify.
The Dreamers Fund was named after the DREAM Act, which would have granted conditional permanent residency to undocumented workers who came to the U.S. as young children and completed 2 years of military service or higher education. Though the bill failed in 2011, President Obama created a similar program that allows a path to residency for the same “DREAMers.”
California passed a bill that allows undocumented immigrants to receive scholarships offered by individual state colleges and universities as well as Cal Grants to subsidize tuition. This bill gave the foundation the ability to establish The Dreamers Fund.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Undocumented Student Scholarships: UC Berkeley Sets $1 Million Fund To Help Dreamers,” Aaron Sankin, Dec. 11, 2012