TheDream.us is a national scholarship fund for DACA immigrants that has recently seen an increase in applicants.
Although the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program appears to be in jeopardy, many dreamers have been focused on attending college in the United States.
Dreamers seem to be even more determined to attend college, Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.us, told CNN. TheDream.us is a national scholarship fund for DACA immigrants. And Marshall said that in spite of the uncertain political climate, her office has actually seen an increase in scholarship applications.
DACA has allowed nearly 690,000 immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to work and attend school without fearing deportation. However, last fall President Trump announced he would be ending DACA and asked Congress to come up with an alternative solution. On March 5, a federal judge ruled in favor of the president’s decision to end the program.
Because DACA doesn’t give Dreamers permanent legal status, they have not been able to apply for federal student loans. So most either have found ways to pay for it themselves or rely on private scholarships like TheDream.us.
TheDream.us has fully funded college scholarships for up to 1,000 Dreamers every year, making it the largest scholarship for Dreamers in the U.S. Enrollment has opened for the upcoming school year and TheDream.us has already received nearly 4,000 completed requests for scholarships. According to Marshall, this is an unusually high number of submissions.
The program launched in 2013 and so far it has given out $103 million in college scholarships. TheDream.us has received funds from several notable donors, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who donated $33 million to the program in January, according to CNN.
The program sends students to partner schools like Arizona State University, Colorado State University, and Phoenix College. Although, Marshall said that many students are unable to fill out the application because they realize the colleges are too far away for them to commute to.
TheDream.us lets students pursue associate and bachelor’s degrees. Students can do the majority of their coursework online, and they have access to a wide variety of resources. According to Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, this setup is ideal for Dreamers, many of whom work full-time to help support their families.
Now many Dreamers are worried about their ability to stay in the United States if DACA goes away. But Southern New Hampshire University is still willing to invest in the Dreamers; the private university currently has about 1,000 DACA recipients enrolled.