On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, “TheDream.US” announced the creation of a scholarship program for Dreamers – students who have grown up in the United States without immigration documents. The program was launched by Carlos Gutierrez, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush, Henry Munoz III, the finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee, and Donald Graham, CEO of the Graham Holdings Company. The program has other high-profile supporters including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, actor and director Diego Luno, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
As stated on its website, “TheDream.US” has the following Vision, Mission and Belief:
All DREAMers should have the opportunity to realize the American dream of obtaining a college education and contributing to the prosperity of our nation.
THEDREAM.US provides college scholarships to highly motivated DREAMers who, without financial aid, cannot afford a college education that will enable them to participate in the American workforce.
We believe the cost of a college education should not preclude highly motivated DREAMers with the commitment and desire to succeed, from going to college. We are the “Pell Grant” for DREAMers. Based on this belief and the need, we have created a fund that provides DREAMers with scholarships for quality, affordable college educations that lead to career-ready degrees. The goal is to enable over 2,000 highly motivated, low-income, DREAMers to graduate with career-ready degrees over the course of the next decade.
There are about 65,000 students who graduate from American high school each year without legal status. Such students do not qualify for federal financial and are not eligible for many other scholarship programs. Without financial assistance, many of these students – who are often among the best and brightest students in high school – do not have an opportunity to go to college. “TheDream.US” has already raised about $25 million to provide scholarships for Dreamers. It is hoped that over the next decade the scholarship program will enable about 2,000 students to attend college. The program will pay up to 100 percent of tuition, or around $25,000 over four years, based on need.
To qualify, students must be participating in the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program announced by President Barack Obama in 2012, which allows students who were brought into the United States without legal permission as children to obtain a temporary status. Although that leaves out some Dreamers, it would apply to the more than 455,000 undocumented young people who, as of mid-September 2013, had received relief under DACA.
More information is available at www.thedream.us.