Thousands of Dreamers would like the ability to get a higher education, but many cannot afford the high costs of schooling without financial aid. With most states not allowing immigrants to apply for any sort of scholarship, philanthropists, donors and former lawmakers have raised money to create a $25 million college scholarship fund.
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Over the next decade, this fund plans to help at least 2,500 youth get through their schooling. There are several requirements that must be met in order to get the scholarship. Applicants must be undocumented and “not eligible to apply for federal financial aid to support a college education.” They will also have to keep a cumulative 3.0 GPA and will receive an additional $1,000 to $2,000 as an award if they graduate with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
This multi-state fund is the largest offered for undocumented immigrants. In fact, the majority of states do not allow any sort of financial aid for undocumented youth. In six states undocumented students are not even allowed to apply at public institutions. According to the College Board, tuition costs around $9,037 for a public-four-year college in California. Incomes for undocumented immigrants generally hover around $36,000.
Because of this large disparity, only about five to ten percent of undocumented high school immigrants decide to pursue a higher education. Researchers say that if undocumented immigrants were able to apply for financial aid, go to college and work, they would add $329 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.4 million new jobs. This scholarship fund is helping immigrants do this without having to wait on new legislation.
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