As college students we all dream of a brighter future full of opportunities. DREAMers strive for the equal opportunities that citizens have.
DREAMers are part of the Deferred Act for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Many of these students believe that they are not eligible for some of the same opportunities their fellow peers have, which is untrue.
A quick stop at the Undocumented Student Success Center in the San Manuel Student Union at CSUSB answered a lot of frequently asked questions. A common myth is that DREAMers do not qualify for Financial Aid.
Maria Barragan-Arreguin, a DREAMers Resource and Success Center coordinator, explained the financial aid available for DREAMers, such as scholarship opportunities.
“We have a lot of general grants and scholarships available, but the most common scholarships available are the general grant scholarship which is a scholarship of $300 that gives students the opportunity to use that money towards tuition, gas, food, or any emergency necessity that would be necessary for the success of a student while in college. The second most common would be the legal fees scholarship which is a $500 scholarship that is used towards any type of legal fees or legal attorney the student might endure.”
There is also financial aid for DREAMers. It is called the California Dream Act Application, and it makes enrolled DREAMers eligible for state financial aid. The deadline for the California Dream Act is March 2.
There are many community-based scholarships that DREAMers can take advantage of as well. CSUSB is a partner college of Dream US, a scholarship website that helps students get a college education debt free despite their legal status.
First-time freshmen can get up to $29,000 in scholarship funds. Transfer students can get up to $14,000 in funds. These can be put to use towards tuition, room, and board. The deadline for this scholarship is March 1. Other partnered colleges in the area would be Mt. San Antonio College, California State University Long Beach, and the University of LaVerne.
There are currently between 38 and 40 CSUSB scholars that are being helped by Dream US.
For more information, students can go online to E4FC.org under the scholarship tag booklet that has over 50 pages of scholarship information that can help DREAMers in the application process.
There is also the Undocumented Student Success Center located in SU-120B in the San Manuel Student Union for further explanation of the various opportunities available on campus.