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Oct. 26, 2014

Scholarship program available for DREAMers at Blair

by Ellie Struewing, Online Features Editor
TheDream.US is a program designed to help create college opportunities for undocumented high schoolers and it is open for Blair students to apply. The program has a list of partner colleges, which allow students who receive the scholarship attend their school.

Minors who meet the requirements of the DREAM Act – often referred to as Dreamers – cannot receive financial aid for college because they lack legal status. As a result, three men – Don Graham, Henry Muñoz II and Carlos Gutierrez – founded TheDream.US. The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, the nation's largest designer of scholarship and tuition and reimbursement programs.

In order to qualify for TheDream.US scholarships, students must meet Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or Temporary Protected Status requirements. Applicants must have moved to the United States before turning 16, must not have been convicted of a felony and must demonstrate significant financial need.

Last year, two Blair students received full ride scholarships to Trinity Washington University after applying with TheDream.US. "I helped them with the application process," Jose Medrano said. Medrano works with Achieving College Excellence and Success, or ACES students at Blair.

Iris Escarraman, Assistant Director of Admissions at Trinity Washington University, explained that TheDream.US ultimately decides which students receive the scholarship. "We don’t look at the applications for the scholarship," Escarraman said. "Students have to apply and they are selected through [TheDream.US] and then we are notified."

The selection process is rigorous and includes analysis of grades, participation, extracurricular activities and advanced courses. "In general, the students that apply have very good GPAs and took honors and AP classes as well, which definitely helps," Medrano said. Students are selected for scholarships based on three main factors: financial need, academic potential and motivation to succeed.

The program is continuing to grow and now nearly 50 colleges are taking part. Last year, only four schools in New York were a part of TheDream.us, but that number has risen to 19. Other schools that provide scholarships through TheDream.US include University of California–Santa Cruz, Florida International University and Northern Virginia Community College.

For more information about applying, students can talk to Medrano, whose office is in the media center, or their counselor.




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