Partnership with TheDream.US will provide scholarships to undocumented students at UArizona

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Chris Richards/University Communications

A new partnership with TheDream.US, a national college access and success program for immigrant youth, will provide scholarships to Arizona's undocumented students who wish to attend the University of Arizona.

TheDream.US today opened its new round of scholarship applications for its National Scholarship for the 2024-25 academic year. The deadline is Feb. 29, 2024.

The scholarship provides up to $33,000 for a bachelor's degree. Some scholars may also receive a stipend for books, supplies and transportation. The funding aims to fill the gap between the total cost of tuition and fees and any scholarships and financial aid the student has already received.

"This new partnership with TheDream.US is a crucial step in our effort to make sure that all of Arizona's youth have the opportunity to attend college and achieve their higher education goals," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "I am proud that the university, as Arizona's land-grant institution, has entered this partnership, which allows us to serve more incoming students, including Arizona's Dreamers."

The program is open to undocumented prospective students who arrived in the United States before Nov. 1, 2018, and before they turned 16 years old. Applicants may also have protected status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy or temporary protected status from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. These students are commonly referred to as Dreamers.

Applicants can be undocumented students with or without DACA or TPS status.

Applicants must also be eligible for in-state tuition to be eligible for the scholarship. Arizona voters in 2022 passed Proposition 308, which granted in-state tuition for qualifying, non-citizen Arizona high school graduates.

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Demonstrating significant unmet financial need.
  • Graduating or planning to graduate from a U.S. high school by the fall of 2024.
  • Holding a high school GPA of 2.5 or better on a 4.0 scale or having a cumulative college GPA of 2.5 or better.
  • Enrolling full time in a bachelor's degree program in the fall of 2024.

"We are thrilled to launch our partnership with TheDream.US," said Kasey Urquídez, UArizona vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions. "This is the realization of a long-held ambition for the University of Arizona. We look forward to empowering and supporting Arizona Dreamers as they pursue their academic aspirations and pave a way to their futures full of success."

TheDream.US will select successful applicants and decide scholarship amounts. The program is expected to notify successful applicants in April.

Those who are not yet admitted to UArizona for fall 2024 should also apply for admission to the university and should do so before applying for the TheDream.US scholarship, said Rafael Meza, senior director of enrollment management and assistant dean of undergraduate admissions. Upon admission, students learn if they are eligible for the university's resident merit-aid awards.

"This will give them a picture of what they're getting from us, and then what they can potentially get from TheDream.US," Meza said.

As with all prospective students, staff in Enrollment Management will reach out directly to applicants to guide them through the university's admission process while their TheDream.US application is under review.

Several university leaders and staff have been designated to support TheDream.US scholarship recipients. In addition to Urquídez and Meza, they are:

  • Aaron Barnes, director of Counseling and Psych Services
  • Karla Cruze-Silva, associate director of Hispanic-Serving Institution initiatives
  • Jessica Martinez, coordinator of immigrant student support at the Thrive Center
  • Marbila Rocha, manager of career events in Student Engagement and Career Services
  • Art Young, assistant vice president of Enrollment Management and executive director of Scholarships and Financial Aid

The scholarships offered by TheDream.US will add to existing scholarship programs and resources the university already offers to immigrant students, primarily through the Thrive Center. Those include the President's Directed Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to current and incoming students who are protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Students can also find scholarships through Immigrants Rising, a San Francisco-based organization that helps connect undocumented people with educational and career resources.

Scholarship Universe, the university's scholarship searching and matching tool for admitted UArizona students, also helps connect students to millions of dollars in internal and external scholarships.

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