DREAMers eligible for new scholarships for immigrant college students living in U.S. illegally

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Immigrants living in the country illegally will be eligible for a new scholarship program designed for low-income DREAMers, a philanthropy group announced this week.

TheDream.US program will offer scholarships to 2,000 undocumented immigrant students over the next decade, organizers announced. The group has already raised more than $25 million to fund the program, including donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Fernandez Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Under the current system, children brought into the U.S. illegally are permitted to attend K-12 schools and enroll in college. But, in most states, they must pay out-of-state tuition if they can’t prove they are citizens. They are also not eligible for federal financial aid, making college unaffordable for many students living in the country illegally.s.

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“With support from our partner institutions and from civic leaders across the country, TheDream.US is building a new movement to remove these roadblocks and make higher education a reality for thousands of undocumented immigrants. We’re making a down payment on our country’s future by helping these young Americans achieve the American Dream,” said Donald Graham, chief executive officer of the Graham Holdings Company and one of the program’s co-founders.

After years of debate, Gov. Chris Christie recently signed a law that makes students living in the country illegally eligible for in-state tuition at New Jersey colleges. But Christie did not support a provision that would have made students eligible for state financial aid to help pay their tuition.

http://www.nj.com

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