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TheDream.US[1] Application Guidelines September 2015 National Round

OVERVIEW – A Scholarship for DREAMers Who Have the Determination to Succeed In College and Life

Many DREAMers[2] came to the United States as minors, have graduated from U.S. high schools or earned a U.S. high school equivalency but lack a legal status. This prevents them from accessing any federal aid to help pay for their college education.  In order to apply for TheDream.US Scholarship, DREAMers must be DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS (Temporary Protected Status) eligible and have applied for or received DACA or TPS approval.

 share the dream of obtaining a college education which can help them lift their families, communities and themselves out of poverty. On average, people with a college education earn nearly twice as much as those with only a high school diploma. Unfortunately, these DREAMers are unable to achieve this dream because they cannot access any federal financial aid and otherwise lack the financial resources to go to college.  We want to change that. 

TheDream.US Scholarship Program awards scholarships to DREAMers who have DACA or TPS status and who have demonstrated significant unmet financial need and the determination to succeed in college and in life. We recognize that, given life circumstances, a DREAMer’s academic record may not fully reflect the student’s ability to succeed.  For this reason, we place greater emphasis on a student’s demonstrated determination to succeed than on a student’s grades and test scores.  Our scholars have demonstrated:

  • Significant financial need;
  • Academic promise demonstrated through a commitment to learning and clearly communicated education and career goals and a plan to achieve them; and
  • Determination and perseverance in the face of challenges and ability to learn and apply that learning to change their own lives and the lives of others.

Our Commitment to our Scholars’ College Success

We are committed to helping our Scholars complete college. To do so, we have selected Partner Colleges in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C. that are committed to providing our Scholars with the support they need to complete college.

Our Scholars must be accepted to and eligible for in-state tuition (if applicable) at one of our Partner Colleges in order to receive the Scholarship.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR FIRST TIME COLLEGE STUDENTS

This scholarship is available to high school seniors or high school graduates with demonstrated financial need who are first time college students and seek to earn a career-ready associate’s or bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges.  Students who are currently enrolled in college are not eligible. Scholars are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants.  

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Either graduate from high school or earn your GED diploma by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year or have already graduated or earned your GED diploma;
  • Have earned a high school un-weighted GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or an equivalent GED score);
  • Not have enrolled full-time in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program or have earned college credits (excluding credits earned while in a high school pre-college, dual enrollment program, advanced placement testing, or through the College Level Examination Program CLEP);
  • Intend to enroll full-time in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program at one of TheDream.US Partner Colleges within one year of receiving the Scholarship;
  • Be eligible for in-state tuition if seeking to attend a Partner College that is a public institution;
  • Have come to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Be DACA or TPS eligible and have applied for or received DACA or TPS approval; and
  • Demonstrate significant unmet financial need.
  • Be college–ready

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE GRADUATES

The Community College Graduate Scholarship is available to community college students with demonstrated financial need who have earned their associate’s degrees and seek to complete their bachelor’s degrees at one of our four-year Partner Colleges. Students who are currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program are not eligible. Scholars are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants. 

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Either earn an associate’s degree from an accredited community college by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year or have already earned your associate’s degree from an accredited community college;
  • Have earned a college GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale;
  • Not have yet enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program;
  • Intend to enroll full-time in a bachelor’s degree program at one of TheDream.US Partner Colleges in the 2016-2017academic year;
  • Be eligible for in-state tuition if seeking to attend a Partner College that is a public institution;
  • Have come to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Be DACA or TPS eligible and have applied for or received DACA or TPS approval; and
  • Demonstrate significant unmet financial need.

SELECTING OUR SCHOLARS

TheDream.US Scholarship Program awards scholarships to DREAMers who have demonstrated significant unmet financial need and the determination to succeed in college and in life. We recognize that, given life circumstances, a DREAMer’s academic record may not fully reflect the student’s ability to succeed.  For this reason, we place greater emphasis on a student’s demonstrated determination to succeed than on grades and test scores.  Our scholars have demonstrated:

  • Significant Financial Need

Our scholarships are for students who do not have the resources to finance their education without substantial financial support.  We expect our Scholars to apply for all other forms of financial aid for which they may be eligible.

  • Academic Promise

While we consider grades and test scores, we are looking for college–ready students who have demonstrated a commitment to learning and have clear education and career goals and a plan to achieve them.  Applicants should be able to clearly communicate their goals, how they will achieve them, and how achieving their goals will impact their lives and the lives of others.

  • Determination to Succeed

Our Scholars have demonstrated significant determination and perseverance in the face of significant challenges, and have managed to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles.  Our Scholars are able to clearly articulate what they have learned in overcoming adversity and how they will use that learning to help themselves and others.

OUR SELECTION PROCESS

We have a rigorous application review process that includes analysis and scoring of:

  • your grades, standardized test scores, participation in advanced courses,
  • your responsibilities including volunteer work and community service, and
  • your essays and letter of recommendation.

ISTS reviews and scores all complete and eligible applications.  An independent Scholarship Selection Committee made up of national education leaders, leaders of immigration support services organizations, and DREAMers, reviews and scores the essays of all finalists. Scholarships are allocated across our Partner Colleges and are awarded to the highest scoring applicants to that college.  All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 15, 2016, 11:59 P.M. Central Standard Time

Your application and supporting documents must be submitted by February 15, 2016, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. You can apply for the Scholarship by clicking here: http://www.thedream.us/scholars/.

Essay and Letter of Recommendation

Essay

As part of the application, you will be asked to write short essays on your educational and career goals and a challenging circumstance that you faced and how you overcame it.  The essay prompts are: 

Your Educational and Career Goals

Three short essays of 250 words max each: 

  • Describe your educational and career goals and explain what or who has inspired or helped shape these goals.
  • Excluding financial needs, what are the most significant challenges you expect to face in transitioning to and completing college? How will you overcome these challenges?
  • How will achieving your goals impact your life and the lives of others?

Overcoming Adversity

Three short essays of 250 words max each: 

  • Describe a challenging family or personal circumstance that affected your achievement or participation in school, work, or community activities. How did you overcome this challenge?
  • What did you learn from the experience above?
  • How will you use what you have learned to help yourself and others?

Letter of Recommendation

You are required to get one a letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well and has served in one of these roles for you: a teacher, counselor, mentor, coach, employer, community leader, or religious leader. Your recommender must be at least 21 years of age and must not be related to you. The letter should describe the context in which the recommender knows you, your potential for success in college and in life, and how you demonstrate one or more of these qualities: hard work, resourcefulness, perseverance in the face of adversity, academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to one’s community.

You will also be asked to provide an email for that person.  ISTS will send that person an email with a link to the letter of recommendation form.  The letter of recommendation must be completed by February 21, 2016, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.   

REQUIRED SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTS – DUE February 15, 2016, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time

As part of your application, you must also upload the following documents by February 15, 2016 by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.

  1. DACA or TPS application or approval:  A copy of your DACA or TPS approval letter or the receipt for your submission of your DACA or TPS application or your EAD card;
  2. Financial Documents (if available): 
  • A copy of the first two pages of your parents’ most recently filed IRS Form 1040, if available; OR
  • If you are financially independent, provide a copy of the first two pages of your most recently filed IRS Form 1040, if available; OR
  • Other financial documents that will verify your income.
  1. Transcripts:
    • For first time college students, a copy of your official high school transcript or GED diploma and test scores and information detailing your previously earned college credits (if applicable).
    • For community college graduates, a copy of your official Community College transcript;

Note:  Your application is not complete until all required documents are uploaded.

WE WILL NOT CONSIDER INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS.

NOTIFICATION

ISTS will notify you by the end of April 2016 whether or not you have received a scholarship. If you do not receive a scholarship, you may reapply in future scholarship rounds if you meet the eligibility requirements for that round.

THE AWARD

The Scholarship is intended to cover a significant portion of your tuition and fees up to a maximum of $12,500 for an associate’s degree and $25,000 for a bachelor’s degree.

The amount of each award will be based on the current tuition and fees charged by the Partner College and your financial need after the application of any available federal, state, or institutional aid or outside grants or scholarships. 

OUR SCHOLAR COMMITMENTS

Being selected as a DREAMer Scholar is an honor and a privilege.  In order to make the most of the Scholarship award, we ask that you commit to your own academic achievement and success as well as to supporting the academic achievement and success of other DREAMer Scholars.  As a DREAMer Scholar, you will commit to: 

  • Thanking the donors who have made your scholarship possible
  • Promptly responding to emails, text messages, and other communications from ISTS and TheDream.US
  • Promptly notifying ISTS of any change in your telephone number, email or home address or change in your immigration status
  • Enrolling within one year of the date of the scholarship and maintaining fulltime status and regular attendance
  • Building and maintaining a close relationship with your student advisor
  • Developing and using an education plan for completion of your degree
  • Maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Taking advantage of your college’s academic support programs
  • Participating in the Scholars’ Community by supporting and mentoring fellow and new scholars and identifying opportunities to the “pay it forward” through service in my college or community
  • Supporting and improving TheDream.US Scholarship Program by providing feedback through surveys online discussions and by helping us promote the program to friends and family.

Revisions

TheDream.US reserves the right to review the conditions and procedures of this scholarship program and to make changes at any time, including termination of the program.


Questions? Contact Us:                                                                                                                                         

Email: TheDream.US@applyists.com and reference TheDream.US Scholarship Program

Telephone: 1-(855) 670-ISTS (4787) and ask for the TheDream.US Scholarship Program

Or visit http://thedream.us/ for frequently asked questions and the answers.



[1] TheDream.US is a project of New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3). International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS) administers the program. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin.

[2] DREAMers came to the United States as minors, have graduated from U.S. high schools or earned a U.S. high school equivalency but lack a legal status. This prevents them from accessing any federal aid to help pay for their college education.  In order to apply for TheDream.US Scholarship, DREAMers must be DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS (Temporary Protected Status) eligible and have applied for or received DACA or TPS approval.


Last updated: 8/18/2015

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