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Updated September 12, 2014

TheDream.US Scholarship Guidelines – September 2014


TheDream.US is a national scholarship fund for DREAMers[1].  We provide college scholarships to highly motivated DREAMers who have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS (Temporary Protected Status) approval and who, without financial aid, cannot afford a college education that will enable them to participate in the American workforce.

In our Fall 2014 Round, we will offer scholarships to:

  • First time college students (with no more than 12 college credits) who want to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges
  • Community college graduates who want to earn a bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges

We are committed to helping our Scholars to and through college. To do so, we have selected Partner Colleges in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, NYC, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.   – all of which have committed to provide our Scholars with student support services. You must be accepted to and eligible for in-state tuition at one of our Partner Colleges in order to receive the Scholarship. Please visit our website for a list of our current Partner Colleges http://www.thedream.us/colleges/.

This scholarship program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America. Scholarship Management Services is the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin.

Questions? Contact us:


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.  Scholars are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Be a first-time college student (i.e., a student with no more than 12 college credits excluding credits earned in a dual enrollment program or advance placement testing);
  • Intend to enroll in and attend one of TheDream.US Partner Colleges in 2015 and be eligible for in-state tuition;
  • Have a high school un-weighted GPA of 2.5 or greater on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent GED score);
  • Have been born on or after June 16, 1981 and 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.


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. Scholars are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Have earned an associate’s degree from an accredited college by the end of the 2014-2015 academic year;
  • Intend to enroll in and attend one of TheDream.US Partner Colleges in 2015 and be eligible for in-state tuition;
  • Have a college un-weighted GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale;
  • Have been born on or after June 16, 1981 and 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.


We select TheDream.US Scholars based on:

  • Demonstrated Financial Need (these scholarships are intended for students who do not have the resources to finance their education without substantial financial support. Applicants must also apply for all other forms of financial aid for which they may be eligible);
  • Demonstrated Academic Potential (we consider grades, GED test scores, commitment to learning, and work ethic); and
  • Demonstrated Motivation to Succeed in College and Life (determination and perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles).


We have a rigorous application review process that includes analysis and scoring of your grades, standardized test scores, participation in advanced courses, extracurricular activities including volunteer work and community service, essays, and letter of recommendation.

Scholarship Management Services 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.



Your application and supporting documents must be submitted by October 26, 2014, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.   You can apply for the Scholarship by clicking here: http://thedreamus.scholarsapply.org/.

Essays:  As part of the application, you will be asked to write two 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 (Limit 4000 characters including spaces):

Share your educational and career goals.  Tell us:

  • A short personal history that explains what inspired or helped shape your goals;
  • The most significant challenges you expect to face transitioning to and completing college and what steps you will take to address those challenges; and
  • How achieving your goals will impact your life and the lives of others.

 Overcoming Adversity (Limit 4000 characters including spaces):

Describe a challenging family or personal circumstance that affected your achievement or participation in school, work, or community activities.  Tell us:

  • How did you overcome this challenge?
  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • How will you use what you learned going forward?

Letter of Recommendation:  You are required to request 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 upload required supplemental documents (see below).  These must be uploaded and application submitted by October 26, 2014, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.   

We will not consider incomplete applications. All information received is considered confidential and is reviewed only by Scholarship Management Services, TheDream.US Selection Committee, and TheDream.US staff.


As part of your application, you must also upload the following documents by October 26, 2014, 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 OR TPS application;
  2. Financial Documents (if available): 
  • A copy of the first two pages of your parents’ most recently filed IRS Form 1040 or their most recent W-2 forms, if available; OR
  • If you are financially independent, provide a copy of the first two pages of your most recently filed IRS Form 1040 or your most recent W-2 form, 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.


Scholarship America will notify you mid-December 2014 to let you know 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 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.  In some circumstances, we will award a stipend for books, supplies, and transportation.

Note:  If you are or become eligible for any federal, state, or institutional aid, grants, or scholarships, your award will be for tuition and fees not otherwise covered by other available financial aid.

TheDream.US scholarships will be applied based on the tuition and fees for courses that count toward your degree. You may not use the award for charges for courses that you are retaking due to withdrawal or failure.


If awarded TheDREAM.US Scholarship, you may renew your Scholarship award each year if you meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better;
  • Remain continuously enrolled full time (part-time of at least 6 credits may be allowed in extenuating circumstances);
  • Remain current on all of your college accounts and charges;
  • Remain DACA or TPS eligible, apply for DACA or TPS renewal, and upon application, provide Scholarship America with a copy of the receipt for your DACA or TPS renewal application or approval letter; and
  • Meet other program commitments outlined in the Award Letter.

If you are enrolled in an associate degree program at a Partner College you may renew the TheDream.US Scholarship to complete a bachelor’s degree so long as you have met your Scholar Commitments, there is not a break in enrollment, and scholarship funds remain available.

The Scholarship Award is up to a maximum of $25,000 in total per Scholar for both an associate’s and bachelor’s degree.


Scholarship Management Services will send your annual scholarship award to the Partner College in which you enroll and the Partner College will apply it toward your tuition and fees owed.


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 Scholarship America and TheDream.US
  • Promptly notifying Scholarship America 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

[1]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 or TPS eligible and have applied for or received DACA or TPS approval.


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.