Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to questions that we frequently receive from potential applicants. If you have additional questions about the application process or TheDream.US Scholarship Programs, please contact us

General FAQs

What is the difference between TheDream.US National Scholarship and TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship?

national-scholarship-logoTheDream.US National Scholarship Program is for DREAMers who are eligible for in-state tuition at one of our National Partner Colleges. This scholarship is for up to $12,500 for an associate’s or $25,000 for a bachelor’s degree at one of our National Partner Colleges.

TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program is for DREAMers who live in targeted lock-out states where they are either required to pay out-of- state tuition or prohibited from enrolling in the state’s colleges and universities all together. This scholarship is for up to $80,000 in total for a bachelor’s degree at one of our Opportunity Partner Colleges.

DACA Eligibility

Do I have to be eligible for DACA or TPS to apply for the Scholarship?

Yes. At this time, we require students to be eligible for the deferred action program in order to apply. You are eligible to apply if you have applied for or received DACA or TPS or if you complete and submit a Declaration of DACA Eligibility. This can be found on our website.

I am worried about applying for DACA because it might be eliminated and I do not want the Department of Homeland Security to have my information. What should I do?

Immigration rights experts do not recommend that you apply for DACA as a first-time applicant, since first-time DACA applications are not likely to be processed before the next administration takes office and you may be unnecessarily exposing yourself to the Department of Homeland Security. In place of applying for DACA, you can complete and submit the Declaration of DACA Eligibility as a part of your application.

I am not DACA or TPS eligible. Should I go ahead and apply for DACA or TPS so I can apply for the scholarship?

No. If you are not DACA or TPS eligible you do not qualify for this scholarship and you should not apply for DACA or TPS approval.

If I am selected as a Scholar, do I have to have applied for or received DACA or TPS in order to receive the award?

Yes.  You will need to have applied for or received DACA or TPS at the time you receive the award (unless TheDream.US specifically waives this requirement).

What if I receive the scholarship and then I find out that my DACA or TPS approval has been denied or not renewed?

If your DACA or TPS approval is denied or not renewed, you are not eligible for this scholarship. You would be allowed to complete the term in which you are enrolled at the time of the denial and you will not be required to repay any scholarship funds.

Will the scholarship cover the fee for applying for DACA or TPS?

No. Depending on where you live, there are local organizations that have grants and loan programs. See our resource guide.

 

Do I have to be a state resident in order to attend the Partner College in my state?

You must be eligible for in-state tuition if the college is a public institution. If you are not sure if you are eligible for instate tuition, you should consult with the appropriate Partner College to determine their eligibility requirements.

Other Eligibility Requirements

Do I have to be a state resident of a locked-out state in order to attend apply for the Scholarship?

Yes. You must live in and have graduated from a high school in one of the locked-out states that are on the list below:

Locked Out State Image

Do I have to be a current high school student to apply?

No. You can be (1) a current high school senior who will graduate with a GPA of 2.8 or greater by the end of the 2016-2017 academic year; (2) a high school graduate with a GPA of 2.8 or greater.

If I am already attending a college, am I eligible?

If you are enrolled in a two-year college, you may apply. If you are enrolled in a four-year college, you are not eligible to apply.

I have taken college classes in the past. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. However, you cannot be currently enrolled and taking classes in a four-year college. 

I have earned college credits as a high school student. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Regardless of how many credits you have earned as a high school student in a dual enrollment or early college program, you are eligible to apply for the scholarship.

Do I have to be admitted into a Partner College before I can apply?

No. TheDream.US and the Partner Colleges have a streamlined approach for this application process. You will use TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship application to apply for the Scholarship and to apply to our Partner Colleges. Each Partner College will review your application and determine whether you meet its eligibility criteria for acceptance. If you do, you will be eligible to receive TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship to attend that college.

I am a community college graduate. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes – so long as you are not currently enrolled in a four-year university.

I have a High School Equivalent Diploma (i.e. GED). Am I eligible to apply?

No. Students who have earned or will earn a high school equivalent diploma are not eligible for the TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship.

How do I know if I have a GPA of unweighted 2.8 or better?

The 4.00 grading scale is standard at most high schools, colleges and universities. If your school assigns cumulative averages on a 100% scale, ISTS has a chart that can help you estimate your GPA. You may also ask an administrator or adviser at your school for assistance in converting your grades to a 4.00 grading scale.

I have not taken the SAT or ACT?  Am I eligible to apply?

No. You will need to have taken one of these tests and submit your scores in order to apply.

Career-Ready Associate or Bachelor’s Degree

How do I know whether or not my degree is a “career-ready degree”?

A career-ready degree is a degree that provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a career that provides a family-sustaining wage and pathways to advancement. We have not strictly defined this, but a general education degree is not sufficient. Your Partner College will work with you to ensure that you choose a degree that will help you be career-ready.

Continuing Eligibility

What do I have to do to continue to be eligible for my scholarship?

To continue to be eligible, you must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of “B” (3.0/4.0) or better in the program;
  • Remain continuously enrolled;
  • Remain current on all your college accounts and charges; and
  • Remain DACA or TPS eligible and timely renew your DACA or TPS status.

Do I have to reapply each year?

No, but you must renew your Scholarship each academic year. You will be asked to confirm your continuing eligibility and provide a copy of your official transcript, as well as to identify any other financial aid or scholarships that you are receiving.

Do I automatically lose my scholarship if my cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0?

If your cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0, you may be able to continue to receive the scholarship if there were extenuating factors impacting your academic performance and you have a plan in place to get back on track. You will need to submit to ISTS and your college a request for continuation along with a written explanation of the extenuating circumstances. ISTS will confer with your college advisor to determine whether or not to continue the Scholarship.

Do I automatically lose my scholarship if I have to take a term off?

If there are extenuating circumstances that require you to take a term off, you will need to submit to ISTS and your college a request for continuation along with a written explanation of the extenuating circumstances. ISTS will confer with your college advisor to determine whether or not to continue the Scholarship.


Application Process

How do I apply?

To apply, go to  http://www.thedream.us/opportunityscholarship

When is the last day to apply?

You must submit a complete application, including all required supporting documents by Wednesday, February 1, 2017before 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

How will I know that ISTS has received my application?

ISTS will send you an email receipt of your application. If you do not receive this email receipt within one week after submitted your application, contact ISTS.


Selection Process

How will finalists be selected?

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, and essays. Both TheDream.US and the Partner College you are interested in attending will review your scholarship application.

Will I have to apply to the Partner Colleges for admissions?

You will use TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship application to apply for the Scholarship and to apply to our Partner Colleges. Each Partner College will review your application and determine whether you meet its eligibility criteria for acceptance. If you do, you will be eligible to receive TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship to attend that college.

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.

When will I find out?

ISTS will notify all applicants by the end of March as to whether or not they received the scholarship. You will have one week to accept or decline the scholarship.

Scholarship Awards

What is the amount of the Scholarship Award?

The Scholarship Award is up to $20,000 per year for four years for tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and meals.   While this is a generous scholarship, due to the high cost of college education, it is likely you will have to fund some of your education out of pocket.

What are the costs NOT covered by the scholarship?

The Opportunity Scholarship will not cover the costs of books, supplies, and personal expenses, including transportation.  Tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and meals are covered by the scholarship.

Will the scholarship cover all of my college expenses, including room and board, books and supplies, and transportation?

No. The scholarship award covers tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and meals. Books, transportation, personal items, and some fees are not covered by this scholarship.

Will the scholarship cover additional fees required for certain majors?

No. The scholarship award covers tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and meals. Any additional costs like “lab fees” for majors like aviation, etc. will not be covered by the scholarship.

Can I stay in alternative housing (off campus)?

TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program was designed based on the premise that our scholars will and should live on campus. Studies show that there are many benefits for students to live on campus during their academic careers. These include convenience, greater academic success, social and personal development, time-management, and access to amenities (gyms, pools, cafeterias, student lounges, entertainment, etc.). 

However, if you feel that you have a compelling reason to request living off-campus (e.g., medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances), you MUST have it approved by TheDream.US and Partner College.

  

Note:  The amount of your award will be reduced if you live off-campus.

Can I use the scholarship award to cover any of my relocation expenses?

No. Relocation expenses will be an out pocket cost to you. 

Do I have to attend one of the Partner Colleges or can I use the scholarship at any college to which I am admitted?

You must be admitted by and attend one of the Partner Colleges in The Opportunity Scholarship Program in order to receive the scholarship.

Will the Opportunity Scholarship pay for a minor or double major?

The Opportunity Scholarship covers the cost of tuition and fees for a bachelor’s degree. If you want to pursue a minor, you will need to consult with your Scholar Advisor to determine whether the minor will require additional classes beyond those required for your bachelor’s degree. If additional classes are required, you will need to pay the additional costs for those classes. A double-major will require additional credits and costs additional money beyond the amount of your Opportunity Scholarship award. You should consult with your Scholar Advisor to ensure you understand and are able to pay for the additional costs.

Will I be able to change my major?

You should select your major as early as possible to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary classes to complete your degree within four years. If you decide to change your major, consult with you Scholar Advisor to ensure that you understand whether any additional classes will be required and what the costs of those classes will be.

Will I be able to study abroad?

If the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants you Advance Parole for educational studies abroad, your scholarship award may be used study abroad programs sponsored by your Partner College – if the tuition and fees are for the same amount as on-campus tuition and fees and you are in good academic standing, i.e., you have a have a GPA of 3.0 or greater and you are enrolled full-time (12 or more credits). The Scholarship does not cover travel expenses for study abroad.

Can the scholarship be applied toward graduate school?

No. You may only use the scholarship funds for a bachelor’s degree.

If I transfer to a non-Partner College, will I lose my scholarship?

Yes. You can only use the scholarship at a Partner College approved for the TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program. 

Will I lose my scholarship if the locked out state I am from adopts in-state tuition? 

No. You will be allowed to continue to renew your Scholarship to complete your degree at the Partner College you are attending. If TheDream.US adds Partner Colleges in your “home” state, you would be allowed to transfer to that Partner College, but the amount of your award would change.

If I receive the scholarship, do I have to start right away?

Yes. You must relocate to and enroll full-time in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program at one of our Partner Colleges that are part of the Opportunity Scholarship program for the Fall 2017-2018 academic year.

Dreamer, Donor, or Teacher?

How can I donate?

Donating to our cause is easy! Simply click the “Donate” link on our website and follow the instructions.

I am a teacher. How can I help?

Reach out as early as possible to all students and encourage them to envision themselves as college material, and if the opportunity arises, let undocumented students know that their citizenship status does not prohibit them from attending college. For a printable version of TheDream.US flyer click here: [include link to 7.4 flyers]

I am a parent. How can I help?

Let your child know that their citizenship status does not prohibit them from going to college. Encourage them to search for scholarships and, if you can, help them complete their scholarship applications. Most important, do what you already do:  believe in them so that they can believe in themselves.