Dreamers Graduate Loan Program
Working with Social Finance, a national non-profit organization, TheDream.US provided guidance in the creation of a graduate school loan program for undocumented graduate students with DACA or TPS who want to pursue a graduate degree. Social Finance is the fund manager and Funding U, an education lending platform, is processing the applications and originating the loans.
This student-centric loan program is designed to provide financial and educational support, ensuring Dreamers attending graduate degree programs only take on manageable debt to achieve their career aspirations. Additional information on the program can be found here.
Important Disclaimer: The Dreamers Graduate Loan Program is neither managed nor guaranteed by TheDream.US. Scholars who are approved for and take out a loan through the Dreamers Graduate Loan Program are solely responsible for the repayment of the loan. The Dreamers Graduate Loan Program is a private student loan program, which means that Scholars are obligated to repay the loan in full, including any interest accrued, according to the terms and conditions outlined in their Promissory Note at the time of signing. TheDream.US bears no responsibility for Scholars who fail to stay current on loan(s) taken out under the Loan Program or who fail to fulfill their repayment obligations under the Promissory Note through the Dreamers Graduate Loan Program.
The loan application for the 2023-2024 academic year is expected to open in mid-June 2023.
Graduate Loan Scholarship Program
Details & Eligibility:
TheDream.US Alumni will be eligible to apply for this scholarship if they meet the following criteria:
- Was a recipient of TheDream.US Scholarship program; and
- Successfully graduated with a bachelor’s degree, or are part of a 4+1 program where they are seeking graduate funding for their last year; and
- Have received a private loan this year.
- Be a Dreamer
Depending on the loan size, the student will receive one of these scholarship amounts:
- Loans between $5,000 and $25,000 = $5,000 Scholarship
- Loans between $25,001 and $45,000 = $7,500 Scholarship
- Loans between $45,001 and + = $10,000 Scholarship
How It Will Work:
- TheDream.US Alumni takes out a graduate loan.
- Once they receive a promissory note, they’ll be able to fill out TheDream.US Graduate Scholarship application. (This academic year 2023-2024, we will open the scholarship from June 12 to Aug. 31)
- ISTS will review the applications and decide on a scholarship amount (scholarship ranges from $5,000 to $10,000)
- ISTS will send checks out to the student’s home with checks made to their University.
- The University will direct back to the loan company any excess money that may be resulted from overfunding.
- The Loan company will then credit this amount to the student, thereby reducing the original loan amount.
- You can only receive one grant per year.
Other Loan Companies
All information on loan products offered through other loan companies was taken from the respective websites. The information shown is current as of the date of its writing without regard to the date on which this information is accessed. Loan products offered through other loan companies may be subject to change at any time and for any reason.
Remember, private loan programs require you to repay these loans usually as soon as you graduate. Some programs require you to make payments while you are in school. Students are obligated to repay the loan in full, including any interest accrued, according to the terms and conditions outlined in your Promissory Note at the time of signing.
DACA students can apply for an Ascent loan with or without a cosigner. Ascent helps you cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance and other school-related expenses (up to $200,000*) at over 2,200 colleges nationwide by offering DACA student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
To qualify for a student loan with Discover, DACA students will need to apply with an eligible cosigner (U.S. citizen or permanent resident). Discover offers loans with variable or fixed rates that cover 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance for students that are enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program at an eligible school. A cashback reward is offered for students that keep a GPA over 3.0.
Self-Help offers loans for medical or law school students with DACA status that attend full-time certain qualifying universities in Miami-Dade County, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and in California. A co-signer is required for borrowers that do not have sufficient income at application to qualify. Loans have a fixed rate based on the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan Program and cover the total cost of attendance (up to $300,000 for medical school and $180,000 for law school).
DACA students may be eligible for an Earnest loan if they apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The cosigner must have a Social Security Number, a minimum FICO score of 650, 3 years of credit history and make a minimum of $35,000 annually. Earnest offers loans with variable or fixed rates that cover 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance and an up to 9-month grace period before borrowers have to begin making full payments on their loans.
Resources for Choosing a Degree & Institution
- Is Graduate School Worth the Price?
Podcast: Wall Street Journal
- Is a Graduate Degree Worth the Debt? Check It Here
Article: Wall Street Journal
- Graduates of Elite Master’s Programs Don’t Earn Enough to Pay Down Loans
Article: Wall Street Journal
- ‘Financially Hobbled for Life’: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off
Article: Wall Street Journal
- This Law School Had the Widest Gap Between Student Debt and Graduate Earnings
Article: ABA Journal
- The Great Masters Degree Swindle
Article: The Chronicle of Higher Education
- A Crimson Tide of Debt
Article: The Atlantic
- Is a Master’s Degree Worth It?