Four years ago, Eastern Connecticut State University was one of only two universities nationwide selected to pilot a groundbreaking scholarship program in support of undocumented college students. In partnership with TheDream.US, Eastern enrolled its first cohort of “DREAMers,” who were brought to the United States as children and faced barriers to accessing a college education in their home states. Of the 47 students who started in fall 2016, 43 graduated this past May, and three more are on track to graduate in the coming fall semester. This pioneering cohort leaves behind a legacy of inclusion, academic excellence and civic engagement on Eastern’s campus.
TheDream.US is a privately funded program that awards scholarships to high-achieving undocumented youth from “locked out” states that either disqualify them from financial aid or in-state tuition, or prohibit them altogether from attending a public university or college in their home state. Through TheDream.US, “Opportunity Scholars” from locked-out states receive scholarships to cover tuition, room and board, while “National Scholars” receive a scholarship to cover tuition as Connecticut residents.
Eastern’s 2020 cohort of graduating Opportunity Scholars come from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Wisconsin, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Louisiana. Several National Scholars from Connecticut also graduated.
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, having provided more than 5,000 college scholarships to DREAMers at more than 70 partner colleges in 16 states and Washington, DC. We believe that all young Americans, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to get a college education and pursue a meaningful career that contributes to our country’s prosperity.