For students across the United States, the college application process can feel lengthy and complex. Not to mention the substantial resources required, and the tools necessary to navigate the collegiate landscape; all before stepping foot into the classroom.
But of the 11.3 million undocumented individuals currently residing in the U.S, there are thousands of students falling into this category that often receive less resources to continue their education and bring value back into the community they grew up in.
Despite undocumented students inability to receive federal funding, there are still many options available to receive support. With private institutional funding and the state college’s independent decision to allocate scholarships, the American dream is possible beyond borders.
In this article, my main focus is on the Scholarships for undocumented students at Illinois.
1. CPS Dream Fund Scholarship
In the year 2011, CPS Scholarship Manager Marcia Boyd envisioned a talent and need-based, last-dollar scholarship for academically talented undocumented Chicago Public Schools students.
The goal of the scholarship is to help talented dreamers in their quest to pursue post-secondary education.
A significant number of Chicago Public Schools students are undocumented and due to state and federal financial aid policies, these students are ineligible to receive any Federal or state financial aid.
Funding for this scholarship is made possible through tax-deductible contributions to the CPS Dream Fund.
The scholarship awards will be sent directly to the colleges or universities that the awardees attend in the fall of 2019.
- Chicago Public Schools Senior (class of 2020)
- Undocumented Student
- Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA): 3.0 or higher (weighted)
- Minimum SAT: 900 or ACT: 17
- Currently enrolled and attending a Chicago Public High School
- Must have attended a CPS high school for three (3) years including this year
- Plan to attend a regionally accredited two or four-year institution of higher education in fall of 2020
2. Byron Hanke Fellowship
The Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR) awards its Byron Hanke Fellowship to selected graduate students to implement research projects related to the development, management, and governance of common interest communities and their community associations.
Applicants must be enrolled, at time of application and through the research period, in a graduate level program (masters, doctoral, legal) at an accredited higher education institution in the United States or Canada.
Students from any relevant discipline may apply for the Hanke Fellowship, provided their research project relates to community associations and/or common interest communities.
3. The Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship Application
The Anhelo Project is a Chicago based non-profit organization that works to support undocumented students pursuing a post-secondary within the State of Illinois.
Since the year 2011, The Anhelo Project has awarded over $100,000 to more than 50 recipients pursuing their dream to achieve an education beyond high school.
Students do not need to have DACA status, and we strongly encourage undocumented students from all ethnic backgrounds to apply.
The 2020 Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship will be awarded to eligible high school seniors, undergraduate, graduate, and vocational training students who demonstrate leadership, academic competitiveness, community involvement, and financial need.
4. Dennis de la Rosa Scholarship
The Dennis De La Rosa Scholarship was created in loving memory of Dennis De La Rosa. Dennis always had a passion for education.
He graduated from Jones College Prep in the spring of 2008 and continued his education at Moraine Valley Community College.
After two years at Moraine Valley, Dennis completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated on May 5, 2012.
Being an undocumented student, Dennis did not qualify for financial assistance, which forced him to find a job to pay for his education. Dennis was able to juggle school full-time and work, still managing to graduate with over a 3.4 GPA.
5. Dreamers Unidos Scholarship Fund
Enlace staff and youth from Little Village initiated the Dreamers Unidos Scholarship Fund to address the financial insecurity of undocumented students.
Each year since the year 2011, the Fund has awarded two tuition scholarships of $1,000 and two book scholarships of $500.
Scholarships are available for undocumented seniors at Farragut Career Academy and the Little Village Lawndale High School Campus.
The fund is not only a financial resource for local undocumented students. It is part of a growing movement to end injustice in the educational and immigration systems.
Students and allies are involved in broader work for systems change related to comprehensive immigration reform and post-secondary access, such as campaigns to support the Student Access Bill and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
6. Illinois Association for College Admissions Counseling (IACAC) Scholarship
IACAC is pleased to offer ten $1,000 scholarships ($500 each semester, non-renewable) to students who exhibit a commitment to learning and have demonstrated leadership skills and community service involvement.
7. Illinois Dream Fund Scholarship
The Illinois Dream Fund Scholarship seeks to create access to financial resources to further this growth and development for the leaders of tomorrow.
With the generous offerings of private donors and in-kind donations, the Illinois Dream Fund Scholarship provides scholarships to undocumented students.
Two-year institutions: Tuition up to $2,000. Four-year institutions: Tuition up to $6,000 (toward first Bachelor’s degree). Scholarship awards will be paid directly to the school and not the student.
8. Jack Kent Cook Foundation
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s scholarship programs are designed to encourage and support outstanding students who work hard and have financial need.
This scholarship provides financial assistance and academic support to the high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. In addition to the monetary award, students join a thriving network of nearly 2,500 Cooke Scholars.
9. Latinos Scholarships
“LATINOS IN COLLEGE is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York. Their website, www.latinosincollege.com is the only all-encompassing resource for assisting Latino students and their families in choosing schools, finding funding, and succeeding in college.
The website aims to not only provide links to resources but also to answer any college-related question in Spanish or English that students might have.”
10. Latinos Progresando Scholarships
Their mission is to deliver high-quality information and resources for people to build secure, healthy and productive lives.
This organization was built from the ground up, and even after 20 years, their vision continues to be shaped and led by people in our community.
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