The UCF Dreamers DACA Scholarship was recently created by a UCF grad and volunteer who supports “Dreamers” — young immigrants living in the United States illegally who were brought here as children — in their pursuit of higher education.
“DACA students deserve the same opportunities to pursue their dream careers as any other,” says the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous. “I am proud to support ‘Dreamers’ who have great potential for leading the next generation and deserve financial assistance to help them stay enrolled and earn a valuable UCF degree.”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program was implemented during former President Barack Obama’s administration. It allows young immigrants living in the country illegally who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country. While the program does not convey legal status, it does offer temporary protection from deportation and permission to work legally.
While there are no official figures on the population of “Dreamers” at UCF, an estimated 80 self-identified DACA Knights have received some scholarship support through the Office of Multicultural and Academic Support Services in the past. Financial assistance is greatly needed but sorely limited for DACA students, who are ineligible to access federal financial aid, including Pell grants, and who do not qualify for Bright Futures or National Merit Scholarships.
These financial roadblocks can make degree completion difficult and often prevent “Dreamers” from attending college. According to a 2018 Harvard University study, about 38 percent of DACA students nationally do not pursue education beyond high school, and only 41 percent of DACA students complete a college degree.
The scholarship aims to ease some of the financial challenges DACA students face. More information on the application process will be shared soon.
“This endowment was created with the belief that ‘Dreamers’ are invaluable assets to the UCF community,” the donor says.
To make a gift to the UCF Dreamers DACA scholarship, visit: www.ucffoundation.org/dreamers.