Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

January 19, 2018

UW, TheDream.US announce new scholarship partnership to benefit undocumented students

The University of Washington and TheDream.US announced a new partnership this week that will provide scholarships to qualified undocumented students who graduate from two-year colleges and transfer to UW Seattle.

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for DREAMers – undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children. The organization currently has more than 3,000 scholars who are enrolled in or have graduated from over 75 partner colleges in 15 states.

“Seeking a better life through education in order to contribute to our society is at the heart of the American Dream. The UW is proud to support that dream for DACA students for whom the United States has been, and is, home,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.

TheDream.US announced last week a $33 million gift from Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos that will give an additional 1,000 undocumented immigrant students with DACA status the opportunity to go to college.

At UW Seattle, the organization expects to provide scholarships to 10 to 20 students each year.

“We are thrilled to expand this program to Washington state not only because it is my home state, but because undocumented students here will have the help they need to complete a bachelor’s degree,” said TheDream.US President Candy Marshall. “Washington has excellent two-year colleges; however, funding remains a stumbling block for students to transfer to a four-year university. We want to provide those funds.”

The partnership aligns with the UW’s efforts to increase the number of transfer students it serves, as well as its ongoing support of undocumented students on campus.

In 2015, President Cauce and Provost Gerald Baldasty sponsored the UW Community College Engagement Initiative to conduct a year-long assessment of the two-year college transfer experience at the UW Seattle campus. That resulted in the development of a plan to improve this experience, with a specific focus on student scholarship support. The Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) has aligned its outreach and recruitment resources to better serve transfer students as well with the recent hiring of a transfer admissions counselor.

The UW is also a leader in providing support services to undocumented students when they are here on campus. In one example, Leadership Without Borders, housed at OMA&D’s Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, was the state’s first undocumented student support program when it was founded in 2014 and is the only one of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to its services for students, the program offers “Undocu Ally Trainings” to provide faculty and staff with resources, information and guidance on how to become allies to undocumented students.

TheDream.US scholarship award will cover tuition and fees up to a maximum of $7,250 per year, renewable for up to two years, with a maximum award of $14,500. Students who receive the scholarship must be accepted to and enroll full-time at UW Seattle in the fall of 2018-19.

The application period for 2018-19 closes on March 1, 2018. TheDream.US awardees are notified in late April. Students who have graduated with an associate’s degree or will be graduating this spring can apply here.