A Scholarship for Dreamers
The CSUN Dreamers Scholarship gives undocumented students — who are not eligible for federal financial aid — the funds they need to achieve a college education.
Although undocumented students are ineligible for federal financial aid, the California Dream Act made it possible for some of them to apply for grants and scholarships from the state.
But for many like journalism major Angel Silva, sometimes this still is not enough.
In light of this fact, CSUN created the Dreamers Scholarship for undocumented undergraduate students with a 2.5 GPA or higher. Winning students receive one of the four scholarship awards: $2,500 for full-time students, $1,250 for part-time students, $12,500 for full-time students living in Student Housing or $8,800 for undocumented students who don’t qualify for California Assembly Bill 540.
[The Dreamers Scholarship opens] up a good amount of opportunities that I would not have been able to pursue [before],” Angel says.
After winning the Dreamers Scholarship, Angel was able to move closer to CSUN and pay rent. His commute to campus went from a two-hour bus ride to a five-minute walk.
“[Now] I can focus my time on studying,” he says.
Additionally, Angel, who has never owned a computer before, can now afford a laptop. He no longer has to use a smartphone to complete his homework assignments.
“Being undocumented has shaped my pursuit of education,” Angel says.
His savviness at finding workarounds encouraged Angel to search for opportunities to fund his college education, which fortunately led him to the CSUN Dreamers Scholarship. But he wasn’t always so informed about the financial resources available to him.
In his senior year of high school, Angel almost gave up on the idea of attending a four-year university when he found out he was ineligible for federal financial aid. At his parents’ insistence, he enrolled in Glendale Community College. There he joined undocumented student organizations and found out about the services available to him.
Now that Angel knows more about the policies and opportunities for undocumented students, he encourages his peers not to be discouraged.
“It takes a large amount of perseverance to look through scholarships in and out of CSUN and apply,” Angel says. “[Undocumented students] will be surprised what [they] can get from just applying for opportunities geared towards [them].”
Angel learned about the CSUN Dreamers Scholarship through the on-campus, student organization Dreams To Be Heard. For in-person assistance, visit the Dream Project office. Other great resources are available on the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department website. To apply for the CSUN Dreamers Scholarship, complete the application through STARS Online.