WILLIMANTIC–A new group of students will be attended Eastern Connecticut State University this fall thanks to an academic scholarship.
The privately-funded Opportunity Scholarship provides funds to undocumented students from across the country to attend college, particularly students from states with a “locked out” policy, or a rule that either makes undocumented students pay out-of-state tuition or prohibits them from attending state colleges.
“Locked out” states include Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The majority of the 46 students that will be attending Eastern are from Georgia.
Last month, Eastern teamed up with TheDream.US, a national scholarship fund for DREAMers, or undocumented students who were in the United States for at least some of their high school education. These 46 students will attend because of that partnership. The other school that is part of the program is Delaware State University.
“Eastern is honored to have been chosen for the Opportunity Scholarship program,” said Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa Nuñez. “We are grateful to TheDream.US for their leadership and vision in making a college education affordable to hundreds of worthy students who previously have been denied access to a college education. Our campus community is ready to welcome and support our new Opportunity Scholarship students so that they will feel comfortable and be successful.”
The scholarship covers up to $20,000 per year for out-of-state tuition costs and on-campus housing, and $7,250 for in-state tuition costs while earning a bachelor’s at Eastern. Click here to learn more about the scholarship.
“DREAMers are U.S. residents who were brought here as children. Their wish is to stay here, work here, buy a home, raise a family – the typical American Dream,” said Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian. “The Opportunity Scholarship shares the opportunity of education with students who will potentially stay in Connecticut and get jobs, with no cost to the state or to them.”
Eastern says there is enough capacity for these students, and they are not taking spots from others in-state.
The goal is to fund 500 out-of-state DREAMers and 100 in-state DREAMers, as well as raise funds for non-DREAMers from Connecticut that need extra financial aid.
The scholarship is privately funded and won’t cost the state any money.