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Illinois Dream Fund for Immigrant Students

 The Illinois Dream Fund in USA has started taking applications for the scholarship program this year. The fund was created by state legislation which was passed in 2011. Immigrant students in Illinois can apply for tuition help to Illinois colleges and universities because of the Illinois Dream Fund.

The officials told that special attention will be given to students who have not obtain legal status to stay in the country. The undocumented students are ineligible for federal aid.

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The fund has raised $500,000 in private donations. The students who are planning to attend college for two years are eligible to apply for $2,000 scholarships and the candidates who are planning for four-year institutions can apply for $6,000.

Illinois has made institute policies that prove to be most immigrant-friendly policies in the country.

The fund encouraged students to pursue their education in spite of the legal status issue. The fund raised will eliminate the major difficulty to immigrants pursuing higher education cost. These awards will not cover everything but will offer a large sum to help the students to reduce their financial burden.

The qualification for just graduating high school applicants is at least a 2.5 GPA and a minimum ACT score of 17.

Tanya Cabrera, head of the fund and associate director of minority student told that with this initiative they are taking care of the immigrants who are present here but it’s unlucky that some people are not identifying this help. According to Cabrera this year approximately 5000 students will apply for scholarship money. The fund can be move up to $5 million and the scholarship will be renewed every year.

In the starting of this year the Federal government announced new guidelines for the young immigrants who are brought to this country illegally. These guidelines will provide a two-year protection to them from deportation and the possibility to apply for a work permit.

“More and more undocumented youth are being discouraged to continue their educations because of the immigration climate,” said Padilla, a member of the scholarship fund’s administrative board. “Through the Illinois Dream Fund, we’re trying to give undocumented youth a bit of hope and motivation.”

Hope the fund will encourage undocumented students to start their college and go for higher education.

Good Luck!!

Vaishali Arora