Jeff Bezos Donates $33 Million in Scholarships to DACA Students

1/28/18

The DACA has been in the news lately due to the discontinuation of the program, but one thing you may have missed is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s generous donation to DACA students who are DREAMers. Here’s what you need to know about the DACA, the scholarship, Jeff Bezos, and the donation.

What was the DACA?

The DACA was the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. It allowed for some illegal immigrants who had come to the United States as minors to stay and be eligible for a deportation deferment and work permit, renewable every two years. This helped many people who had entered the country illegally while still children be able to stay in the US and have a path to citizenship, school, and work.

However, the DACA was canceled by the recent administration and the DACA permits will begin to expire on March 5th. Current 2 year permits will be honored until their individual expiration and if a permit expires before March 5th, they are eligible for renewal. However, this could result in over 700,000 immigrants and Dreamers losing their previous protection.

What is the DREAMers Scholarship?

The DREAMers Scholarship, also known as The National Scholarship by TheDream.US, is offered to students who meet the immigration eligibility requirements: entered the US when younger than 16 years old and have demonstrated financial need. It’s important to note though that you can apply even if you are not eligible for DACA or TPS, but meet the other criteria. GPA and scores matter, but more importantly applicants must show their ability to overcome barriers that they face in their daily lives.

The scholarship can cover up to $14,500 if you are going for an associate’s degree and up to $29,000 for a bachelor’s degree. If you are eligible, you may also receive an additional $4,000 over four years for other expenses. However, to receive the scholarship, you have to be attending one of the program’s partner schools. Over 70 colleges in 15 states participate in the nonprofit’s scholarship with about 3,000 students currently taking part.

This year’s application process closes on March 1st.

Jeff Bezos $33 Million Dollar Donation

In early January of 2018, Jeff Bezos donated $33 million to TheDream.US. The founder and current CEO of Amazon, Bezos cited his father, who had come to the United States at the age of 16. He had come from Cuba under Operation Pedro Pan just after Fidel Castro’s takeover of the island. Unable to speak English, he overcame the many obstacles that many immigrants still face today.

This donation will help 1,000 undocumented immigrants attend college.

Students who qualify for the DREAMers Scholarship are most likely unable to apply for the federal grants and loans that are open to other college students around the country, excluding 6 states. This scholarship gives them a path to further education and even citizenship. Although the DACA ends soon, talks are currently underway to find a solution to this topic and other immigration discussions.

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Hilary Cairns

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