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46 Undocumented Students Scheduled to Attend Eastern in the Fall with Opportunity Scholarship

Students are primarily from Georgia or other “locked out” states where they are required to pay out-of-state tuition or prohibited from enrolling in their state’s colleges and universities altogether.

Today, Mark E. Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), announced that 46 students were granted the Opportunity Scholarship, a privately funded academic scholarship available to undocumented students from across the country and Connecticut. Students are primarily from Georgia or other “locked out” states where they are required to pay out-of-state tuition or prohibited from enrolling in their state’s colleges and universities altogether. CSCU announced the program last month in partnership with TheDream.US, a national scholarship fund for undocumented students sometimes known as DREAMers.

“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 President 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.”

The majority of students have a 3.5 GPA or higher and are scheduled attend Eastern Connecticut State University in the fall 2016 semester. Ivonne Barcenas, a 22 year-old DREAMer from Athens, GA said: “For years, I thought high school would be the end of my education. On graduation day, my family apologized for not being able to send me to college. I’m overjoyed with the possibilities this scholarship brings; I will be able to give back to my parents for all their hard work and sacrifices and give back to my community and society as a whole.”

"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."

Background:

  • The Opportunity Scholarship is available to DREAMers from 16 states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Scholarships are fully funded by The Dream.US and will cover up to $20,000 per year for the out-of-state costs of tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and $7,250 per year for in-state costs while earning a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Connecticut State University.
  • For a full list of eligibility requirements and information, please visit: http://www.thedream.us/opportunityscholarship/
  • The goal is to fund a total of 500 out-of-state DREAMers, 100 in-state DREAMers and raise additional funds for non-DREAMers from Connecticut who need financial assistance. 
Fact Sheet (pdf)

For more information, please contact:
Maribel La Luz
860-723-0617
laluzm@ct.edu