Scholarship FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about TheDream.US National Scholarship

What is the difference between TheDream.US National Scholarship and TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship? 

TheDream.US National Scholarship Program is for DREAMers who live in states where they are eligible to pay in-state tuition. This scholarship is for up to $25,000 in total for a bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges.

TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program is for DREAMers who live in targeted states where they are either required to pay out-of- state tuition or prohibited from enrolling in the state’s colleges and universities all together. This scholarship is for up to $80,000 in total for a bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges in Connecticut, Delaware, or Oregon

DACA Eligibility

Do I have to qualify for deferred action to apply?

Yes. At this time, we require students to be eligible for the deferred action program. TheDream.US is focused on providing college scholarships and having our Scholars graduate and join the workforce. We also want our Scholars to be eligible for paid internships when they are available. While you are not required to have been approved for the deferred action program at the time you apply, you are required to have applied for DACA approval.

I don’t know if I am “DACA eligible.”  Should I go ahead and apply for DACA so I can apply for the scholarship?

If you believe that you meet the DACA eligibility criteria and you want to apply for TheDream.US scholarship you will need to demonstrate that you have submitted your DACA application, or have your DACA application.

I am not DACA eligible. Should I go ahead and apply for DACA so I can apply for the scholarship?

No. If you are not DACA eligible you do not qualify for this scholarship and you should not apply for DACA approval.

What if I receive the scholarship and then I find out that my DACA approval has been denied or not renewed?

If your DACA approval is denied or not renewed, you are not eligible for this scholarship. You would be allowed to complete the term in which you are enrolled at the time of the denial and you will not be required to repay any scholarship funds.

Will the scholarship cover the fee for applying for DACA?

No. Depending on where you live, there are local organizations that have grants and loan programs. See our resource guide.

Do I have to be a state resident in order to attend the Partner College in my state?

You must be eligible for in-state tuition if the college is a public institution. If you are not sure if you are eligible for instate tuition, you should consult with the appropriate Partner College to determine their eligibility requirements.

I have been granted Temporary Status Protection. Am I eligible to apply for the Scholarship?

Yes, you must provide proof of your TPS approved status to be eligible.

First Time College Student

Do I have to be a current high school student to apply?

No. You can be (1) a current high school senior who will graduate with a GPA of 2.5 or greater by the end of the 2016-2017 academic year; (2) a high school graduate with a GPA of 2.5 or greater, or (3) a student who has earned or will earn a general education development diploma by the end of the 2016-2017 academic year with a score that is equivalent to a GPA of 2.5 or greater.

If I am currently attending a college, am I eligible?

No, unless you are enrolled in a pre-college or dual enrollment program.

I have earned college credits as a high school student or after high school. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Regardless of how many credits you have earned you are eligible to apply for the scholarship, so long as you have not been enrolled in college in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Do I have to be accepted into a Partner College before I can apply?

No. You can apply to a Partner College at the same time as you are applying for the Scholarship. However, in order to receive Scholarship funds you must be accepted and enrolled as an in-state (if applicable) student in that Partner College.

Community College Graduates

Do I have to be a community college graduate to apply?

No. You can be (1) a current community college student who will graduate with a GPA of 3.0 or greater by the end of the 2016-2017 academic year; or (2) a community college graduate with a GPA of 3.0. You cannot be currently enrolled in a bachelor degree program.

Does it matter what Community College I graduate from?

Yes. The Community College must be an accredited institution of higher learning.

GPA of 2.5 or Greater (For First Time College Students) or 3.0 (Community College Graduates)

How do I know if I have a GPA of 2.5 (First Time College Student) or 3.0 (Community College Graduates) better?

The 4.00 grading scale is standard at most high schools, colleges and universities. If your school assigns cumulative averages on a 100% scale, ISTS has a chart that can help you estimate your GPA. You may also ask an administrator or adviser at your school for assistance in converting your grades to a 4.00 grading scale.

How do I know if my GED score is the equivalent to a 2.5 (For First Time College Students)?

ISTS will determine this after you apply.


Career-Ready Associate or Bachelor’s Degree

How do I know whether or not my degree is a “career-ready degree”?

A career-ready degree is a degree that provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary for a career that provides a family-sustaining wage and pathways to advancement. We have not strictly defined this but a general education degree is not sufficient. Your Partner College will work with you to ensure that you choose a degree that will help you be career-ready. 

Should I apply for an associate or bachelor’s degree?  Am I more likely to get the Scholarship if I apply for one or the other?

You should apply for the degree that best fits your educational plan and career goals. Your choice of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is not considered in determining the quality of your education plan. What is important is that you have a thoughtful career plan that will enable you to fulfill your career goals.

Continuing Eligibility

What do I have to do to continue to be eligible for my scholarship?

To continue to be eligible, you must:

Maintain a cumulative GPA of “B” (3.0/4.0) or better in the program;

Remain continuously enrolled;

Remain current on all your college accounts and charges; and

Remain DACA or TPS eligible and, if required, reapply for DACA or TPS approved status.

Do I have to reapply each year?

No, but you must renew your Scholarship each academic year. You will be asked to confirm your continuing eligibility and provide a copy of your official transcript, as well as to identify any other financial aid or scholarships that you are receiving. Note: If you do not renew by the indicated deadline, you will lose your scholarship.

Do I automatically lose my scholarship if my cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0?

If you cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0, you may be able to continue to receive the scholarship if there were extenuating factors impacting your academic performance and you have a plan in place to get back on track. You will need to submit to ISTS and your college a request for continuation along with a written explanation of the extenuating circumstances. ISTS will confer with your college advisor to determine whether or not to continue the Scholarship.

Do I automatically lose my scholarship if I have to take a term off?

If there are extenuating circumstances that require you to take a term off, you will need to submit to ISTS and your college a request for continuation along with a written explanation of the extenuating circumstances. ISTS will confer with your college advisor to determine whether or not to continue the Scholarship.

Application Process

How do I apply?

To apply, go to  http://thedream.local/nationalscholarship/

When is the last day to apply?

You must submit a complete application, including all required supporting documents by March 8, 2017 by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.

How will I know that ISTS has received my application?

ISTS will send you an email receipt of your application. If you do not receive this email receipt within one week after submitted your application, contact ISTS.

Is there a fee to apply?



Selection Process

How will finalists be selected?

We have a rigorous application review process that includes analysis and scoring of your grades, standardized test scores, participation in advanced courses, extracurricular activities including volunteer work and community service, essays, and letter of recommendation.

ISTS reviews and scores all complete and eligible applications. An independent Scholarship Selection Committee made up of national education leaders, leaders of immigration support services organizations, and DREAMers reviews and scores the essays of all finalists. Scholarships are allocated across our Partner Colleges and are awarded to the highest scoring applicants to that college. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.

When will I find out?

ISTS will notify all applicants by the end of April 2017 as to whether or not they received the scholarship.


Scholarship Awards

Will the scholarship cover all of my college expenses, including room and board, books and supplies, and transportation?

The scholarship award only covers tuition and fees that are not otherwise paid for by other available financial aid or scholarships. Some students may also receive an additional award for books, supplies, and transportation. In California, the scholarship award may be used for books, supplies, transportation, and room and board.

What is the amount of the Scholarship Award?

The amount of your scholarship depends on your financial need and the cost of attendance at your school. If you are receiving other grants or scholarships, we will consider these in determining the amount of your scholarship. You cannot receive more than $12,500 for an associate degree or more than $25,000 in total for a bachelor degree (plus the additional award). While this is a generous scholarship, due to the high cost of college education, it is likely you will have to some of your education out of pocket.

If I receive a scholarship for an associate’s degree, do I have to apply again for a scholarship for my bachelor’s degree?

No. If you have met your academic and service commitments, you may transfer your scholarship to a four-year Partner College to which you have been accepted. However, you may not receive more than $25,000 (plus the stipend if applicable) in total from TheDream.US, including the Scholarship Award you received for your associate’s degree.

Do I have to attend one of the Partner Colleges or can I use the scholarship at any college to which I am accepted?

You must be accepted to and attend one of the Partner Colleges in order to receive the scholarship.

Can the scholarship be applied toward graduate school?

No. You may only use the scholarship funds for an undergraduate associate or bachelor’s degree.

If I transfer to another Partner College, will I lose my scholarship?

You will not lose your scholarship. The scholarship will still be transferred so long as you are accepted to and attending one of our Partner Colleges and you have met your scholarship commitments. 

If I receive the scholarship, do I have to start right away?

No. You have up to one year from the date of the notification that you are a Scholarship recipient to apply to and enroll in a Partner College.

Dreamer, Donor, or Teacher?

How can I donate?

Donating to our cause is easy! Simply click the “Donate” link on the right side of our donate page and follow the instructions.

I am a teacher. How can I help?

Reach out as early as possible to all students and encourage them to envision themselves as college material, and if the opportunity arises, let undocumented students know that their citizenship status does not prohibit them from attending college.

For a printable version of TheDream.US flyer visit http://thedream.local/

I am a parent. How can I help?

Let your child know that their citizenship status does not prohibit them from going to college. Encourage them to search for scholarships and, if you can, help them complete their scholarship applications. Most important, do what you already do:  believe in them so that they can believe in themselves.




Last Edited: September 10, 2016