University News

WIU Professor Establishes DREAMer Scholarship Fund

June 17, 2021

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – More than 33,700 individuals considered Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) reside in Illinois, according to the Migration Policy Institute. To help these childhood arrivals to the United States achieve their dreams, one Western Illinois University professor has created a scholarship for DREAMers (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors).

Political Science Professor Julia Albarracin-Green has established the WIU DREAMer Scholarship Fund to provide the opportunity for a few undocumented students to attend Western. According to Albarracin, each year, nearly 100,000 undocumented students (aka DREAMers) graduate from U.S. high schools.

"The financial, social and legal challenges faced by college-ready, undocumented students are insurmountable," she explained. "Their parents, their families, sent them to, or brought them to, the United States so they could have a better life. As a public institution of higher learning, we have an obligation to help all prospective students, including those considered DREAMers."

As donations have been coming in at a steady pace, Albarracin-Green has set a new goal of $20,000 (which was originally $10,000) for the new WIU DREAMer Scholarship. Individuals can go online at, or send their donations for the WIU DREAMer Scholarship to the WIU Foundation, 303 Sherman Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL, 61455-1390.

"DREAMers, for starters, have no access to federal financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs). The Center for American Progress recently reported that 74 percent of undocumented students who left school reported this was due to financial difficulties," Albarracin-Green added. "Please consider supporting the DREAMer Scholarship Fund and making a difference in someone's life. In addition to financial support, you can help by staying informed about legislation and engaging in advocacy efforts, using inclusive language and showing support at rallies."

The WIU DREAMer Scholarship Fund is managed by the nonprofit Western Illinois DREAMers, in collaboration with the WIU Casa Latina Cultural Center and the WIU Foundation.

"Western has provided an outstanding education to its students since the first day of classes on Sept. 23, 1902, and we will continue to provide stellar educational opportunities, regardless of a student's background. An education does not and should not have borders. Students who meet our admissions standards, no matter where they are from, are welcome here," said WIU President Guiyou Huang. "We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and Western Illinois University is, and will remain, a global community that supports higher education for all."

For more information, visit or email Albarracin-Green at

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