University News

WIU DREAMers Scholarship Application Available

August 26, 2021

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – To help DREAMers (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) in the United States achieve educational and future success, a new Western Illinois University scholarship, created by WIU Political Science Professor Julia Albarracin-Green, has raised nearly $20,000 to provide annual scholarships to undocumented students who attend WIU.

The scholarship fundraiser, which closes Aug. 31, has raised over $18,500 to date, and applications are now open for the first WIU DREAMers Scholarships to be awarded this fall.

"We are so close to our $20,000 goal. As DREAMers have no access to federal financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs), we encourage our University community, along with our many alumni and friends, to consider donating to the WIU DREAMer Fund so that our undocumented, DACA and Temporary Protected Status students have the opportunities to achieve their dreams," Albarracin-Green said.

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.

The idea for this scholarship originated from the Albarracin's and other allies' efforts to fund DACA filing fees when the termination of the DACA program was announced in September, 2017. Since that time, WIU faculty and staff, the Faculty Senate and Casa Latina Cultural Center have worked to support DACA and undocumented students at WIU, and this scholarship is the culmination of these efforts, Albarracin added. "The financial, social and legal challenges faced by college-ready, undocumented students are insurmountable. 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."

The WIU DREAMers Scholarship, which will award a minimum of $5,000 for the academic year for at least two students, is available for undocumented, DACA, and Temporary Protected Status Students, with a 2.75 high school/college GPA. Students can apply for the WIU DREAMers Scholarship by emailing, with the subject line, "DREAMer Fund." In addition, the following documents must be provided: a current resume, transcript (high school if incoming student or college if it is a current student) and a 500-word essay on how the scholarship would enhance their educational goals.

Applications will be received until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30. The selection of the winners, made by a committee composed of faculty staff, and students, will be announced Oct. 12. Recipients can choose to remain anonymous.

"As a first generation immigrant, I know first hand the importance of equal access for financial aid for undocumented students," said Multicultural Center Director Rocio Ayard Ochoa. "Help us advocate and support talented students with a desire to access higher education."

For more information, visit or email Albarracin-Green at

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