The phrase “alma mater“ is one every college student encounters. The literal meaning of the Latin phrase equates to the idea of a “nurturing mother.” Essentially, an institution one may attend should intend to care and further nourish its students in order for them to prosper upon their graduation and into the world. Higher education should act as a safe space for all in which resources to apply are distributed through a necessity based system. Hence, more institutions should act as a place of comfort for undocumented students. A place in which they are able to obtain the specific resources to gain an education. Dreamers should be able to go to college without constant fear. The 800,000 recipients of DACA deserve better, and universities should only further pave the way to a feasible application process for them.
Prior to the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, many immigrants were not able to even apply to several universities due to their citizenship status, and with the further threat of its termination, some universities in the United States are fighting the system and helping Dreamers apply to their school.
Brown University, an ivy league institution in Providence, RI, will grant members of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals the opportunity to gain a master’s degree free of charge! Not only does Brown University have an undocumented and DACA Student Initiative program (for any student attending the college ranging from undergraduates to doctorates) in which they provide “counseling, legal support, financial advising,” but the entirety of the organization is based on the principles of community empowerment; it is for any students who have questions about the process or just simply need help.
Brown seems to be extending their aid in the graduate application process as well. The college intends to give stipends and health insurance to their admitted students while also paying the $495 nonrefundable fee for the DACA application and renewal. If the act faces an end, with only the blatant xenophobia and racism of the Trump administration to blame, Brown is going to fight.
Brown is not the only university ready to help Dreamers: University of California, Berkeley, University of Miami, and Willamette University of Oregon have also been assisting dreamers with their academic endeavors. Berkeley also provides students with legal support and advice concerning their immigration status. The same goes with Willamette University, as they provide financial assistance through means of grants and state-funded financial aid programs. UMiami has initiated its U Dreamers Program which grants DACA recipients with financial aid opportunities for undergraduates as well. All of these links will be attached down below!
The ultimate stress put on undergraduates to start their own endeavors is massive. Not only does the mystifying experience put one’s entire life in perspective, but it is also a prolonged and extremely expensive process that demands great diligence.
Dreamers should be able to focus on their supplements, personal statement, and standardized scores, NOT whether their immigration status will bar them from applying to colleges or obtaining further degrees. Our dreamers deserve better. We must continue to fight for immigrants’ rights! Universities throughout the U.S, even worldwide, should take similar steps in paving the way for future college graduates! This is a movement that college students must partake in. Call for reform! Make petitions at your schools, start clubs that act as alliances, protest, and help in any way possible! Allies are necessary for securing social justice for dreamers!
Photo: Brown University