Group to give Oglethorpe University Dreamers scholarships

Some Oglethorpe University students unable to receive federal financial aid because of their immigration status will get scholarships from a national organization created to help them, the organization announced Friday.

TheDream.US will begin offering the scholarships at the start of the 2019-20 school year, the organization said in a news release. The scholarships will be a maximum of $33,000 throughout the student’s academic career, said Nicky Vogt, a spokesperson for the organization.

TheDream.US said the partnership with Oglethorpe, a private university in DeKalb County, is the first such agreement with any institution in a “locked out” state, where “Dreamers” cannot pay in-state tuition. "Dreamers” is the nickname given to young immigrants who were illegally brought here as children.

Then-President Barack Obama in 2012 implemented DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which gives Dreamers the right to remain in the United States and to work legally. But DACA does not provide a path to citizenship or entitle DREAMers to any federal or state aid to support their college education, TheDream.US says.

Some argue “Dreamers” should not receive taxpayer-funded benefits, including in-state tuition. Others counter the students did not come here on their own and most of them do well academically. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have had discussions about finding a permanent solution to the situation.

Oglethorpe does not explicitly ask its students about their DACA status, therefore it is impossible to determine the exact number at the university, Vogt said.

Students interested in receiving scholarships must apply to the orgnization’s website, TheDream.US. The students must have a high school grade-point average of 2.5 or better or be a community college graduate with a 3.0 grade-point average or better.

Oglethorpe’s annual tuition next year will be about $39,000. The university announced in August it will match the tuition of any flagship university in the nation for students who meet academic qualifications. The annual tuition at most flagship universities is between $10,000 and $15,000, Oglethorpe President Larry Schall has said.