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The University of California has announced $5 million available to undocumented students through its Dream Loan program. (avidcreative/iStockphoto)

University of California to Make $5 Million in Loans to Undocumented Students

The University of California has announced $5 million in loans to undocumented students.

The Dream Loan program is a follow-up to the California Dream Act of 2011 that allowed some undocumented youth to apply for state aid and scholarships, and to Assembly Bill 540, which granted them in-state tuition.

Dr. Bob Samuels, a lecturer in the writing program at UCLA, said most of these students have spent virtually their entire lives in the United States, and they deserve a shot at success.

“It allows them to pursue the dream of higher education,” he said. “What’s going to be their motivation when they’re in high school to do well, if they know there’s no future for them?”

It costs about $33,000 a year to attend a UC school and live on campus.

Chris Carter, director of student financial support for the University of California’s Office of the President, said undocumented students are hobbled by the fact that they’re barred from receiving the all-important federal money.

“The overwhelming share of loan dollars are through federal loan programs, and these students are not eligible for federal financial assistance,” he said. “And so, this loan program is intended to help fill that gap.”

He said the Dream Loan program will immediately be available to the 3,000 undocumented students already attending one of the nine UC campuses. It will be available to incoming freshmen starting next year.

More information is online at admission.universityofcalifornia.edu

Author: Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

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