TheDream.US Scholarship Program
Proudly Supporting DREAMers
In 2019, Oglethorpe University became the first Georgia college to partner with TheDream.US to provide scholarships to qualified immigrant students who came to the United States as children, known as “DREAMers”.
Due to immigration status, DREAMers are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid to support a college education. TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access program for DREAMers. The program raises private funds and awards scholarships to help these students pay for their college education at one of the 70+ partner schools in the U.S.
Oglethorpe University is committed to serving DREAMers and prepared to offer TheDream.US Scholars the support services they need to successfully navigate their college journey and graduate.
For a complete list of eligibility requirements, scholarship application information and deadlines, visit TheDream.US website.
Learn about the support and resources available to DACA and undocumented Oglethorpe students.
Your scholarship covers all of your tuition and basic student fees for 4 years if you are a first-time college student, or 2 years if you are a Community College graduate. Basic fees include your $250 orientation fee your first semester, your $140 student activity fee each semester, and your enrollment deposit. You will also receive a $1500 annual stipend ($750 per semester) from TheDream.US to be used towards housing, books or other costs.
Your scholarship does not cover room and board costs or lab fees, overload fees, or any other fees not covered in the above description. Students who do not meet the qualifications for an exemption from on-campus housing are required to live on campus for at least 3 of their 4 years at OU, and their scholarship does not include these costs. We will prioritize low-cost housing for scholars who request it by the priority housing deadline. Commuter students will also be responsible for paying their $225 commuter meal plan fee per semester, 100% of which is loaded onto your Petrel Pass so that you may eat in the dining hall or the on-campus coffee shop. Students taking a science course with a lab or certain art courses may also have to pay a $100 lab fee as part of their bill to cover materials needed for the class.
Every scholar with TheDream.US receives a $750 stipend each semester to help with expenses. Review the information below to see where your stipend will be applied:
- If you are living on campus, your stipend will go directly to housing fees
- If you are a commuter, your stipend will first go to any current balance on your student account (meal plan, fees, etc.)
- Any remaining stipend funds can be used as a payment method through the Oglethorpe University Online Bookstore
- If you have any stipend funds leftover, they can be mailed to you as a check later in the semester after Oglethorpe and TheDream.US have confirmed enrollment and paid out scholarship funds (likely October/November for fall semester and March/April for spring).
You can always reach out to Chris Summers ([email protected]) with any specific questions about stipends or financial aid.
A scholar advisor is someone to help you out on campus related to the specific needs and experiences of recipients of the TheDream.US scholarship. As much as everyone at Oglethorpe is eager to support your studies, they may not always know everything about your scholarship or the specific experiences of Dreamers. Your advisor is someone you can come to when you have questions about your scholarship, getting connected with other students, or even if you just need someone to talk to about other issues in your college life and aren’t sure where to go. Your Dream.US scholar advisor at Oglethorpe is Peter Dye, and you can contact him with any questions or concerns at [email protected].
According to the National Scholarship Program Guide, the scholarship is intended to cover one major and one degree. However, you may seek a minor if it does not require additional credits beyond those required for your degree (128 credit hours).
If pursuing a double major or minor beyond what is covered by TheDream.US is important to you, you can consider applying for outside scholarship to help cover those additional tuition expenses.
Your scholarship does not cover summer classes at Oglethorpe, but you can apply for additional scholarships to help finance summer tuition (see additional scholarships question below for details).
According to the National Scholarship Program Guide, if you fail or drop a class and need to retake it, you will not lose your scholarship, and you do not have to reimburse TheDream.US for the costs of the classes. The amount paid for those classes (generally determined by how long you were in the course before withdrawing) will be deducted from your maximum award amount which means you will have less funds available to complete your degree.
If your GPA drops below 2.5, work with your scholar advisor to develop a plan to improve your GPA. If your cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0 for more than one academic year, you will lose your scholarship.
Always talk with your Academic Advisor and review the OU academic calendars for course withdrawal deadlines each semester.
Provided you follow the steps below, you are able to take a break in enrollment while keeping your scholarship.
According to the National Scholarship Program Guide, if special circumstances require you to take a term off or to drop all your classes mid-term, you should:
- Complete US Request Form in your ISTS Portal to take a break in enrollment. Requests will be reviewed and approved or denied within 2-3 weeks.
- Notify your Scholar Advisor and explain the reason for your break in enrollment and the date you will return;
- Upon your return, meet with your Scholar Advisor to develop a plan for completing your degree on time (3 years if an associate degree; 6 years if a bachelor’s degree).
You cannot take off more than two semesters. Your time off will be included in the maximum time you have to use your award.
While you cannot stack additional Oglethorpe merit scholarships (beyond what you have already been offered) towards your tuition, you can apply for additional scholarships from outside groups or foundations. Here are a few good resources to help get you started:
- Check out this list of undergraduate scholarships from Immigrants Rising that do not require proof of citizenship or legal permanent residency.
- Follow Immigrants Rising on Instagram as they post scholarship opportunities open to undocumented students every Friday.
- Follow the OU Undocu Student Services page on Instagram for additional undocumented student resources.
- Attend a Global Education Scholarship Advising session for help finding and applying for individual scholarships (details on OU Connect).
There are many factors affecting which opportunities different students can pursue, so it is always a good idea to make an appointment with your scholar advisor or with Career Development to talk over specifics.
For students with work authorization through DACA or TPS, there are a range of on and off-campus work opportunities including positions on Handshake (provided they are not Federal Work Study). Set up an account on Handshake and make an appointment with Career Development to discuss jobs and internships.
Students without work authorization cannot be employed on or off campus; however, there are opportunities for unpaid experiences funded with scholarships as well as independent contracting opportunities. Take a look at the following opportunities and make an appointment with Career Development and your scholar advisor to discuss details.
- For TheDream.US scholarship recipients: Internship Funding Program
- For all OU students (regardless of work authorization): Paul Hackett Internship Scholarship
- For all OU students* (regardless of work authorization): Micro-Internships through Parker Dewey
*With the exception of F-1 visa holders who cannot work as independent contractors unless granted a work permit (OPT or SEH)
Additionally, students who have lived in the dorms for one year can apply to be a Resident Assistant (RA) and receive a discounted housing rate.
Yes! If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow the OU Undocumented Student Organization @OUMonarchs and the OU Undocumented Student Center, @UndocuPetrels for updates on events and resources. You can also check OUConnect for information about student organizations and upcoming events. Your scholar advisor (Peter Dye, [email protected]) can also help connect you with a representative from the student organization or an upperclassman that may have insights and experience related to your needs and questions.