Valencia, UCF Partner with Charity to Offer Scholarships for DREAMers

Orlando, FL – Thanks to a new private funding agreement with TheDream.Us, Valencia College and UCF will offer college scholarships to eligible students through their DirectConnect to UCF program. The scholarships will help DREAMers excel academically and graduate from college with a degree and career-ready skills to enter the workforce.

TheDream.Us is an organization that provides college scholarships to highly motivated DREAMers—undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The American Immigration Council estimates that there are close to 90,000 DREAMers in Florida. Of those, about 200 receive the scholarship, which can range from $12,500 for an associate degree and $25,000 for a bachelor’s degree.

“This scholarship will help ensure that a college education remains within reach for the many talented students in our community who don’t qualify for federal student aid,” said Joyce Romano, vice president for Student Affairs at Valencia.

Under the agreement, Valencia and UCF will assist DREAMers with the application process and provide advising to students who receive the scholarship.

“As the demand for a college-educated workforce continues to grow, a college degree is more important than ever,” said Maribeth Ehasz, vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services at UCF. “This partnership will provide college scholarships to students who face barriers to college access and success. Ultimately, we will reach, inspire and improve college persistence and completion rates of our DREAMer students.”

Individuals who qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS (Temporary Protected Status) are eligible to apply. Scholarships are renewable, giving recipients the option to transfer from Valencia to UCF under the DirectConnect to UCF partnership. Applicants must be eligible for in-state tuition to qualify. Florida law allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition if they attended a Florida high school for three consecutive years before graduating, and if they apply to a college or university within 24 months after graduating from high school.

Applications for TheDream.US scholarship are due by February 15, 2016. To apply, go to