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Getting a Scholarship Through the Illinois DREAM Act

 Posted on May 27, 2024 in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerThe Illinois DREAM Act is designed to help children of immigrants obtain higher education, even if they are undocumented. Receiving a scholarship and being able to start college can help you begin building a better life. Although the Illinois DREAM Act does not offer a path to citizenship, being a college student or a college graduate may eventually help you as you pursue legal residency. You should be aware that Illinois’ DREAM Act is different than the federal DREAM Act, which offers a path to citizenship for certain undocumented young people who entered the country as children. Many young adults and high school-aged minors residing in Illinois will qualify for some benefits under both. A DuPage County, IL immigration lawyer can help you apply for a DREAM Act scholarship.

How the Illinois DREAM Act Works

Any immigrant youth, regardless of status, can receive benefits under the Illinois DREAM Act. There are two ways the act can help immigrant students - you can receive a scholarship or participate in a college savings program, and you can get a driver’s certificate. A driver’s certificate is not the same as a driver’s license, but it can allow you to legally drive a vehicle in the state of Illinois.

To benefit from the DREAM Act, you must complete an application. An immigration attorney can help with this process. Not every applicant will receive a scholarship, but all approved applicants can participate in either of Illinois’ two college savings programs.

Do I Need a Social Security Number to Qualify?

To participate in college savings programs under the DREAM Act, you will need either a Social Security Number (if you are a legal resident) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (if you are not). The Department of Homeland Security cannot be notified that you have received an ITIN as an undocumented immigrant, so you do not need to worry that getting an ITIN could cause a problem.

Who is Eligible for DREAM Act Scholarships? 

Students are eligible to receive a DREAM Act Scholarship if they: 

  • Have at least one parent who is an immigrant, 
  • Attended high school in Illinois while living with their parents or legal guardians, 
  • Graduated from high school or obtained a G.E.D. in Illinois, and
  • Spent at least three years attending high school in Illinois. 

If you meet these requirements, you may be able to receive a scholarship for college through the DREAM Act fund. The DREAM Act is funded by private donations, not state funds.

Contact a Bloomingdale, IL DREAM Act Lawyer 

Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices is experienced in helping young immigrants and children of immigrants navigate the Illinois DREAM Act. Our dedicated DuPage County, IL DREAM Act attorneys have been meeting the needs of local immigrants for more than 40 years. Contact us at 630-932-9100 for a complimentary consultation.

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