Mason Partners with Private Scholarship Fund to Provide Opportunities for Dreamers

Posted: August 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm, Last Updated: August 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm

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George Mason University announced Thursday that it has become an education partner with TheDream.US, a private national scholarship fund that helps highly motivated, undocumented students attend college.

2014 Spring CommencementTheDream.US works with colleges across the nation by awarding up to $25,000 to students who qualify and have received and maintained Deferred Action for Childhood status (DACA).

The agreement is in line with George Mason’s strategic goal of making college accessible and affordable for students. By forging alliances with private organizations, Mason is able to expand pathways for students to achieve their goal of a college education.

This commitment to accessibility has made Mason one of the nation’s most diverse institutions, with students from 130 nations and all 50 U.S. states. It’s also a key reason why 20 percent of students in Mason’s 2014 graduating class were the first in their families to graduate with a four-year degree.

“We know that a college degree is the pathway to a better life and that education is a prerequisite for national competitiveness and prosperity,” said Mason president Ángel Cabrera. “I can’t think of a better investment in our future than helping talented individuals achieve their full potential.”

The private scholarship fund was started last year by Donald Graham, the former chair and chief executive officer of the Washington Post Company; Carlos Gutierrez, former secretary of commerce in the George W. Bush administration; and Henry Munoz, chief executive of Munoz and Company.

TheDream.US has partnered with more than 20 colleges in the United States and raised $33 million in the last year from a wide variety of supporters, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.

Students enrolled at a two-year college who are looking to transfer to a four-year program are eligible for the scholarship at Mason. Students must demonstrate unmet financial need, carry an un-weighted GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale, have DACA status or Temporary Protected Status, and be eligible for in-state tuition. Applicants must also complete Mason’s application process and meet all requirements for admission.

The scholarship is intended to cover a significant portion of tuition and fees up to $25,000 for four-year colleges and universities. To keep the scholarship award, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or better, remain continuously enrolled full time and remain DACA eligible.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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