Thedream.US 1 Opportunity Scholarship Program Application Guidelines

Thedream.US 1 Opportunity Scholarship Program Application Guidelines

TheDream.US[1] Opportunity Scholarship Program – Application Guidelines
September 12, 2016


TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program is offering scholarships to highly motivated DREAMers[2] with DACA or TPS status who live in targeted states that have effectively locked DREAMers out of their colleges by requiring DREAMers to pay out-of-state tuition or prohibiting DREAMers from enrolling in the state’s colleges and universities all together.

The Governors of Connecticut and Delaware have agreed to accept out-of-state DREAMers with TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship to attend an affordable four-year college in their state at a targeted cost of $20,000 per year for tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and meals. TheDream.US Scholarship award will pay up to $20,000 per year to fund these costs.

TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship is for DREAMers who

  • Have DACA or TPS status;
  • Live in and have graduated from high schools in targeted locked-out states, and
  • Have demonstrated the academic potential and a determination to succeed in college and in life.

We believe that these are the very students who should have the opportunity to go to college.

Scholars who are selected for TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship must be accepted to (and be willing to relocate and attend) one of the following Partner Colleges in Connecticut or Delaware:

  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Delaware State University

TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Application will be used for our scholarship selection and forwarded to our Partner Colleges to determine college admission. Each Partner College will review your application and determine whether you meet its eligibility criteria for acceptance. If you do, you will be eligible to receive TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship to attend that college.

The “locked-out” states for purposes of this Scholarship Round are:

  • Alaska
  • Mississippi

  • Arkansas
  • North Carolina

  • Georgia
  • North Dakota

  • Idaho
  • South Carolina

  • Indiana
  • South Dakota

  • Iowa
  • West Virginia

  • Louisiana
  • Wisconsin

  • Missouri


This scholarship is available to high school seniors, high school graduates, community college students, or community college graduates who seek to earn a career-ready bachelor’s degree at one of our Partner Colleges in Connecticut or Delaware. Students who are currently enrolled in a four-year college are not eligible.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Live in and have graduated from a high school in a targeted locked-out state listed above;
  • Have earned a high school GPA of 2.8 or higher on 4.0 scale;
  • Must have taken the SAT or ACT;
  • Not currently enrolled in a four-year college (other than in a high school pre-college or dual enrollment program);
  • Intend to relocate to and enroll full-time in a bachelor’s degree program at one of our Partner Colleges in Connecticut or Delaware in the Fall term of the 2017-2018 academic year;
  • Have come to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Be DACA or TPS eligible and have applied for or received DACA or TPS approval; and
  • Demonstrate significant unmet financial need.


We award scholarships to DREAMers who have demonstrated significant unmet financial need and the determination to succeed in college and in life. We recognize that, given life circumstances, a DREAMer’s academic record may not fully reflect the student’s ability to succeed. For this reason, we place greater emphasis on a student’s demonstrated determination to succeed than on grades and test scores. Our scholars have demonstrated:

  • Significant Financial Need
  • Our scholarships are for students who do not have the resources to finance their education without substantial financial support. We expect our Scholars to apply for all other forms of financial aid for which they may be eligible.
  • Academic Promise
  • While we consider grades and test scores, we are looking for college–ready students who have demonstrated a commitment to learning and have clear education and career goals and a plan to achieve them. Applicants should be able to clearly communicate their goals, how they will achieve them, and how achieving their goals will impact their lives and the lives of others.
  • Determination to Succeed
  • Our Scholars have demonstrated significant determination and perseverance in the face of significant challenges, and have managed to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles. Our Scholars are able to clearly articulate what they have learned in overcoming adversity and how they will use that learning to help themselves and others.


Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 11:59 P.M. Central Standard Time

Your application and supporting documents must be submitted by Wednesday, February 1, 2017, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. You can apply for the Scholarship by clicking here:


As part of the application, you will be asked to write short essays on your educational and career goals and a challenging circumstance that you faced and how you overcame it. The essay prompts are:

Your Educational and Career Goals

750 words max:

  • Describe your educational and career goals and explain what or who has inspired or helped shape these goals.
  • Excluding financial needs, what are the most significant challenges you expect to face in successfully completing college in a state outside of your home state? How will you overcome these challenges?

Overcoming Adversity

750 words max:

  • Describe a challenging family or personal circumstance that has affected your achievement or participation in school, work, or community activities.
  • How did you overcome this challenge and what did you learn from the experience above?

Required Supplemental Documents – Due Wednesday, February 1, 2017, by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time

As part of your application, you must also upload the following documents by Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time.

  • DACA or TPS application or approval: A copy of your DACA or TPS approval letter or the receipt for your submission of your DACA or TPS application or your EAD card;
  • Financial Documents (if available):
  • A copy of the first two pages of your parents’ most recently filed IRS Form 1040, if available; OR
  • If you are financially independent, provide a copy of the first two pages of your most recently filed IRS Form 1040, if available; OR
  • Other financial documents that will verify your income.
  • Transcripts:
  • A copy of your official high school transcript;
  • A copy of your official college transcript if you earned credits after high school;
  • A copy your SAT or ACT test scores.

Note: Your application is not complete until all required documents are uploaded.



We have a rigorous application review process that includes analysis and scoring of:

  • your grades, standardized test scores, participation in advanced courses,
  • your responsibilities including volunteer work and community service, and
  • your essays and letter of recommendation.

Scholarships are allocated across our Partner Colleges and are awarded to the highest scoring applicants to that college. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.


ISTS will notify you by the end of March, 2017, whether or not you have received a scholarship. If you do not receive a scholarship, you may reapply in future scholarship rounds if you meet the eligibility requirements for that round.


The Scholarship is intended to cover a significant portion of the costs of tuition, fees, and on-campus housing and meals up to a maximum of $20,000 per academic year ($80,000 maximum) for a bachelor’s degree. The amount of each award will be based on the costs of attendance and your financial need after the application of any available federal, state, institutional aid, or outside grants or scholarships.


You must renew your Scholarship each academic year. To do so, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Continue to be enrolled full-time for each consecutive academic term (except the summer term), unless we have pre-approved a part-time schedule or one-time leave of absence;
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better throughout your attendance, unless we have approved a plan for improvement;
  • Remain current on all of your college accounts and charges;
  • Maintain your DACA or TPS status and, upon application for renewal, provide ISTS with a copy of the receipt for your DACA or TPS renewal application or approval letter; and
  • Meet all other program commitments.


Being selected as a DREAMer Scholar is an honor and a privilege. In order to make the most of the Scholarship award, we ask that you commit to your own academic achievement and success as well as to supporting the academic achievement and success of other DREAMer Scholars. As a DREAMer Scholar, you will commit to:

  • Thanking the donors who have made your scholarship possible
  • Promptly responding to emails, text messages, and other communications from ISTS and TheDream.US
  • Promptly notifying ISTS of any change in your telephone number, email or home address or change in your immigration status
  • Enrolling in the 2017-2018 academic year and maintaining fulltime status and regular attendance
  • Building and maintaining a close relationship with your student advisor
  • Developing and using an education plan for completion of your degree
  • Maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Taking advantage of your college’s academic support programs
  • Completing 10 hours of community service per semester by supporting and mentoring fellow and new DREAMer scholars or through service in my college or community
  • Supporting and improving TheDream.US Scholarship Program by providing feedback through surveys online discussions and by helping us promote the program to friends and family.


TheDream.US reserves the right to review the conditions and procedures of this scholarship program and to make changes at any time, including termination of the program.


Email: and reference TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program

Telephone: 1-(855) 670-ISTS (4787) and ask for the TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship Program

Or visit for frequently asked questions and the answers.


[1] TheDream.US is a project of New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3). International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS) administers the program. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin.

[2] DREAMers came to the United States as children, have graduated from U.S. high schools or earned a U.S. high school equivalency but lack a legal status. This prevents them from accessing any federal aid to help pay for their college education. In order to receive for TheDream.US Scholarship, DREAMers must have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or TPS (Temporary Protected Status) approval.

[DV1]Are there any changes to the essay process?