PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona’s three public universities and the two largest community college districts are teaming up for a private fundraising effort to help enrolled so-called "Dreamers" finish their degrees.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in Arizona had been paying in-state tuition rates until the state Supreme Court ruled last year they were ineligible. In some cases, "Dreamers" had the cost of their tuition and fees triple.
After the ruling, 40% of DACA recipients at Maricopa Community Colleges dropped out, according to communications director Matt Hasson.
Dreamers are not eligible for federal aid, state aid or state scholarships.
Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Pima Community College and the Maricopa Community Colleges partnered with Chicanos Por La Causa for a campaign designed to cover the amount in excess of in-state fees.
The campaign is called Keep the Dream Alive. Donors can direct their contributions to individual schools or to the broader campaign.
“Our DACA students are extraordinarily talented individuals who have made great sacrifices to better themselves and their families, and who make a contribution to our communities and our state. We are proud to join with CPLC, Pima Community College, and Arizona's public universities on the 'Keep the Dream Alive' campaign," said Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick.
There are about 1,600 DACA recipients enrolled at these institutions, CPLC said.
Chicanos Por La Causa is "proud to lead this unprecedented effort with Arizona’s top educational institutions. We know it is possible to and ask for the support of the public to help level the playing field for the 1,600 young people affected by this unfair policy,” said president and CEO David Adame.