WASHINGTON — A former owner of the Washington Post on Tuesday announced the creation of a scholarship program for students known as Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
Donald Graham said "TheDream.US" fund already has raised about $25 million.
The program was created by Graham; Carlos Gutierrez, commerce secretary under President George W. Bush; and Henry Munoz III, the finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee. The program has other high-profile supporters such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, actor and director Diego Luno and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
An estimated 65,000 students graduate from American high schools each year without legal status. They don't qualify for federal financial aid or many other scholarship programs, and without financial assistance, their opportunities to go to college are limited. A majority of states don't afford them in-state tuition, though a number of states are extending the opportunity.
Under the program, about 2,000 students are expected over the next decade to have their tuition, fees and books covered. "All of us want to help set something right that is greatly wrong," Graham said at a news conference.
To qualify, students must be participating in the "deferred action" program announced by President Barack Obama in 2012.