Keeping the college dream alive

For the 400 undocumented students at Glendale Community College who cannot legally drive, apply for federal loans, or work to pay for school, the California Dream Act is still just that — a dream.

That’s because while, for the first time this spring, the California Dream Act will allow students who moved to the U.S. before age 16 to apply for state grants and tuition fee waivers, significant barriers will persist.

Without a Social Security number, even the most basic efforts at trying to cover costs can seem insurmountable — due mostly to legal hurdles, not a lack of will.

And that’s where the AB 540 Committee at Glendale Community College comes in. Through its fundraising efforts, the committee — named after the state Assembly bill in 2001 that freed undocumented California students from the higher cost of paying out-of-state tuition — has awarded 200 scholarships to these students to help pay for class units, enrollment fees, transportation and textbooks.

The committee should be commended for picking up where comprehensive legislation — on the state and federal level — has dropped off. And donors should take notice, because it benefits everyone when these students — lacking documents through no fault of their own — are able to achieve the ultimate dream. Not the dream included in piecemeal legislation, the American one.

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