Students Not Taking Advantage of Dream Act

According to schools, Dream Act students in San Bernardino and Riverside counties are not taking full advantage of their awards. A study looked at the number of students who collected and used the monies since the act took effect in the 2013-2014 school year. Just under half of the grants available to student were utilized.

According to Elizabeth Hilton, Riverside City College’s director of student aid, lat applicants are declining thanks to better information. Still, 101 Cal Grants were awarded and only 47 were used. Hilton says that this is because the 54 students who did not take advantage of the money either failed to enroll in college at least half-time or didn’t enroll in the school at all.

San Bernardino Valley College is having a different experience. Of the 179 Dream Act students who applied for waivers, 175 were accepted.

Community college student Angel Quintero, 22, was one student who utilized the money to further her education. Without the funds she was awarded, she would not have been able to complete her education.

“I had a lot of friend who started in a four-year (college). All of the money their family had saved was gone within the first two quarters. They were afraid they wouldn’t be able to continue,” Quintero said.

In both counties combined, about 75 percent of Dream Act students who apply for them receive Cal Grant aid. Seeing the percentage climb to 100 percent is a goal that has not yet been realized.

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