“Dreamers” at Oxnard High School

Undocumented students share their college application process and the resources given to them.

There is a misconception that admission to a four-year university is nearly impossible without citizenship. However, the “DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) legislature allows for undocumented students to continue their education beyond high school with no repercussions due to their residential status,” according to whitehouse.gov.

 

The uncertainty of their immigration status discourages them from attending a university. OHS senior *Verani Allano said, “If I was not in AVID I would just have gone to Ventura College and not even look at universities.” For those who are not in any type of support program, this is their reality.

 

All University of California (UC) campuses welcome and support students without regard to their immigration status and will be considered for admission on the same basis as any U.S. citizen or other applicants. UC will admit students following their nondiscrimination policy and with no regard to student’s race, religion, citizenship or other protected characteristics according to undocumented.ucdavis.edu/.

 

OHS senior *Wayne Lee is a top scholar, but decided not to apply to a university. Lee will attend Oxnard College and then transfer to a university close to home. This decision was based on the fear that “going to college will make it easier to get deported” later on.

In accordance with the nondiscrimination policy, once a student is enrolled, the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) will protect the student’s records at educational institutions, including elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities. This policy brings reassurance to students like Lee.

 

Another considerable factor to why students opt to not attend college is financial need. “The most frustrating thing is believing that there is no help out there because we are undocumented and the cost of going to college,” said OHS senior *Karla Gonzales.

 

According to uscis.gov, the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program financially helps undocumented students with scholarships and is offered through the DREAM Act.

 

There is also the AB 130 bill that allows undocumented students to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities. To apply for a Cal Grant you must submit a California Dream Act Application by March 2.

 

On the contrary, some of the “Dreamers” might not think that this financial help is sufficient. “For the [scholarships] I can apply start in January through DACA, but there are only three and there is a lot of people that are waiting for those applications. It’s competitive, there are not enough scholarships,” said Allano.

 

Nevertheless, the needed resources to succeed in the process of college applications can be found in campus. “We are surrounded by everything we need it’s on that student to go see what others  did so they can do it,” said OHS senior Eduardo Cardenas.

 

“It is all up to you if you have the mindset that you want to succeed you are going to ask for help. Help does not come to you, you have to ask for it,” said Allano.

 

We have a lot of people like miss baylor avid staff counselors we are surrounded by everything we need it’s on that student to go see what they did so they can do

 

**Names have been changed to keep interviewee anonymous.