One of the primary reasons students of any ethnicity (White, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American) drop out of higher education is financial need. These bills now allow the “Dreamers” (undocumented students) to access college scholarships and state grants. As Gov. Brown states, “The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us”. To qualify for this financial aid the student must have received a high school diploma and attended high school for at least three years; must show that they are in the process of applying to legalize their immigration status; and must show financial need and meet academic standards.
We may or may not agree with this legislation, but it is the law now. In that essence Cabrillo College will be implementing a pilot program to support these students and any student who may need support with financial aid. Beginning Feb. 24, 2012 a group of community members and faculty from Cabrillo and San Francisco State University will be offering a class and tutoring to help students develop the skills needed to be a strong scholarship/financial aid applicant.
Students will meet once a week to learn English composition, the different components of the scholarship application process, and to develop their skills as a public speaker to assist in the scholarship interview. In addition to the class they will meet with a tutor to assist with their English reading and writing skills to be able to write a strong resume and personal letter of introduction; all part of the scholarship application process.
This is a community-based project. As such, we need more volunteer tutors. If you would be interested in becoming part of this exciting opportunity for our Cabrillo students, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The commitment is only 1.5 hours per week. Again, even though we are targeting “Dreamers” it is open to any student needing financial support. It is open to all students because the rules for financial aid are changing both at the state level and federal level. It will become more difficult to receive financial aide. Consequently, our Cabrillo students need more support than ever.