September 28, 2015
Kasey Cheydleur
Photo credit: Golden Door Scholars

Oberlin College has entered a new partnership with Golden Door Scholars (GDS), a nonprofit organization that creates economic mobility for high-performing, highly motivated DACA/undocumented students. Founded in 2012, GDS provides scholarships, mentorship, and professional development for students who came to the United States at a young age and are legally protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Previously limited to students from the Carolinas, GDS is now expanding nationwide and plans to offer up to 50 scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year.

“We are honored and proud to align Oberlin’s values with the impressive commitment to expanding the outreach of the Golden Door Scholars organization,” said Debra J. Chermonte, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid. “We recognize that there are thousands of high-achieving DACA students each year who deserve access to a college education. It is our hope that Oberlin’s efforts combined with the efforts of other colleges and university partners will make a real impact in the lives of Golden Door Scholars and their families.”

Private scholarships for undocumented students are rare, and most Golden Doors Scholars reside in states where they are not afforded in-state tuition rates, making college out of reach financially. With the help of its partner institutions, GDS provides these students the opportunity to overcome these barriers.

“We’ve been incredibly impressed by our 45 scholars, who are currently excelling at some of the nation’s top universities,” said Ric Elias, Golden Doors Scholars founder and CEO of Red Ventures. “Their success has emboldened us to double down on our efforts and help even more of the exceptionally talented young people being left behind by existing policies and bureaucracy. This isn’t a political issue; it’s a human rights issue.”

Oberlin College’s policy toward undocumented students was changed unanimously by the Board of Trustees in 2014. Unlike many other institutions, Oberlin College considers undocumented applicants as domestic candidates for admission. Students who qualify for deferred action and have achieved DACA status are particularly encouraged to apply.

About Golden Door Scholars

Founded in 2012, Golden Door Scholars invests in education and career preparedness for high-performing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. More than 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year with limited ability to afford college. In addition to scholarship funding, Golden Door Scholars focuses on career preparedness by pairing each student with a mentor and offering professional development opportunities. Scholarship recipients also commit to “pay it forward” by helping fund scholarships after they graduate. Learn more at www.GoldenDoorScholars.org.

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