Real Hope Act

Washington Dream Act
5:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

'Dream Act' Makes Undocumented Students Eligible For Already-Strained Aid Program

University of Washington freshman Carlos Escutia, who is undocumented and received a state need grant to help cover his college costs, carries his younger sister up the stairs of his new dorm.
Martha Kang KPLU

Fall classes began at many of Washington's public universities Wednesday, beginning the first term undocumented immigrant students can receive state-backed financial aid under a new state law.

But while more than 2,000 students applied to receive state need grants under provisions of the newly-enacted Washington "Dream Act," state higher education officials say it's possible as many as 700 of these undocumented students won't receive an aid award at all — even if they're eligible.

It's not just undocumented students who will miss out. Though state expenditures on the program have ballooned as tuition costs get higher, there isn't enough funding for the state need grant program to offer aid to every eligible Washington student.

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Washington Dream Act
5:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

New Generation Of Undocumented Students Starts College Under Wash. 'Dream Act'

"It's nice knowing you're not forgotten just because of where you were born," says incoming UW freshman Carlos Escutia, who is undocumented.
Martha Kang KPLU

Move-in day at the University of Washington is a jumble of boxes and emotions for incoming freshman Carlos Escutia.

"I'm so happy I get to move in first. I get to pick the bed," he says, grinning and carrying a bedspread into his new dorm room. 

For the past 15 years, Escutia's family has worked hard in hopes of celebrating days like this. His parents left Mexico when Escutia was 3, dreaming of better lives and better education for their children. Going to a four-year college has always been Escutia's goal.

A year ago, it wasn't even clear the Lynnwood High School grad would make it to this day. As an undocumented immigrant, Escutia didn't qualify for government loans to cover his college costs. He'd have to apply for competitive private scholarships and hope for the best.

Then the state legislature passed the "Dream Act," granting many undocumented high school graduates access to state-funded college grants. Escutia was among the first to apply, and he is now part of the state's first wave of so-called "dreamers" to start classes.

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New Laws
5:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

New Washington Laws Cover College Aid, Guns And Tanning

AP Photo

This is the week undocumented students in Washington will become eligible for state college tuition aid. The “Real Hope Act” is just one of dozens of new state laws that take effect Thursday, 90 days after the Washington legislature adjourned.

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Real Hope Act
3:33 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Gov. Inslee Signs Immigrant Financial Aid Bill

More than 500 Muslim Americans lobbied for the Washington Dream Act in Olympia, Wash. last month.
Taylor Winkel

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that expands state college financial aid to students in the country without legal status.

In a highly divided Legislature, passage of the bill represents a big win for immigrant advocates. It's also the first bill to become law this session.

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Real Hope Act
9:10 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Wash. State Lawmakers Send ‘Real Hope’ Act To Governor

In this photo taken Jan. 9, 2014, the Legislative Building at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia, Wash., is shown as rain falls on the sundial in the foreground.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

A late vote in the Washington Legislature has the children of immigrants cheering, literally. On Tuesday night, the state House overwhelmingly approved a measure to allow high school graduates who came to this country illegally with their parents to apply for state financial aid.

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Dream Act
11:32 am
Mon February 10, 2014

State Lawmakers Underfund Promise Of ‘Real Hope’ And ‘Dreams’

Dulce Siguenza is a 19-year old student at South Seattle Community College who had to drop out of the University of Washington because it was too expensive.
Austin Jenkins

The state of Washington could soon become the fourth in the nation after California, Texas and New Mexico to allow the children of illegal immigrants to qualify for state-funded college financial aid.

The idea has now passed both the Washington House and Senate. But allowing undocumented students to compete for these limited dollars is still a thorny issue for some, especially since the program is already seriously underfunded.

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Real Hope Act
7:17 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Senate Passes Its Own Version Of Dream Act

<< Jonny Boy >> Flickr

The state’s undocumented high school graduates may be one step closer to accessing financial aid.

On Friday the Senate passed a measure to make State Need Grants available to students who came to this country illegally with their parents.

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