The ASU Foundation Receives $937,000 Grant To Support Scholarship Program For “DREAMers”.

The ASU Foundation has been awarded a three-year, $937,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation in support of 35 scholarships for students who are considered “DREAMers.” These students are young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and are allowed to remain in the country if they meet certain criteria. Because of their circumstances, DREAMers are unable to benefit from university or federal aid or work-study programs. Despite the fact that many of them have spent their entire lives in Arizona and have all graduated from local high schools, these students are also required to pay 50 percent more than the standard in-state tuition. The grant will provide tuition assistance to cover that extra cost and establish the Parsons Scholars program, which will include financial literacy training and ongoing academic coaching.

“By no fault of their own, DREAMers are starting their pursuit of higher education at a great disadvantage,” said businessman Bob Parsons.“America is a nation of immigrants, and it is our duty to step up and support those who are working hard to earn a better life for themselves and their families, no matter how they got here.”

Many of the Parsons Scholars come from low-income households and work full or part-time jobs to support themselves, and in many cases, their families. Most are first-generation college students and act as role models for their siblings and greater community. Tuition gap funding provided to the Parsons Scholars will mitigate the risk of a DREAMer leaving school due to financial hardships.

“ASU has long supported DREAMers, a position that is congruent with our unwavering commitment to providing access to all students who are qualified to attend the university, regardless of their background or circumstance,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Bob and Renee Parsons’ support will help more deserving students have an opportunity to attend the university and enhance their opportunity for a successful future.”

The program is also designed to prepare students for long-term success and encourages co-curricular activities, such as internships, to provide students with the skills and connections needed to enter their chosen career field. A capstone trip to Washington, D.C. will more broadly connect the Parsons Scholars to public policy and empower them to enact change. 

“It is our belief that everyone deserves access to quality education and DREAMers are no exception. In fact, they face more obstacles to obtaining a college degree than most of their peers,” said businesswoman Renee Parsons. “We are proud to support ASU’s commitment to making higher education a reality for all Arizona high school graduates.” The ASU Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that raises and invests private contributions to the university. Through the ASU Foundation, generous donors help build and sustain Arizona State University’s students, faculty and research goals. To learn more, visit https://www.asufoundation.org.