By Yesenia Ayala for South Kern Sol
Pictured above: College Dream Fund scholarship recipients at the Proyecto de Compasion annual fundraiser benefiting the College Dream Fund held on February 14th, 2014 / Photo courtesy of Joe Serrano
ARVIN, Calif. — Erika Hernandez was ecstatic when she found out she’d been accepted to UC Berkeley in the spring of 2008. But when the time came for Hernandez, who is undocumented, to secure her spot, she let the deadline pass. Her parents, both farm workers, couldn’t afford the college tuition, which was about $32,000 a year.
Because Hernandez started pursuing her college education prior to 2012, she was not eligible to receive either private scholarships or state-funded financial aid under the California Dream Act, a package of two State Assembly bills passed in 2011: AB 130, effective January 1, 2012, allowed colleges to make private scholarships available to undocumented students. And AB 131, effective January 1, 2013 allowed such students to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid.
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