If you are an undocumented student in North Carolina, affording higher education might seem like a daunting prospect. Currently, undocumented people and DACA beneficiaries are not eligible for in-state tuition in North Carolina. According to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s admissions page, the average cost for an out-of-state student to attend is around $53,100 for the 2017-2018 academic year. For reference, the estimated cost for an in-state student at the same university is about $25,876.
That’s where Cecilia Polanco and So Good Pupusas come in. So Good Pupusas was started by Polanco and her family with a mission to help undocumented people get to college and ease the cost, even if by a little bit. Polanco, who was a first-generation student at UNC at Chapel Hill and benefited from scholarships herself, wanted to help undocumented high school seniors in North Carolina afford a higher education. The scholarships offered by So Good Pupusas doesn’t cover the full cost of college but they do offer two $1,000 scholarships that can be renewed every year.
“I started thinking about my part in the larger community and about how I was blessed to have received a number of scholarships to graduate debt-free,” Polanco told Independent Weekly. She added: “Scholarships really changed my life before I even stepped foot onto the campus.”
So Good Pupusas currently offers two $1,000 scholarships for undocumented students to ease their financial burden of a higher education. Polanco hopes to eventually get those scholarships up to $8,000. The scholarships, according to the So Good Pupusas website, are exclusively for undocumented high school seniors. While the application process for the fall semester is closed, there will be a chance for undocumented students to apply for the following semester.
You could say “Oye Mi Amor” is a Latino theme song just as much as Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and Juan Gabriel’s “Amor Eterno.” The song is a musical staple in Latino households because we’ve grown up listening to Maná. For anyone not familiar with Maná, they’re basically the Bon Jovi of Mexico. This rock band from Guadalajara could be considered an extended part of the family because they’re always being played a quinceñearas, parties, weddings, you name it. So, it’s only natural that Maná helps to pay for important milestone moments in our lives since they are a part of the family.
Maná announced that they are giving away a $10,000 scholarship to 15 Latino students between the ages of 18 to 35.
The band, along with Selva Negra Environmental Foundation, and the Univision Foundation, has started the Maná Scholarship Program. As we said, the scholarship will benefit up to 15 Latino students between the ages of 18 to 35 by helping them achieve their dream of furthering their education.
So who can apply for this scholarship? Anyone who has contributed in a positive way to their community.
According to the site, “These scholarships are intended to help applicants who have a demonstrated commitment to positive change in their communities; specifically, those who have chosen to help clean up or otherwise improve the environment around them.” They also state that the “scholarship is open to high school seniors or graduates and to current college undergraduates who are either U.S. citizens, legal residents of the U.S., or undocumented residents of the U.S., including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and applications will be received and reviewed from September 9th through October 23rd, 2019.”
Yes, undocumented immigrants will be considered for this scholarship!
The only documents students should submit to be eligible is “current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial or online transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course, and term in which each course was taken.”
While there’s certainly a lot of scholarships available for Latinos, it’s so rare to have those options available for undocumented people. They’re in this country too, and contributing in so many ways.
There is one issue that people on social media have with this scholarship. It is only available to Latinos in the United States and not in Mexico.
As we noted before, in order to be eligible for this scholarship, they must be “U.S. citizens, legal residents of the U.S., or undocumented residents of the U.S., including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.” One person on Instagram said, “But why only the USA? In Latin America, we also have young people wanting opportunities.” Another said, “Why does Mana make more noise in the Latino population of the U.S than in Mexico?” One added, “They should have done this in first in Mexico.”
We do think it’s highly odd that a Mexican band would not have a separate scholarship for Mexican students. However, who knows, the more people inquire about it, there could be a chance that the band will see that it would only be fair to offer a scholarship to Mexican fans too. We’re certain they, Selva Negra, and Univision has more money to spare especially if that means giving the opportunity of higher education.
Some people are already applying and showing Maná what they’re all about.
We think this is a great opportunity for Latinos in the U.S. who have been working hard to make a positive difference in their community and give their all every day. There are so many young people who have done an incredible amount of work especially within the activism realm who should show off their accomplishments.
If you really want to get the attention of Maná we would highly suggest going to their next concert with a sign that says “I deserve your scholarship!”
It doesn’t hurt to try.
The band is currently on tour in the United States, so here’s your chance! They have several dates coming up in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Jose, San Diego, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, El Paso, Houston, Fresno. They are seriously touring nonstop. Click here to check out their next tour dates, and for more information on the scholarship, click here.
Republican Governor Doug Ducey took an unprecedented stance this week when he applauded the decision to offer a discount to Arizona’s undocumented students. Last Thursday, the Arizona Board of Regents voted 8-0 to cut the tuition cost for DACA students.
In 2018, the Arizona Supreme Court had reversed in-state tuition eligibility for DACA students, which put graduation in jeopardy and education on hold for many. This was a huge set back from the 2015 victory, which came after almost a decade of fighting for in-state eligibility.
The cost to attend Arizona universities and/or colleges is estimated at around $11,00 for students with citizenship documentation. Students without documentation were required to pay out-of-state tuition which is around $30,000. Now, with the discounted rate, tuition for undocumented students will come down to around $16,000. This is still more than in-state tuition, but it does make the dream of obtaining a higher education, that is much closer for thousands of students.
Students in Arizona have shown their support for fair tuition for DACA students.
In a recent interview with KJZZ, Governor Ducey spoke at length on a range of topics, including immigration. He had stated in the past that he would support all measures of increased border security and yet has not signed any bills that would imply heavy added border measures.
“Well listen, I think somebody that graduates from an Arizona high school is an Arizona kid, and I want to see them have Arizona opportunities in front of them. So I congratulate the regents for the first step around this,” Governor Ducey told KJZZ. “But I do believe that if you are here and graduate from an Arizona high school, you should have the same opportunities that anyone else that graduates from Arizona high schools has.”
Gov. Ducey is celebrating the news that DACA student will receive lower tuition rates for college.
Keep in mind fewer than 13 percent of average Americans could pass that 100-question exam. In order to fulfill the graduation requirement, you pass 60 out of 100. Arizona is the first to state to pass such a law.
Regardless of his latest praise, people are still wary of Gov. Ducey’s longterm goals.
On the subject of white supremacy, it’s a toss-up. During this past 4th of July, Americans were divided on the Nike shoe issue. Some folks felt that it was unpatriotic for Nike to pull the plug on the Betsy Ross flag-inspired design, rallying being a white nationalist ideal, meanwhile, the majority of the rest of us, realized that this was a huge nod to the days of slavery and why hell would we celebrated that!?
Gov. Ducey’s own beliefs have caused some people to pause over the years.
At the time, Nike was ready to open a new facility in Arizona but then the governor pulled the Nike incentive package, angry at the fact that Nike had canceled the distribution of the colonial- era flag sneaker, which they felt was racially charged and not in sync with Nike values.
Democrats called him out for supporting ideas that were in line with the racist right-wing side of the Republican party.
Then, a week later, the Republican Governor flip-flopped and denied that he ever pulled the incentive packed. He welcomed the Nike manufacturing facility to Goodyear, Arizona. The new site is expected to create more than 500 full-time jobs.
It is no secret that before the Trump administration, Arizona was known for creating some of the harshest anti-immigration laws in the nation.
In 2014 Ducey – then the state’s treasurer and the former CEO of Stone Cold Creamery – threw his hat into the ring of politics, running against Governor Jan Brewer. He defeated her and then went on to also win his reelection in 2018.
During his two terms, Ducey has managed to stay out of the fray, from both sides of the political aisle.
For the most part, he hasn’t passed any anti-immigration policies that are on the level of his predecessor, but this an election year and anything could change.
What does this all mean for Arizona? The jury is still out on that one. His campaign website says very little about immigration, sticking mostly to “border security” issues in regard to drug trafficking.
For many, the deciding factor will be whether-or-not the governor will show support for notorious ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio recently announced that he is running for the office of sheriff again despite his infamous tenure characterized by his unapologetic and inhumane treatment of inmates and racial targeting of Latinos. He described his outside tents as “concentration camps” where migrants were housed outside in the 120-degree Arizona heat. In his time as sheriff of Maricopa County, more than 120 people died in his jails, 24 percent of those from suicide.
We will be ready to fight that battle should it come, but for right now, let’s have a moment to celebrate for our undocumented brothers and sisters from Arizona, this is some much needed good news. A chance, a hope, to seek the next level of education and plan for the future.