In collaboration with college and community partners, Hartnell’s Center for Achievement and Student Advancement (Mi CASA) supports Dreamer students in achieving their educational and personal goals through direct services, advocacy, and opportunities for student leadership and engagement. The word Dreamer is an umbrella term used to describe a large group of students which includes DACA, AB 540, and other types of students who do not possess US citizenship or permanent residency (undocumented). While Dreamer students pass their classes at a higher rate than Hartnell Students overall, the number of students who graduate and transfer to four year institutions is disproportionately low. Research indicates that the primary causes for this phenomenon are psychological and financial stress.
An informal survey of Hartnell Dreamer students revealed over 80% did not feel that they belonged to a group on campus that they could trust1. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Program has provided temporary relief to many Dreamer students in the form of work permits, driver licenses, and protection against deportation. Now that the program is being threatened, students face an insecure future. Dreamer students do not qualify for most forms of financial aid, and are not eligible for federal work study. Financial stress is the leading cause of Dreamer students not being able to complete their degrees. Additionally, the emerging generation of Dreamer high school graduates does not have access to DACA, resulting in additional financial barriers for students without DACA benefits. The expensive textbooks required for their courses, results in students falling behind, leading them to drop out.
Hartnell College is a Hispanic Serving Institution situated within an agricultural region with a high percentage undocumented population. According to a study published by the Public Policy Institute of California in 2008, Monterey County has the largest number of undocumented immigrants out of any county in the state. California is the state with the largest number of undocumented immigrants (2.6 MM). They represent 25% of all undocumented immigrants nationwide and 6.8% of the total CA population2. In Monterey County, undocumented adults make up 13% of the population and one in 20 children in Monterey county are undocumented (5% of the total child population)3. Student enrollment at Hartnell College is reflective of the demographics of our service area.
$100 – Textbook
$150 – University transfer deposit
$200 – Pair of prescription eyeglasses
$276 – Tuition fees for one semester for students that do not meet In State Tuition Exemption requirements
$300 – Continuing student scholarship
$500 – One year of work authorization and protection from deportation (DACA renewal)
$1,000 – Transfer Scholarship
$3,000 – Fellowship for a student without the opportunity to access meaningful professional development opportunities
Providing direct support to these very deserving students is the most powerful way that we can invest in our community and help them achieve their dreams. With your gift, Hartnell will provide direct aid to our most vulnerable Dreamer students and implement strategies to assist them with navigating the transition away from DACA. Your support will be used to provide scholarships and other forms of financial assistance to help students meet their basic needs, so that they can pursue their dreams and receive a higher education.
2 E4FC “Undocumented Students” factsheet using data from Migration Policy Institute, the Pew Hispanic Center, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the Urban Institute 3 Marcelli et. Al. “Unauthorized and Uninsured” factsheet using Los Angeles County Mexican Immigrant Health & Legal Status Survey (LAC-MIHLSS II & III) and 2008-2012 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (ACS PUMS) data.