Yakima, WA - Yakima Valley College (YVC) has opened applications for their Beyond Dreaming Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. This scholarship is meant to help undocumented students pay for school.

Noncitizens cannot apply for federal financial aid, so YVC said they offer this scholarship as a way to break down barriers and offer all students the opportunity to further their education.

Director of Community Relations Dustin Wunderlich said this scholarship is helping a lot of people.

"The Beyond Dreaming Scholarship is changing lives," Wunderlich said. "It's opening up opportunity to people in Yakima Valley who want to contribute to our community... these are students who want to start businesses, become teachers, healthcare workers and other professionals that we need to have a thriving Yakima Valley."

Since starting the scholarship in 2016, 250 students have received the scholarship. Additionally, the number of students that receive the scholarship has tripled from 2016 to 2021. 

Beyond Dreaming Scholarship Recipient Miguel Flores said this scholarship allows him to go to school and focus on this education and not worry about the cost.

Flores said if it weren't for this scholarship, he doesn't know if he'd still be in school.

"It would be more difficult...if I didn't have this scholarship I would probably be dropping out of school because of my financial stuff," Flores said. 

Flores came to the United States when he was 16-years-old and applied for DACA in 2013 after getting his GED. He said he always wanted to further his education and the Beyond Dreaming Scholarship has allowed him to do so.

Flores recently got his Associate's Degree and is waiting to hear if he's been accepted into the dental program at YVC. Once he graduates, he hopes to help people in the community with dental care.

To be eligible for the Beyond Dreaming Scholarship, you must fill out the Washington State Financial Aid Application (WASFA) for the 2021-2022 academic year. You must also plan to attend YVC either fall, winter or spring quarter. Lastly, you have to take 10 or more credits each quarter. 

If you meet these requirements, you can fill out an application on Yakima Valley College's website.