New Organizing Project blogger
In November 2009, the UC Board of Regents approved a 32 percent student fee increase, placing even more burden on low-income students as well as international students. Despite the student protests and rallies throughout the academic year, the UC Board of Regents approved an additional 8 percent fee increase scheduled for Spring 2011. The result of fee increases has been damaging for thousands of UC students, especially hard-working undocumented students who are unable to receive any governmental financial aid or Cal Grants. As the UC Regents approves additional fee increases, most undocumented students become even more uncertain about how to pay for the next quarter’s academic tuition fees.
Even before the fee hikes, it was extremely difficult for undocumented students to pay for tuition fees. For many, there is no choice but to work with pay under the table, barely managing to pay for the tuition fees, books and supplies, food, and other expenses. Often, undocumented students do not have an opportunity to join clubs or organizations, apply for internships or do accredited voluntary service. Moreover, undocumented students simply they do not have time to fully experience college life. Worst of all, they do not have that much time to focus on academia when overcome with worrying about how to pay for the tuition and food expenses.
When I graduated from High School, I enrolled in community college for two years, and then I transfer to UC Berkeley. While I was attending community college, I worked full time at a restaurant and applied for several private scholarships. Fortunately, I was able to manage to pay for my tuition fees. Once I transferred to UC Berkeley, however, it has become more difficult to pay for the tuition fees because the fee hikes ate up all my savings and the private scholarship funds. In the midst of financial difficulties, my mother lost her job and UC Board of Regents just announced about the 8 percent additional fee increase in the next academic year. It will be tough to graduate, and yet my situation is shared by many more undocumented students.
Many undocumented students consequently decide to take a semester or a year off, hoping to find a job and save money to pay for school. It seems like a never-ending struggle, but this struggle could be ended if the DREAM Act is passed this year. If the DREAM Act passes, thousands of young undocumented students could qualify for financial aid, have opportunities to work good jobs, and ultimately be able to pay for the tuition fees in order to graduate from school on time. WColle need the DREAM Act this year because it is a smart thing to do, and a right thing to do.
For information on what is going on with Congress, the DREAM Act and how you can help, please visit http://bit.ly/novdream
Already know what’s happening? Start making your calls to Senator Reid by using the suggested script and call-in number below provided by DREAM University – http://on.fb.me/ourdreamnow
Call Senator Reid (866-877-5552) and say:
“Hi, my name is _____. I’m calling to congratulate Senator Reid for his reelection and to remind him that we will hold him accountable for his promise to bring the DREAM Act for a vote during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress. Thank you!”
Call your own Senators (866-996-5161): Tell them to support the DREAM Act!
Call target Senators (866-587-6101): Tell them to support the DREAM Act!
Afterwards, update your status:
“I called Senator Reid at 1-866-877-5552 [or Senator X at 866…] and asked him [or her] to bring up the DREAM Act for a vote during the 111th Congress. Please do the same.”