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Dreamers Scholarship Helps Student Complete Her Degree at CU Denver

National DACA Scholarships for Students Available: Deadline is Feb. 29

February 13, 2024

Alejandra Cabrera loved working with computers as a child, which is why she pursued a degree in information systems at CU Denver. Today, the ’23 alum is a systems engineer for a large financial company in Denver. 

But it almost didn’t happen.  

“There was a moment when I realized my last semester was going to cost me a lot more than I expected,” said Cabrera, who had been working full-time in IT support, while going to school part-time. “But thanks to TheDreamers scholarship I was able to finish and graduate in December. Now, I have an amazing job that I love.” 

CU Denver’s Alejandra Cabrera celebrates earning a bachelor’s degree in information systems at the Colorado Convention Center in December 2023.

Cabrera received a $5,000 scholarship from the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth. CU Denver is a partner university, which means that recipients can apply their TheDream.US National scholarships to pay for tuition and fees. The national scholarships are geared toward undocumented, Deferred Action for Children (DACA), or Temporary Protected Status students seeking undergraduate degrees. Up to $33,000 in scholarships are available to qualified individuals pursuing a bachelor’s degree and the deadline to apply is Feb. 29. 

“It was so important for me, not only the money, but feeling supported by my university,” Cabrera said. “My father died when I was five. That’s why my mom moved my sister and I here, from Mexico, to make a better life for us. I’m so grateful to her and to those who helped me get my degree.” 

The Aurora resident finished high school, worked full-time so she could afford college, then went to Community College of Aurora before transferring to CU Denver. She picked the university because it was close to home, the program has a good reputation, and the campus philosophy of making education work for all. At CU Denver, that means helping students meet their moment, at every stage of their academic journey. She wants others to have that opportunity, which is why she is urging DACA students to apply for the scholarship now. 

How to Apply 

Students are encouraged to review the National Scholarship 2024–2025 Application Guide and apply. 

To be eligible, you should: 

  • Be an undocumented immigrant student, with or without DACA or TPS, who arrived in the U.S. before age 16 and before Nov. 1, 2018.   
  • Have significant unmet financial need.   
  • Have graduated or will graduate with a high school GPA of 2.5 or better on a 4.0 scale, or have a cumulative college GPA of 2.5 or better.   
  • Intend to enroll full-time at CU Denver in the Fall 2024 or Spring 2025 semesters.   
  • Have graduated or will graduate from a high school in Colorado (or have earned or will earn a high school equivalency diploma) before Fall 2024.   
  • Have been physically present in Colorado for at least 12 consecutive months.

CU Denver’s Undocumented Student Resource Coordinator Estéfani Peña Figueroa is available to assist you. (She was a 2017 scholarship recipient.) Peña Figueroa’s office is also offering drop-in sessions to help you fill out the scholarship application. The remaining sessions are: 

  • Thursday, Feb. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon 
  • Monday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. 
  • Thursday, Feb. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon 

Contact Estéfani Peña Figueroa for more information at