Scholarship program supports undocumented students pursing higher education

Yakima Valley College’s Beyond Dreaming Scholarship, now in its sixth year, provides assistance to DREAMer (undocumented) students with educational expenses and other supports while attending Yakima Valley College.

“Many students believe that their undocumented status will prevent them from attending college. These students may live in fear of being exposed and deported should they apply,” stated Beyond Dreaming Scholarship Coordinator Marivy Vasquez. “It’s important for potential students to understand it is against the law for colleges to report a student’s immigration status without their permission.”

YVC’s Beyond Dreaming Scholarship also addresses perceptions undocumented students may have that college will be cost-prohibitive because their status makes them ineligible for federal financial aid programs like FAFSA.

Vasquez noted that programs like the Washington College Grant (WASFA) have expanded eligibility to include low-income, non-citizen students who meet the program’s eligibility and state residency requirements.

“While federal financial aid is not an option, there are many other financial aid options that are available including WASFA, the Beyond Dreaming scholarships, and other grants and scholarships. All undocumented students who are committed to attending YVC and who fully comprehend the challenges to come can make their educational dreams a reality,” stated Vasquez.

Since starting the scholarship program in 2016, Yakima Valley College has been able to provide 50 scholarships to students.

The scholarship program is making a difference in the lives of students like Xochilt.

After earning her GED, Xochilt moved to the Yakima Valley from Mexico. In the winter of 2015, she enrolled at Yakima Valley College and began taking English Language Acquisition classes. In Fall 2016 she transitioned to the I-BEST business management program, earning a certificate, before going on to earn an associate of applied science degree in summer 2021 .

“Beyond Dreaming helped me with financial aid because I needed more support as a WASFA student. It helped me out of stress. I always worried about how I should buy my textbooks. The aid helped me focus on my classes,” stated Xochilt.

This January she began working on her bachelor’s degree at Washington State University. She hopes to earn a degree in political science.

To be eligible for this scholarship, a college and/or high school student must have submitted the WASFA for the 2022-2023 academic year and must be planning to attend YVC in the fall, winter or spring quarter. This scholarship is available to students taking ten or more credits per quarter and can be used to cover the cost of tuition.

Application is available online. For more information: 509.574.4701 /

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 /
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 /