Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assistant Speaker Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush), Assemblyman Francisco Moya and others today announced the Assembly will pass legislation to create a DREAM Fund to help children of immigrants pay for college. Jacobs said that today’s measure takes the first step toward giving children of immigrants access to the American dream by advancing their educational goals and opportunities through privately-funded scholarships and broadened access to family tuition accounts.
“This legislation will expand access to higher education to those who are a vital part of the backbone of our communities," said Assemblywoman Jacobs. “These are young adults [and their families] who are striving to climb the ladder of success and this bill will provide the needed financial assistance to make it easier for our hardworking immigrant families to save for college.”
The legislation (A.8689-B) creates the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Fund Commission which will raise private funds to provide scholarships to college-bound children with at least one parent who is an immigrant. The fund will make family tuition accounts available to anyone who provides a valid taxpayer identification number.
The commission would be comprised of 12 members that reflect the racial, ethnic, gender, language, and geographic diversity of NYS and include college and university administrators, faculty and other individuals committed to advancing the educational opportunities of the children of immigrants.
The family tuition accounts have been federally approved since 2002 and are similar to state-run programs in California and Illinois. The account is administered and investment choices are made by the NYS comptroller. These accounts allow for systematic savings, making it easier for New York’s hardworking immigrant families to save for their children’s futures.