Assemblyman Zebrowski Helps Pass Legislation to Create the DREAM Fund

Scholarship fund would help children of immigrants afford college
May 8, 2012

Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-New City) announced that he helped pass legislation to provide college tuition assistance for immigrant families (A.8689-B). The bill would establish the New York DREAM Fund Commission. Its purpose would be to create and fund scholarships for the children of immigrants through privately funded initiatives.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to pursue higher education and this legislation would make that a reality,” Assemblyman Zebrowski said. “Many families struggle with the costs of higher education, especially during this tough economic time. The DREAM Fund would help alleviate those expenses without placing any further burden on taxpayers.”

The DREAM Fund commission would serve as the central authority for generating scholarship money for the children of immigrants from private donors. The commission would also determine the criteria for scholarship recipients, develop a public awareness campaign for DREAM Fund awards and create and advertise a training program for educators.

“College tuition is continually on the rise and oftentimes academic and need-based scholarships just aren’t enough,” Assemblyman Zebrowski said. “The DREAM Fund would provide a path to higher education, opening doors that might otherwise be unavailable and giving the hardworking children of immigrants the chance to better themselves.”

In addition to establishing the commission, the legislation would also change the regulations of 529 college savings accounts to require only a taxpayer identification number when opening. This would allow more families to put money aside to help pay for college. Currently, in order to open an account, one must have either a valid social security or employer identification number.

“A program like the DREAM Fund has the power to change lives,” Assemblyman Zebrowski said. “Higher education is the best path to success in today’s world, but often the cost is just too daunting. This legislation would make the American dream an affordable possibility for all families.”