College Education for Undocumented Students with Tanya Cabrera

Tanya Cabrera is committed to seeing that all undocumented students have the opportunity to go to college and receive financial aid.

Cabrera is the Associate Director of Minority Student Outreach and Diversity Initiatives in the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Access, Success and Diversity Initiatives for Illinois Institute of Technology, She is also the Illinois DREAM Fund Commission Chair, a group that establishes privately funded scholarships for undocumented students.

"We want to work with you and your parents so that you know that there is a pathway to education," Cabrera said. "Don't take no for an answer!"

Supporters believe this commission will help promising students whose college dreams have been hindered by their undocumented status. The Illinois DREAM Fund Commission’s mission is to help them afford college and pursue meaningful careers.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about undocumented students,” said Cabrera. The most common one is that undocumented students are taking away financial aid and scholarships opportunities that are given to students who are eligible to fill out a FAFSA. “But a lot of undocumented students pay out of pocket; they are not taking scholarships, they are actually restricted from a lot of them. So funding is critical because they pay out of pocket for the majority of their education,” she said. “However, a lot of them find that pathway to get additional scholarships and attend college.”

This interview with Tanya Cabrera is the first one in the New Futuro Spotlight series, which features leaders in the Latino community who share valuable information, resources, advice, and personal stories to help you get into college and beyond.

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