The Illinois DREAM Act – which borrows its name from a similar piece of federal legislation – creates an Illinois DREAM Fund and a nine-member Illinois DREAM Commission, to be appointed by the Governor with Senate consent. Once these are established, a privately-funded scholarship source and the option to invest in the state’s 529 college savings and prepaid tuition programs will become available to the children of immigrants, including undocumented students who graduate from Illinois high schools. To address the need for guidance on matters of postsecondary options, the Act requires high school counselors and college admission and financial aid officers to be trained on educational opportunities for immigrant youth.
As it becomes available, more information about the Illinois DREAM Commission and Illinois DREAM Fund will be posted on the official website of the State of Illinois (www.Illinois.gov). Updates and resources will also be added here. In the meantime, students and families seeking assistance may wish to visit the Web page of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (www.ICIRR.org) to access a guide for undocumented students in Illinois.