Akane Otani of The Cornell Daily Sun reports.

Cornell Organization to Give Scholarships to Undocumented Students

With the cost of attending Cornell’s endowed colleges approaching $60,000 a year, the DREAM Team, a student organization, is awarding $5,000 in scholarships to the University’s undocumented students — an act it hopes will alleviate the financial burden students ineligible for federal aid often face.

The organization was able to fund the scholarships through the Perkins Prize, an award it received from the University in April for its advocacy on behalf of undocumented students.

Conservatives have opposed reforms that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, arguing that doing so would unfairly burden taxpayers and exacerbate illegal immigration. But across some college campuses, administrators, including President David Skorton, have urged Congress to support undocumented students for the sake of keeping their talent in the U.S.

“Many of us have lost sight of the important contributions immigrants have made — and are making — to our culture and our economy,” Skorton said in a letter to Congress published Wednesday. “Their continued contributions are critical to our country’s success.”

The belief that “higher education should be open to anyone who wants to pursue it” drove Esmeralda Arrizon-Palomera grad and others to provide the scholarship. Arrizon-Palomera said that because undocumented students are ineligible for federal aid or loans, they often find it “very difficult” to pay their way through school.