Education

DACA Students Do Not Have To Pay Tuition Up Front At This College

Left, SHUTTERSTOCK/Mavrick/ Right, REUTERS/ Kyle Grillot

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) launched a program for the 2018-2019 school year where Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students will not have to pay tuition up front.

Fund Sueños aims to help DACA students get an education through income-share agreements (ISA), where students pay a fixed percentage of their incomes over a set period of time after graduation, according to a fact sheet by the college.

DACA is an Obama-era program that gives children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents legal presence. Colorado has had 17,000 DACA recipients, according to The Denver Post Thursday.

Students who have financial need, no access to federal financial aid, qualify as in-state or in-district students and are able to work in the U.S. will be given up to $3,000 a year to cover tuition, the CMC website said.

Upon graduation, students will be required to pay 4 percent of earnings over a maximum period of 60 months after securing a job making at least $30,000 a year. Payment terms can end before the 60 months if students pay back all funds, the fact sheet reported. (RELATED: Judge Says Government Does Not Have To Accept New DACA Requests) 

“If students do not make at least $30,000, they have no obligation to pay,” according to the fact sheet.

The amount a student owes is adjusted based on their earnings, according to CMC.

The goal of the ISA program is to encourage students to attend college without worrying about the cost of attendance or loans. Fund Sueños is supported by private donors through the CMC Foundation and not through public or investment funding.

“Income-share agreements (or ISAs) are a form of income-based payment that enable colleges, universities and accelerated training providers to share risk with students — by aligning an institution’s revenue with the employment outcomes of graduates,” the fact sheet said.

The money that is paid back into the program by the DACA students will go to the next class of Fund Sueños recipients.

The program currently has 10 participants who are registered with CMC and are within one year or so of graduating, The Post reported.

The average cost for CMC in-district students is $14,324 for 12 credit hours per semester for two semesters while the average cost is $16,724 for in-state students.

DACA students can be considered as in-state students for tuition purposes per Colorado law, according to the fact sheet. CMC has 11 campuses and serves 20,000 students per year through its on-campus and online programs.

Venmo Education, a technology company that has created several major ISA programs, helped develop and implement Fund Sueños.

CMC and Venmo Education did not immediately reply to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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