DREAM Scholars

The Urban Experience Program Supports Undocumented Students
The Urban Experience Program (UEP) compliments the larger mission of the University of Houston by expanding opportunities for the university's diverse student population by preventing minor obstacles from becoming major setbacks to degree achievement.

The priority at UEP is to help students thrive by offering a variety of services that students need to get the most out of their college experience and prepare for a successful future. One of our many goals is to expand opportunities for DACA and undocumented students by providing the support they need to achieve the social and economic mobility they desire. The multifaceted components of our program promotes scholarship, community service, and personal and professional development by offering a holistic approach to advising.

Services for DACA Students

  • Support transitioning for high school to college
  • TASFA assistance
  • Scholarship assistance
  • Grants up to $1,200
  • Financial advising
  • Academic planning and support
  • Career counseling
  • Monitoring to ensure academic success

Visit or call our office to schedule an appointment and learn how UEP can support your continued education!

4365 Cougar Village Dr.
Houston, TX 77204-3017
Student Service Center 1, Bldg. 524, Room 302
Phone: (713) 743-6032
Email: UEPUH@central.uh.edu

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) FAQ's

Yes. DACA students are eligible for state -based financial aid but are not eligible for federal financial aid. To apply for aid, students must file the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).
  • Have graduated from a Texas high school or received a general educational development (GED) certificate in Texas,
  • Have lived in Texas for three (3) years leading up to graduation from high school or receipt of GED certificate,
  • Have resided or will have resided in Texas for the 12 months prior to the census date of the semester in which the student enrolls at a college/university, and
  • Have filed or will file an application to become a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity that they are eligible to do so.

For more information, please visit the University of Houston's TAFSA page.

No. Work-study is federal financial aid.
Maybe. You must meet the guidelines according to TASFA.
5-6 months prior to the expiration of your current DACA status.
Yes, but you must apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to temporarily travel abroad and return to the U.S. This permission is known as “advance parole”.
Yes. It can be revoked if you are convicted of a crime that would disqualify you from DACA, including crimes related to violence, drugs, sexual abuse, burglary, possession or use of a firearm, driving under the influence, or gangs, you could lose your deferred action and be placed in removal proceedings.

Scholarships for DACA students

The undocumented status of a student exempts them from applying for federal student aid using the FAFSA, but this does not have to be a barrier to attending and succeeding in college. Below are resources that will support undocumented students attaining and funding their higher education.


United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. They organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status.

Youth Empowerment Alliance is an immigrant youth led organization at the University of Houston that aims to improve the present reality faced by undocumented students by being their voice in and out of campus.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can provide you with more information on DACA policies.

The Univeristy of Houston Law Center specializes in handing applications for asylum, in representing immigrants, and giving individual assistance to immigrants held in immigration detention centers.

My Undocumented Life is a blog dedicated to providing up-to-date information and resources for undocumented immigrants. They post scholarship opportunities, strategies for navigating the educational system, and overall provide a sense of community.

Dream.US Scholarship FAQs

Congratulations on receiving the TheDream.US national scholarship! Below are some frequently asked questions from both TheDream.US scholarship page and what we have been asked by our University of Houston scholars.

Your Scholarship Advisor is the Director of the Urban Experience Program, Dr. Raven Jones. She is responsible for reporting your academic progress while at the University of Houston. To reach her, you may email UEPUH@central.uh.edu or make an appointment online to speak with her.

The amount of your annual award will be based on the cost of tuition and fees based on your enrollment status (i.e., number of credits). Dream.US will not reduce the amount of your award by other aid, scholarships, or grants, unless your total financial aid package exceeds the estimated cost of attendance based on your living arrangement (e.g., on campus or off campus). In addition, you may receive an additional amount per year for books, supplies, and transportation, up to $500.

No. The Dream.US Scholarship is intended to cover most of the cost of your tuition and fees. If you have received other financial aid or scholarships that help cover the cost of your tuition and fees, the award may be used for books, supplies, transportation, and room and board.

You will not lose your scholarship. The scholarship will still be transferred so long as you are admitted to and attending one of their Partner Colleges and you have met your scholarship commitments.

Dream.US will continue to provide the scholarship until you receive lawful presence or lawful status that gives you the ability to access federal financial aid.

If you are concerned you will not meet the 3.0 GPA requirement, it is your responsibility to contact your Scholarship Advisor. Dream.US scholars are required to check in with Dr. Jones or an office representative of an action plan he or she will dedicate in order to meet the 3.0 GPA requirement. In addition, Dr. Jones or an office representative may require additional requirements; which are not limited to the number of frequent appointments he or she most attend.

New Dream.US students attend a beginning of the year orientation and are contacted directly with this information. Overall, students are required to check in with Dr. Jones or an office representative at least once a semester.

It is the expectation that you check your email for scholarship communication and inform your Scholarship Advisor if there is an update to your mail e-mail address.

Your Scholarship Advisor submits the payment request for all Dream.US scholars at one time soon after the University’s add-drop period to allow students to have an accurate representation of how many classes he or she is attending.

For both winter and summer courses, an email will be sent asking students to verify the number of hours he or she is attending, giving all Dream.US scholars the same opportunity to think about such courses. Late request can be submitted but he or she may not receive the funds on time or at all.

Although your Scholarship Advisor submits the payment request, it takes at least an additional 30 days for the request to be processed by ISTS and the funds to be dispersed through the Financial Aid and Scholarships office. All scholars should be aware of University payment deadlines and select the appropriate payment plan since there is no guarantee you scholarship funds will be dispersed by the University’s deadline.

In addition to reporting your academic progress and payment requests, UEP offers holistic advising to better fit each and every student that comes to the office. Scholars may attend UEP’s programs and events, join other pillar programs including Las Comadres our Latina mentoring program, and make one on one advising appointments with Student Leaders.