For many students on the West Coast that continue to fight to have a taste of the American dream, progress may be on the way.

On Tuesday, December 11, the University of California Berkeley announced that it has received a gift of $1 million from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund to support scholarships for undocumented students. The grantors hope to make the possibility of receiving higher education possible for more bright undocumented students who struggle to rise to their scholastic potential because of daunting immigration policies that financially hold them back.

Uriel Rivera, an undocumented UC Berkeley student, expressed gratitude for the generous donation.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity,”  Rivera said in a press statement. “You’re not just paying for a student to go to college, you are helping a whole community.”

Undocumented students often have to pay out-of-pocket or seek limited private resources because they are ineligible for Pell grants, work-study jobs, or federal student loans.  The scholarship is expected to aid nearly 200 undocumented students at UC Berkeley that qualify.

An additional $300,000 gift from Elise Haas will help provide much needed services for California DREAMers. This award is the single-largest scholarship gift of any type for an American university.

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