Why we needHispanic Leaders

In South Carolina, Hispanic students face significant barriers to their own future

The Student DREAMers Alliances empowers these students, equipping them with skills & resources to overcome barriers

The Student DREAMers Alliance (SDA) provides students a space for self-discovery and the resources needed to unleash their potential, develop resilience, and build their own toolbox to position themselves for success and leadership.

Dreamers are an asset to our country, and if given the opportunity, they will build stronger, inclusive, and thriving communities. We believe nothing should stand in the way of a college education—not the lack of financial aid, and not a student’s immigration status.

An Initiative Of

About the barriers for Hispanic students in South Carolina

Three major obstacles exist in legislature in our state:
1) Out-of-state tuition for students who have received DACA status

Students in South Carolina who have DACA status are allowed to enroll in state public colleges and universities, yet they are subjected to paying the same tuition rates as out-of-state students, irrespective of their residency in South Carolina.

DACA students are thus left with limited post-secondary education options within the state of South Carolina, other than attending private schools, which are usually significantly more expensive than public postsecondary schools, paying full out of state tuition, or leaving South Carolina to pursue their education in other states with more favorable policies, albeit likely still paying out of state tuition rates (Roth, 2017).

South Carolina is one of a few states that does not allow the admission of undocumented students into public higher education institutions. Three additional states, Arizona, Georgia, and Indiana, allow admission for undocumented students but prohibit in-state tuition rates (NCSL 2021). This policy goes back to the year 2008 when South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed into law the stringent immigration bill (H. 4400, 2008) prohibiting undocumented students from enrolling in public colleges and universities in the State and from receiving state financial aid (Zehr, 2008).

Even if these students complete degree programs, DACA recipients are not able to receive a professional license in South Carolina (S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-29-10). These licenses include those for accountants, contractors, engineers, real estate agents, nurses, and teachers, among others.

In April 2022, South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill H.R 3243 that would allow persons protected under DACA to receive profession/occupational licensure. However, it still needs to be deliberated and passed by the Senate before it is signed into law by the Governor (Eisner & Larson, 2022) (Higher Ed Immigration portal, 2022).

In South Carolina
A few important statistics surrounding the current landscape of DACA residents in our state:
0 %
Of DACA eligible residents are in the workforce
SC Residents who are DACA eligible
Current active DACA recipients
$ 0 M
In Local, State, & Federal Taxes Annually
The Economic Impact of Change
If H.R. 3243 becomes law in South Carolina, we expect to see the following economic benefit in our state:
$ 0 M
Annual Compensation Impact
$ 0 M
Annual Economic Output
$ 0 K
State Income Tax Increase

From scarcity to prosperity in one generation

SDA is empowering students to become advocates for themselves and others
Our responsibility is to our collective future, where all people regardless of ethnicity, background, immigration status or any other label enjoy equal opportunity to live a prosperous life. With the Hispanic Alliance Network supporting our Student DREAMers Alliance alumni, we are equipping them with the tools, skills, social capital, and resources to change the landscape of our state.

For Students

Grab the information you need as you navigate your path to prosperity.

For Funders

Your donations provide avenues of prosperity and help open doors to our Hispanic youth

For Mentors

Support our high school juniors and seniors in Greenville or Charleston with a 1:1 mentorship

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