The Dream Weber program gives hope to potential students in poor financial standings to obtain a college degree.
The program covers tuition for students and potential students whose annual household income is less than $27,000. Funding for the program comes from financial aid money and from donors. The recipients receive full tuition coverage.
“When I was in high school, I hated high school,” said Belia Alvarado, a recipient of the program, on the Dream Weber webpage. “I had bad experiences with teachers. I didn’t really care about my education. My parents really didn’t care about my education. I didn’t have the grades, we didn’t have the money, and I figured I will never go to college. It’s just not going to happen for me. And when I applied for Weber, I was anxiously waiting to find out if I got accepted or not, and the moment I got accepted, I was so ecstatic.”
Recipients of Dream Weber can get tuition paid for for 150 hours or eight semesters. Those that receive the aid are allowed to reapply each year until they finish their undergraduate degree.
To receive funding, a person must be a legal Utah resident, enroll at Weber State University, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, then complete a scholarship application. There are alternatives ways to get funds for tuition for those that do not meet these conditions.
“I think it’s a nice program,” said financial aid and scholarship director Jed Spencer. “Those students that don’t get a full pell grant are, you know, really receiving good benefit from that.”
Once enrolled, Dream Weber recipients must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average and be enrolled full-time.
One way community members are hearing about Dream Weber is through the Student Affairs Division, which organizes projects to go to local high schools and promote Dream Weber.
In order to qualify for aid from Dream Weber, a student has to have completed the FAFSA by March 1, the WSU financial aid application and scholarship application by March 10, and if selected at random, verify further documents by March 15.
Dream Weber has been operating since 2010.
For those interested in receiving aid from Dream Weber, contact the financial aid department or go to its webpage at weber.edu/dreamweber.
“The main thing that they have to do is just apply on time and get their paper work in so they can be considered into Dream Weber,” Spencer said.“There is not a GPA criteria other than they have to maintain the 2.0, and they just need to remember to apply on time.”