Golden Door Scholars Expands Reach of College Scholarship Program for High-Performing Undocumented Students


Nonprofit organization to partner with distinguished universities to award
up to 50 full-ride scholarships for 2016-17 academic year

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 23, 2015) – Golden Door Scholars (GDS), a 501c3 organization that creates economic mobility for high performing, highly motivated undocumented students, today announced plans to expand the program exponentially, awarding up to 50 scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year. Previously, GDS focused on students from North and South Carolina, but will now accept applications from all 27 states that still have tuition inequity.

“We’ve been incredibly impressed by our 45 scholars, who are currently excelling at some of the nation’s top universities,” said Ric Elias, Golden Doors Scholars Founder and CEO of Red Ventures. “Their success has emboldened us to double down on our efforts and help even more of the exceptionally talented young people being left behind by existing policies and bureaucracy. This isn’t a political issue; it’s a human rights issue.”

Founded in 2012, GDS provides scholarships, mentorship and professional development to high performing undocumented students known as Dreamers, who came to the United States with their parents as young children and are legally protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The majority of these students and their families live in states where they aren’t afforded in-state tuition rates for post-secondary education, making college out of reach financially.

“There’s a common misconception that a large number of private scholarships are available to undocumented students, which make up for a lack of federal aid and in-state tuition,” said Debra J. Chermonte, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Oberlin College. “The reality is that very few scholarships of any kind are open to undocumented students, and only a handful help Dreamers. We are proud to partner with Golden Door Scholars in the fight for equal access to higher education for all students.”

Nationally recognized institutions such as Davidson College and Wake Forest University currently partner with the Golden Door Scholars team, and Oberlin College has already signed on as partner for the upcoming academic year.

“With more than a half a million unfilled, high-paying technology jobs available in the United States today, educating students to help meet that demand helps position them well for continued success,” said Kacey Grantham, Executive Director of Golden Door Scholars. “With that in mind, we’re placing added emphasis on identifying scholars with an interest in technology-related fields.”

The application deadline is Oct. 27 for students expecting to start college in fall 2016. Interested students can check out eligibility requirements and application guidelines at

About Golden Door Scholars
Founded in 2012, Golden Door Scholars invests in education and career preparedness for high-performing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. More than 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year with limited ability to afford college. In addition to scholarship funding, Golden Door Scholars focuses on career preparedness by pairing each student with a mentor and offering professional development opportunities. Scholarship recipients also commit to “pay it forward” by helping fund scholarships after they graduate. Learn more at


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