The University of California at Berkeley announced a $1 million grant Tuesday to boost financial aid for undocumented students, which is thought to be the largest gift of its kind in the nation.
The donation from the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund will supplement state aid for undocumented students that is scheduled to roll out over the next two semesters in a policy change authorized by the California Dream Act. Undocumented students will be eligible for state aid but not for federal grants or loans, and the donation - along with other private funds - will help fill in the gaps, officials said.
Starting next fall, the donation is expected to aid about 100 students a year with annual grants of $4,000 to $6,000 until the funds run out, officials said.
UC-Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau said Tuesday that the Haas Fund gift grew out of a dinner he hosted last year to which he invited some undocumented students and some past UC donors, including Haas family members. The students talked about their immigration history and how they came to enroll at UC, deeply impressing the guests, he recalled.