Eduardo Luján Olivas

After university pulls scholarship at last minute, Dreamer raises almost $24,000 for studies

After university pulls scholarship at last minute, Dreamer raises almost $24,000 for studies

An hour and a half before his first day of classes, Eduardo Luján Olivas was told that his $20,000 scholarship was given by mistake and would be taken away. Undeterred, Luján raised even more than he needed through a crowdfunding campaign.

Eduardo Luján Olivas
Eduardo Luján Olivas

Eduardo Luján Olivas, a gifted, 23-year-old undocumented student who had his scholarship taken away just an hour and a half before starting his first class at Arizona State University in Phoenix, will be able to continue his college education thanks to the generosity of hundreds of people who donated almost $24,000 to pay his tuition.

It was a race against time, since Luján didn't have time to apply to a new university or scholarship. In less than a month, he was able to raise the amount he needed to pay for his classes, and he's now studying criminology and criminal justice at ASU, the Arizona Republic reported.

Lee esta nota en español

Luján, who came to the U.S. from Mexico at age eight, graduated with honors this year from Pima Community College in Tucson. His odyssey began on August 18, an hour and a half before starting his first day of classes at ASU, he received a call from the Office of Financial Aid.

"I could not believe what I was being told. The scholarship I had worked so hard for had been revoked and the only reasonable explanation the Financial Aid Office provided was my immigration status as a DREAMer," Luján wrote on the GoFundMe page he set up. He has DACA, a deferred action program giving him work authorization and temporary protection from deportation, which is renewable every two years.

Luján had been admitted to ASU's competitive Barrett Honors College, and had been awarded the All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship, given to a select number of community college students transferring to one of the three public universities in the state. He also won one of 20 all-USA Academic Team scholarships for the top community college students in the country.


The student said he received aid because he "met the requirements and criteria stipulated on the All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship rubric under 'acceptable forms of citizenship,'" which includes work permits.

"The conversation with the Financial Aid Office made me feel lost and desperate for answers," he said.

An ASU administrator explained that under the state's Proposition 300, passed in 2006, undocumented students are ineligible for state scholarships, Luján told the Arizona Daily Star. However, in 2015 a federal court ordered Arizona to allow DACA recipients to receive in-state tuition.

By law, undocumented people are prevented from receiving financial assistance from the federal government to study.

Sarah Harper, the spokeswoman for the Board of Regents of public universities in Arizona, told the Daily Star that’s why Luján wasn't eligible for the All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship.

But Luján didn’t give up. Five days after getting the bad news, he launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise the roughly $18,000 needed to pay for his studies.

He had already moved from Tucson to Phoenix, had rented a place to live and even managed to transfer his job as a cashier at a grocery store. He had nothing to lose and much to gain.

"Growing up in a poor home, with a single parent, in a Latino neighborhood, makes you question if you can really succeed and become an important person, especially when you have to fight for your education," Luján wrote on GoFundMe.

"In high school I spoke with a college counselor. He said there was no chance I could go to college due to my undocumented status and that I should worry about getting a job to support myself. I was devastated. I felt as if I had to resign due to circumstances beyond my control," he added.

But the generosity of nearly 400 people who heard his call made it so that he didn’t have to give up on his dreams. In less than a month, they donated $23,985 to pay for his tuition, well over the $18,300 he asked for.

Many left messages of encouragement. Amanda Battaglia, who donated $20, wrote: "For me, anyone who is willing to work so hard and persevere is worth this money! Follow your dreams knowing that we are behind you, no matter where you come from."

On November 15, days before the allegations of sexual harassment against Charlie Rose came to light, the CNN International host issued a public call to editors and executives to end the abuse and sexual harassment in the media. That evening, Rose, who is being replaced by Amanpour on an interim basis, was sitting only a few feet away as she spoke.
The Colombian soldier Mauricio Calvo shares his experience as part of a burgeoning industry of men who travel the world to fight in other people's wars.
Angela King went from being a Neonazi skinhead to working to lure people out of hate groups. Today, King says she’s worried about what she sees as an increase of hate and a U.S. president who refuses to publicly denounce it. She has a unique insight into the most effective ways to respond to incidences of hate and extremism, and why people are in the life in the first place.
Immigrants advocacy groups report 300 shootings aboard the train known as the The Beast. Migrant victims point to security guards hired by the government.
Through tears, Joaquín Ramírez recalls the minutes after a gunman entered a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and fired at everyone in his path.
When Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as Philippines’ president in June 2016, he declared a war on drug traffickers and users. Since then, Human Rights groups estimate more than 12,000 people have been killed in this offensive they call "a war on the poor." Univision News traveled to Manila and witnessed this conflict first hand.
Pedro is one of thousands of undocumented immigrants who work in chicken processing plants in Gainesville, Georgia. In a county where police work in tandem with immigration authorities and more than 72% of citizens voted for Donald Trump, many immigrants live in fear.
They grew up in Chicago and their husbands, the Flores twins (aka ‘Los Mellizos’), worked for the Sinaloa cartel. The twins later became DEA informants in Mexico who helped bring down El Chapo Guzman. They have written a book, Cartel Wives, telling their story as a lesson to others not to fall for the narco life, and they regret what they put their families through. "Our fathers put on their suit of armor and their badge, and they are going out there on the streets of Chicago,” Mia confesses. “It’s the very same streets that our husbands were flooding with drugs.”
The Rio Abajo bridge was swept away leaving the town of Utuado cut off. Neighbors engineered a pulley system to haul supplies over the river but they wonder when their lives will return to any semblance of normality.
A scene form the new documentary A Long Way From Home about the desegregation of professional baseball.
Patients with chronic diseases are getting limited treatment in health centers and are still waiting for restoration of power and water supply. Univision News visited several hospitals.
Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz reacted to comments on Twitter by President Trump in which he said Puerto Ricans “want everything done for them."
It is estimated that there are almost as many Puerto Ricans living off the island as the 3.4 million that reside there. After Hurricane Maria, almost all communication was lost between those on the island and in the diaspora. Univision sent a reporting team to the island before Maria's arrival. Part of their job now is helping connect families.
Two reporters from Univision News followed the track of Hurricane Maria, starting from the southeast where the eye made landfall all the way to the capital. This is what they saw from the road ...
An "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane, Maria made landfall near Yabucoa in southeast Puerto Rico, causing widespread flooding across the U.S. territory of 3.4 million inhabitants. Maria caused rivers to flood all over the island. This video was taken in Guayama, on the south coast.
The 1998 hurricane killed 11,000 people in Honduras and Nicaragua and left more than a million homeless. As a result, the United States granted temporary visas to citizens from those countries who were living illegally in the U.S.
Aunque Trump había pedido el voto para Moore, ahora sostiene que sabía que no iba a ganar las elecciones
Tras la victoria del demócrata Doug Jones en Alabama, el presidente manifestó que no teme por su agenda política, pero reconoce la importancia del voto que ha perdido.
Mira cual es la nueva demanda que Julián Gil le puso a Marjorie de Sousa
Al parecer las demandas no paran y es que desde que están en litigio casi todos los días hay noticias de un nuevo proceso, esta vez es Julián quien tiene algo que demandarle a la venezolana.
"Es un depredador sexual": Mujeres denuncian al comediante Julio Sabala por acoso
Gloria Acevedo, una de las exempleadas del comediante, dijo que el dominicano la quería besar y le faltaba al respeto. Otra mujer denunció: "Me dijo: 'Maura, ven acá, te voy a enseñar algo'. Dejó la puerta medio abierta y él se estaba masturbando".
En video: Así quedó la balanza de poder en el Senado tras la victoria de Doug Jones en Alabama
Jorge Ramos explica que el nuevo balance de poder hará más difícil que el Senado le apruebe la agenda a Trump, especialmente en lo relacionado al muro e inmigración.
Amenaza de muerte y sexo oral: Salma Hayek asegura que también fue víctima de Harvey Weinstein
La actriz mexicana rompió su silencio respecto a su relación con el desprestigiado productor de Hollywood quien, según sus palabras, trató durante la producción de la película 'Frida' de mantener relaciones sexuales con ella.
Alerta por riesgo de incendios forestales en Arizona
Las condiciones provocarán alerta por riesgo de incendios en algunas zonas del estado. Las temperaturas máximas llegarán a los 74 grados.
Opciones para obtener vacunas contra la gripe sin costo en Arizona
De acuerdo con autoridades de salud, hay muchos casos durante este mes, por lo que se recomienda la aplicación de esta vacuna.
Aprueban aumento en las tarifas de los pasajes de la CTA para 2018
Según la autoridad de transporte de Chicago, la CTA es la alternativa más económica en comparación a otras opciones de transporte en el mercado. El aumento, que entrará en vigor a partir del próximo 7 de enero, es el primero que se realiza en los últimos nueve años.
Fútbol estufa: Estos son los movimientos confirmados para el Clausura 2018 en la Liga MX
Las llegadas y salidas en los diferentes equipos que pasaron de ser rumores a convertirse en toda una realidad.
Esta será la espectacular casa del Tri en el Mundial de Rusia 2018
Las instalaciones del Dínamo de Moscú, en Novogorsk, albergarán a la selección mexicana durante el certamen. El complejo deportivo cuenta con tres canchas de fútbol. Conózcalo aquí.
Xolos y América confeccionan ‘minidraft’; los paraguayos se diluyen
Con Samudio ya en Gallos Blancos y con amplias opciones para que Pablo Aguilar y Cecilio Domínguez salgan, el sabor guaraní se perdería en América.
La legión paraguaya se diluye poco a poco en América
Con Samudio ya en Gallos Blancos y con amplias opciones para que Pablo Aguilar y Cecilio Domínguez salgan, el sabor guaraní se perdería en América.