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College Just For Illegals? National Dream University Launches With Help of UCLA

Oh boy. Illegal-immigrant haters are going to love this one.

The UCLA Center for Labor Research along with the National Labor College have established a virtual school just for undocumented migrants -- the National Dream University.

It's for those who live under the radar of official legitimacy: It will allow so-called Dream Act students (undocumenteds who pay in-state tuition and are eligible for financial aid) to take classes online:

Well, actually, Golden State Dream Actors are don't need as much help as folks from non-Dream Act states, where there's no in-state tuition.

The first class at National Dream University will strike a balance between out-of-state aspirants and those from California, says Kent Wong, director of UCLA's Labor College.

Applications are due Oct. 5 and decisions on the first 30-35 students will be made in November, he told the Weekly.

The idea is to teach them almost exclusively via online courses, so that school time is flexible. Wong:

There are particular experiences and challences they face as undocumented that other students don't face. My undocumented students really struggle to complete their education at UCLA. Many have to take off quarters to work. Many have to work in the underground economy to save money to go to school. Many have to commute two, three hours to go to UCLA. It's not easy for Dream Act students to attend college.

To that end, classes will only cost $65 a unit. And some students will be taught by undocumented master's graduates and Ph.D. candidates, Wong said.

Students will have to travel to National Labor College in Maryland at the beginning of their studies and then head to UCLA at the end of the first quarter, he said.

Credits can be transferred to other schools or can go toward a degree at the College. Wong:

This is the first national program specifically geared toward Dream Act students. They'll be a part of a national learning community.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]