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Miami Dade College Will Grant Full Tuition Scholarships to Graduating Seniors in the Nation’s 4th Largest School District

The unprecedented American Dream Scholarship was officially announced at a news conference with MDC’s President on March 23 where he was joined by the superintendent of public schools, principals from area public and private high schools, philanthropists and business leaders
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Miami, March 23, 2011 - For half a century, Miami Dade College (MDC) has been at the vanguard of providing access to quality higher education. Now, the nation’s largest institution of higher education has rolled-out a new, unprecedented scholarship that will dramatically expand college access for thousands of students annually. On March 23, MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, along with the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, principals from area public and private high schools, philanthropists and business leaders, announced the unprecedented American Dream Scholarship at the college’s Wolfson Campus.

Fresh off his appointment as chair of the prestigious American Council on Education and conversations with the Administration in Washington where he has been a top advisor, Dr. Padron has often joined the President in stressing that our nation needs more college graduates to respond to the challenges of a new era and regain its place in the world regarding college attainment rates.

“As part of Miami Dade College’s continued commitment to this community and to our nation, I am very pleased to announce the American Dream Scholarship,” said Dr. Padrón. “We call it the American Dream Scholarship with good reason – because a college education today equips students not only to be participants in a new global economy, but to also achieve the American Dream. College graduates are the foundation of economic and community growth.”

A college degree is truly the only passport to prosperity in today’s global marketplace. It’s the pathway to the middle class and beyond. It can earn recipients nearly a million dollars more over their lifetime reiterated President Padrón. 

“Community colleges must play a critical role as we work to lead the world in college graduates by 2020,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “Initiatives like the American Dream Scholarship at Miami Dade College will help us achieve this goal while making college a reality for thousands of students.”

MDC’s American Dream Scholarship, covering the first two years of college (i.e. 60 college credits), is available to high school graduates from both public and private high schools in Miami-Dade County eligible for in-state tuition, who are in good academic standing and college-ready. Students must earn a cumulative weighted GPA of 3.0 or better in high school and have entry test scores showing they are ready to function at the college level in order to qualify. They must be Miami-Dade residents and also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even if the students have financial aid or are eligible for Bright Futures, the American Dream Scholarship will cover any remaining tuition costs. 

“This scholarship program aims to encourage high school students to stay in school, achieve at higher levels and be better prepared to enter college,” added President Padrón.

The American Dream Scholarship has been made possible by the generosity of members of the greater Miami community. In celebrating MDC’s 50th anniversary this academic year, the community broke all records for philanthropic giving, creating a new avenue of possibility for students. These benefactors recognized the importance of a college education today, and the quality of education available at Miami Dade College.

MDC has truly changed lives touching every household in Miami-Dade County by serving more than 1.7 million people since it opened its doors in 1960. Its graduates have enjoyed a solid educational foundation and acquired skills for lifelong learning. They have continued their studies at the nation’s finest institutions and today are in the leadership positions of every major industry. 

With more than 300 major areas of study, including several bachelor degree programs for in-demand careers available, MDC has options for all students. The American Dream scholarships will be awarded beginning this coming academic year, which commences in August 2011.

For more information regarding scholarship opportunities at MDC, please visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.