Ric Elias, founder and CEO of Red Ventures, an Internet marketing firm near Charlotte, has donated $1 million to launch the Golden Scholars program, a nonprofit that will assist undocumented students in paying for the college of their choice.
Golden Scholars is currently accepting applications, and scholarships will begin to be awarded at the end of this year.
Critics of the scholarship argue the nonprofit violates immigration laws; supporters, on the other hand, are heralding it as a great supplement to the DREAM Act.
In North Carolina and many other states, undocumented students can attend public high schools but aren’t eligible for most college financial-aid programs, and are required to pay out-of-state tuition.
Elias founded Red Ventures in 2000, and it has grown to 1,400 employees in four states. It has twice been ranked among the 20 fastest-growing companies in the nation on the Inc. 500 list. Elias was also named one of the 2011 Ernst & Young National Entrepreneurs of the Year, due in part to the company’s revenue increase of 40 percent per year over the past four years.
For more to this scholarship and how to apply, visit www.goldendoorscholars.org. Deadline to apply is November 1.