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University of Miami Gives Hope to DACA Students

DACA students

Paying for school has become a challenging task for any American student. Many students have found that paying for college is something that’s hard to overcome. One can only imagine how much more grueling it is for someone who has only known of life in the U.S., worked very hard in school, and been a benefit to the country, but have been told they are ineligible for federal financial aid because of their citizenship status.

Not being eligible for funding has become a huge problem for students across the U.S. that are protected under the DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. This program is a federal program that offers temporary protection from deportation to immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children. DACA students often depend on merit-based scholarships to fund their education. However, the University of Miami is here to help. The school made a grant, called ‘U Dreamers’ that only currently serves DACA students from Miami-Dade County.

After discovering a flood of student inquiries throughout the nation asking for help, Assistant director of undergraduate admission at the University of Miami, Iris Florez, decided to expand the grant. Beginning in Fall 2018, immigrant students in high school, as well as transfer applicants from Florida, will receive DACA status. For these students to be eligible, they must maintain full-time status, maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their degree, and must reside on campus. The U Dreamers Grant is intended to meet 100% of a student’s financial need based along the lines of tuition and fees, on-campus room and board, a meal plan, and University health insurance.

“It was the best feeling ever,” 24-year-old Fabiola Jauregui stated as she found out her DACA application was approved. She explained it as if she had felt like she had come back to life. Fabiola was brought to America when she was 9 years old by her parents who wanted a better life for her and her siblings. Without the DACA program, she would be left without a Social Security number, work permit or driver’s license. There are still thousands of students who are left without these documents that are required to attend school in America.

Many hardworking students like Fabiola have found themselves lost wondering whether or not they will be able to continue studying in U.S. schools. With the help of The University of Miami, many students have found “a light of hope” in gaining a higher education that could lead to their parent’s dream of them having a better future.

 

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