DACA FAQs

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1. What is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program? 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also called DACA, is a program that provides temporary lawful presence to immigrant youth. Technically, deferred action is the exercise of prosecutorial discretion by the Secretary of Homeland Security to formally recognize that a particular noncitizen is present in the United States and to not pursue enforcement, such as removal, of the noncitizen.

2. Do I qualify for DACA?

You qualify for DACA if:

You entered the United States before you turned 16;

You were born on or after June 16, 1981;

You are at least 15 years old when you file your application (you can be younger if you are in Immigration Court or have an order to leave);

You have lived in the United States since June 15, 2007;

You were inside the United States on June 15, 2012;

You did not have legal immigration status on June 15, 2012;

You meet the education or military service requirement; and

You are not disqualified for criminal reasons or other reasons relating to public safety or national security.

3. Are students with DACA eligible to attend the University of Miami? 

Yes, UM accepts students with deferred action.

4. What steps has UM taken to help protect undocumented and DACA students?

UM President Dr. Julio Frenk has joined hundreds of presidents of private, public and religious colleges and universities across the nation in urging United States leaders to maintain and expand DACA and the protection of undocumented students. Also, for the first time, the University of Miami will recognize a group of exceptional and academically accomplished high school students with one of the University's most selective academic opportunities—The U Dreamers program.

5. What is financial aid?

Financial aid is funding that helps individual students afford the cost of attending college or university. There are 4 kinds of financial aid: scholarships, grants, work-study and student loans.

6. Are DACA students eligible for Financial Aid? 

Yes, DACA students are eligible for some types of financial aid.

7. Is a DACA student an “eligible non-citizen” on the FAFSA form? 

No. Unfortunately, DACA is not an “eligible non-citizen” status.

8. Is a DACA student eligible for work-study?

DACA students are not eligible for federal work study, but they may be hired as a Student Assistant if they have a social security number and authorization to work.

9. Are DACA students eligible for a merit based scholarships

Yes, students who apply to UM are automatically considered for our merit-based scholarships. It is important to note that there are external scholarships that are based on other criteria, such as financial need, academic major, community involvement, etc. It is up to the student to research and apply for these scholarships. Please note that each scholarship has its own criteria, and they may require U.S. Citizenship.

10. Are DACA students eligible for student loans? 

Yes and no. Although DACA students are not eligible for federal loans, private loan providers are less stringent in their application criteria and may be willing to provide loans to DACA students. The DACA student may need a co-signer who is a resident to be eligible for private loans.

11. Does UM have scholarships specific for DACA students?

Yes! The University of Miami recognizes a group of exceptional and academically accomplished high school students across the Miami-Dade County area to receive the U Dreamers Grant—one of the University's most selective and prestigious academic awards for high school graduates. The need-based grant will provide funds to assist with tuition and fees for up to four years (eight semesters) to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. This program is intended to meet the full demonstrated need of students admitted and selected for the grant.

12. Are DACA students eligible to fill out the CSS Profile? 

For the purpose of applying for the U Dreamers Grant, yes. The CSS Profile does not require a social security number. The information provided is protected under FERPA and it is used only for institutional purposes

13. May DACA students continue to be legally enrolled at UM?

Yes. The University of Miami will remain committed to supporting all of our students as they work toward their degrees.

14. I am a DACA student interested in the U Dreamers Grant. What financial aid documents do I need to submit?

  • You must complete the CSS PROFILE -- UM CSS Code is 5815
  • If your parents are divorced, separated, or were never married, you must complete the Noncustodial Parent PROFILE. You can access the Noncustodial Parent Profile Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 

15. What if I have no contact with my non-custodial parent? 

If the whereabouts of your noncustodial parent are unknown, or if you have extenuating circumstances regarding the situation with your noncustodial parent, complete the Noncustodial Parent Waiver Form. You may contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment for more information.

16. Will my parents’ citizenship effect my eligibility?

No – a parent status will not impact a student’s eligibility for financial aid. The CSS Profile does not ask for a parent’s citizenship.

17. What if my parents don’t have social security numbers?

Parents’ citizenship does not affect a student’s ability to complete the CSS Profile. Your parents don’t need to have social security numbers in order to fill out the CSS Profile. Please remember that the information provided is protected under FERPA and it is used only for institutional purposes.

18. Can I continue receiving the scholarship after my first year? 

Yes! To be eligible to continue receiving your U Dreamers Grant, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better, remain continuously enrolled in at least 12 credits, complete at least 24 credits each academic year, remain current on all accounts and charges, remain DACA eligible, and meet any other program commitments that are outlined in the U Dreamers Grant agreement.

19. I am a DACA student studying outside of Miami-Dade. Can I qualify?

No, the U Dreamers Grant is currently available to students graduating from an accredited high school in Miami-Dade in 2017.