History of U Dreamers

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Access to Excellence Breaking Barriers

The University of Miami is a vibrant and diverse academic community focused on teaching and learning, the discovery of new knowledge, and service to the South Florida region and beyond. In the United States, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are not eligible for state or federal financial aid and therefore rely solely on merit-based funding when attending an institution of higher education. Without funding and guidance, the dream of making a difference is often lost in translation and top achievers can fall short when navigating the complexities of continued education.

In 2016, President Julio Frenk addressed the UM community to reaffirm his support for undocumented students who arrived in the U.S. as children, commonly known as Dreamers, and he joined more than 600 other college and university presidents nationwide to express the University’s commitment to DACA students, staff, and employees. “Miami, the city this University calls home, has long been a model in demonstrating the remarkable role immigrants and refugees can play in creating a dynamic and thriving community where everyone — regardless of race, religion, or country of origin — can contribute to prosperity and well-being in the United States and around the world. This belief is at the heart of the University of Miami's dedication to creating and sharing knowledge that transcends national, ideological, and cultural borders,” said Frenk.

In keeping with the University’s commitment to eliminate barriers to college access and sustain a diverse and inclusive community in which everyone belongs, the U Dreamers Grant was established. The premier grant, available to DACA students at the University of Miami, was initially available to graduating seniors from Miami-Dade County, but soon opened to eligible DACA high school seniors as well as transfer students currently enrolled in any accredited post-secondary institution in the state of Florida.

As one of the most diverse college campuses nationwide, UM’s U Dreamers program aims to recognize outstanding DACA students in the state of Florida who have demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to personal goals, and who intend to continue their academic pursuits through graduate education — a testament to UM's long history of fostering a community of support that emphasizes academic excellence, campus engagement, and professional development.