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; all students are eligible to apply for admission regardless of citizenship status.

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 in UM? 

Eligible DACA students are eligible for some types of financial aid through the U Dreamers Program. 

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, all students who apply to UM are automatically considered for our merit-based scholarships regardless of their citizenship status. 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?

The University of Miami does not have specific scholarships for DACA students. However, through the U Dreamers Program, the University recognizes a group of exceptional and academically accomplished students across the State of Florida. This Program is intended to meet the full demonstrated need of eligible DACA students admitted and selected for the Program.

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

For the purpose of applying for the U Dreamers Program, 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?

The University supports undocumented students and will continue to do all it can, within the law, to enable them to pursue their education at UM.

14. I am a DACA student interested in the U Dreamers Program. 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. I am a DACA student studying outside of the State of Florida. Can I qualify?

The U Dreamers Program is open to eligible DACA high school seniors and transfer students attending an accredited institution in the State of Florida.