The University of Miami (UM) has announced that all Floridian high school graduates with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status will receive grants to cover their annual expenses beginning in fall 2018. This includes tuition, room and board, and even health insurance.
The grant, called U Dreamers, already covers DACA students (aka Dreamers) from Miami-Dade County, and is being expanded to include all Dreamers who meet minimum GPA and standardized test requirements throughout the state. The university is also considering expanding the grant to cover expenses for other out-of-state DACA students, depending on available resources.
With the annual cost of attendance for UM undergraduates estimated at $62,329 a year, this is almost a no-brainer for Dreamers, but a slap in the face to non-Dreamers who ultimately end up footing the bill. UM students graduate with an average debt of $19,000. The university claims its future goal is to meet 100 percent of undergraduate student need, but it is clearly prioritizing DACA students over its own legal citizens.
UM takes pride in their commitment to being “one of the most diverse college campuses nationwide,” and its president, Julio Frenk, has been outspoken in his support for Dreamers, joining more than 600 other college and university presidents across the country who have expressed their support for DACA students, staff, and employees. The U Dreamers Grant was created to “eliminate barriers to college access and sustain a diverse and inclusive community,” but in reality, it only helps those without papers.
Frenk also noted that DACA students “represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders, they are essential to the future.”
By focusing their efforts on illegal immigrants, the school has abandoned all principles of fairness, and has sent a clear message to legal citizens who call the campus home. Evidently, they are not as important to the university’s mission, and are on their own to support their expensive education.