Supporting a Diverse Student Body
UIC is proud to be recognized as one of the most diverse universities campuses in the United States, and we recognizes that diversity must be linked to social justice, access and equity in order to be robust and substantive.
We join with campus and student leaders at colleges and universities across America in the call for immigration reform to attract, retain and educate the many deserving students who represent the world’s best and brightest and contribute to our cultural and intellectual diversity.
At UIC we support these students every day as we guide prospective students through the college application process and to permitted sources of funding for their education.
Information about resources available to undocumented students at UIC.
For our current students, we strive to ensure a welcoming and sustaining climate for learning and living. Among UIC’s ongoing initiatives on behalf of its diverse student body are:
- UIC Task Force on Best Strategies to Help Dream Act Students Succeed: The Dream Act Task Force, created in 2012, brings together UIC experts and immigrant advocates from the Chicago community and across Illinois to work for reform of legislation so that undocumented students in Illinois can receive financial aid. Thanks to the Dream Act and state legislation, all students, regardless of legal status, graduating from an Illinois high school can apply to Illinois state universities and, if accepted, pay in-state tuition. However, federal law prohibits giving undocumented students support not mandated by state law. This currently excludes them from financial aid, tuition waivers, and other tuition cost relief. This Task Force is co-chaired by professors Anna Guevarra and Maria de los Angeles Torres.
- UIC’s Undocumented Student Task Force: The Undocumented Student Task Force was created in 2003 and reports to the Diversity Advisory Committee, which is chaired by UIC Provost Lon Kaufman and Interim Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity Mrinalini C Rao. The Task Force, chaired by Hugo Teruel, Interim Director of the Latin American Recruitment and Education Services (LARES) program, informs the campus and community of the resources and opportunities available to undocumented students. The Task Force developed a website that brings together in one place campus and external resources available to undocumented students.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): UIC is committed to facilitating the implementation of this federally legislated program allowing undocumented students the right to work and the opportunity to support themselves in their quest for higher education.
- Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change: Under the UIC Office of Diversity, the Centers collectively connect the experiences, needs, dreams, and commitments of diverse communities on campus and throughout Chicago to advance the principle of making diversity a social asset. Through programming such as Zona Abierta, peer mentoring, and collaboration projects like the “Inside Out” inspired exhibit, “I Define Myself: Undocumented and Unafraid,” UIC celebrates courageous public declarations of visibility, identity and community, fostering a welcoming climate for all students.
- Admissions: The Office of Admissions at UIC is proactive in contacting prospective students who have been admitted to UIC and who may be eligible for in state tuition under Illinois House Bill 60 (commonly known as the Acevedo Bill), in order to ensure they are aware of the opportunity provided by the Bill. 9
- Events across Campus: UIC hosts a number of events through the year addressing immigration issues, such as last August’s presentation, “Dreams Do Not Have a Status / Working with Undocumented Students.” Held at UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, the event was geared toward teachers, social workers, and other professionals working with undocumented students and featured panels of students and high school representatives.
- Collaboration with Community Partners: Last August UIC’s Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services Program (LARES) participated in the DREAM Relief Day at Navy Pier. The event, sponsored by UIC, included workshops and a college fair sponsored by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In October, LARES in cooperation with ICIRR presented a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) workshop at UIC.
- Engagement with the City of Chicago: LARES is currently working with the Mayor’s Office of New Americans and the City of Chicago on the "DREAM Training" planning committee. The committee is charged with assisting in the development of a training curriculum for CPS counselors in regard to providing guidance and resources to undocumented CPS students. Barbara Karpouzian Director of Secondary School Counseling for CPS also sits on the planning committee.
These are but a few of the initiatives and ongoing programs taking place at UIC in support of immigrant students. UIC is a campus with a global perspective, strongly rooted in Chicago, but with a statewide presence and responsibility. We believe that the interests of all are best served by a skilled and diverse population made up of the brightest minds to be found on these shores. We are proud to stand with our students and others across the country in support of immigration reform and access to education.