Frequently Asked Questions

If there are any questions we are missing, please contact us at studentsupport@uchicago.edu

  • Question: Will the University be making any legal resources available for undocumented students and students and employees who have DACA?
  • Answer: Yes. The University continues to work with national organizations and law firms to organize events on campus to provide students and employees with general information about their rights and the shifting legal landscape. For example, the University has hosted the National Immigrant Justice Center annually for “Know Your Rights” workshops on campus, and has facilitated individual pro bono sessions with law firms. 
  • Question: Will the University provide financial support for undocumented and DACA students?
  • Answer: Yes. The University uses private funds (not state or federal funding) to provide financial aid to support undocumented and DACA students.
    The University meets 100 percent of the demonstrated financial aid need of all of its undergraduate students. Through our robust financial aid programs including UChicago Promise and Odyssey Scholarships, all undergraduate student need is met without the use of loans. The application fee is also automatically waived for all students who apply for need-based financial aid. If undergraduate students lose their employment authorization due to a change in immigration policy that affects the amount of their expected contribution, the University will re-evaluate aid awards.
    The University will evaluate the financial needs of all admitted undergraduate and graduate students on a case-by-case basis and is committed to supporting students where possible. Undocumented and DACA students may, if appropriate, access emergency funds from the Office of Campus and Student Life for eligible expenses outside the standard educational expenses. For more information graduate/professional students should contact Ireri Rivas (773.702.2435) and undergraduate students should contact Devon Moore (773.702.4537)
  • Question: Does the University provide any mental health resources to address the needs of undocumented and DACA students or students from mixed-status families?
  • Answer: The University has coordinated a number of resources tailored to addressing the needs of undocumented students:

    Butterfly Support Group:
    The Butterfly Support Group is a biweekly therapy group for UChicago students affected by immigration status, led by a certified clinician experienced in working with undocumented and immigrant communities. No student attendee information will be collected or recorded. Contact Student Support Services or the Center for College Student Success for more information:
    Student Support Services: Ireri Rivas - 773.702.2435
    Center for College Student Success: Devon Moore - 773.702.4537

    Student Counseling Service (SCS) Short-Term Counseling:
    Let’s Talk is an anonymous drop-in therapy option provided by SCS: https://wellness.uchicago.edu/mental-health/lets-talk/.
    Information about the counseling resources provided at SCS can be found at: https://wellness.uchicago.edu/mental-health/

    Private Counseling Referrals: Contact SCS at 773.702.9800 to obtain information on counseling referrals outside the University. Students on U-SHIP must meet with SCS in order to obtain a referral form before meeting with an outside counselor. Students using private insurance are not required to have an appointment or referral with SCS.
    If a student has financial limitations for copayments or cost of treatment, they should inform SCS. Individual considerations can be made on an as-needed basis.
  • Question: Will undocumented students continue to be admitted to the University?
  • Answer: Yes. 
    The University of Chicago considers for admission students from around the world. All students who apply to the University, regardless of citizenship and including undocumented students, are considered for admission and the financial aid for which they qualify. Applicants are encouraged to review applicable program requirements, as they vary by program.
  • Question: Does the University protect my personally identifiable student education records?
  • Answer: Yes. 
    The University adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The University is committed to protecting the privacy of student educational records with the means available by law. In accordance with FERPA, the University will not release information from a student’s education record, including immigration status and other identifying information, without the student’s written consent, except as required by law. There are some exceptions, which are described on the University Registrar’s website. Additional information about the University’s compliance with FERPA also can be found in the Student Manual.
  • Question: Does the University protect my student health records? 
  • Answer: Yes.  
    FERPA also protects student health records, including psychotherapy notes and other mental health records. In addition to FERPA, various state laws, including the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act and the Illinois Mental Health Confidentiality and Developmental Disabilities Act, also protect student health records. The University will not release information from a student’s health record without the student’s written consent, except in the limited circumstances permitted by these laws.   
  • Question: What role does the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) play with regard to enforcement of federal immigration laws?
  • Answer: The enforcement of federal immigration laws is not part of the mission of the UCPD. Accordingly, except as required by law, UCPD does not engage in immigration enforcement work and it does not release information on immigration status to local, state or federal law enforcement agencies.
  • Question: Under what circumstances would UCPD ask for identification from a victim of or witness to a crime?
  • Answer: UCPD may request an ID from a victim of or witness to a crime.  However, there are multiple forms of ID that would be acceptable (student ID, state ID, etc.), and UCPD does not check these forms of identification against a U.S. Immigration and Customs database.
  • Question: What immigration-related reporting to the federal government is required by UCPD?
  • Answer: Federal law encourages cooperation from state and local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of immigration laws, but does not statutorily mandate this cooperation.
  • Question: When is UCPD required to take fingerprints, and is UCPD required to share the fingerprints with state and/or federal agencies?
  • Answer: As required by Illinois Statute (20 ILCS 2630/5), law enforcement agencies operating in Illinois are required to submit fingerprints to the Illinois State Police (ISP) Bureau of Identification for all arrestees charged with any of the applicable mandated reported offenses included within the law. ISP maintains those fingerprints in a state identification database, which is shared with federal agencies in accordance with their own policies, procedures and other applicable laws.
  • Question: Under what circumstances is employment authorization needed, and what happens if employment authorization is revoked?
  • Answer: All individuals in the U.S. who seek to be employees must establish that they can lawfully work here. Without valid employment authorization, individuals are not able to be employed in the U.S.; however, they may remain eligible to participate in bona fide internship programs. For additional information about the legal requirements for bona fide internship programs, please see: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf.  
  • Question: Will the University declare itself a sanctuary campus?
  • Answer: The University is taking all possible steps within the law to support our students and other University community members, including those who are undocumented or who qualify for relief under DACA. The University continues to take concrete steps to help undocumented and DACA students, including providing greater access to mental health and legal resources, and additional financial support. The University is focusing on these positive actions and is not considering declaring itself a “sanctuary campus,” as it is not a well-defined term.
  • Question: What do students need to know regarding travel?
  • Answer: Undocumented (with or without approved DACA) and international students should contact the Office of International Affairs (international-affairs@uchicago.edu or 773.702.7752) to discuss issues related to travel.
  • Question: How will the REAL ID Act affect students’ travel?
  • Answer: As of October 1, 2020, only REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and state IDs will be accepted for commercial air travel at TSA airport security checkpoints. For more information on REAL ID and how to determine if your identification is compliant, visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-frequently-asked-questions. Passports and other sources of identification are still options. For more information on these options, visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.
  • Question: Whom should undocumented and DACA students contact to discuss issues/concerns?
  • Answer: There are several individuals on campus who can offer help and support. Please contact one of the individuals below, who will either assist you directly or refer you to the proper person/department. They are:
    • Current Graduate Students
      Ireri Rivas, Director, Student Support Services, mirivas@uchicago.edu, 773.702.2435
    • Prospective Graduate Students/Applicants
      Holly Bland, Director of Graduate Enrollment Initiatives, hkbland@uchicago.edu, 773.834.8223
    • Current Undergraduate Students
      Devon Moore, Director, Center for College Student Success, devonmoore@uchicago.edu, 773.702.4537
    • Prospective Undergraduate Students/Applicants
      Veronica Hauad, Deputy Director of Admissions, hauadv@uchicago.edu, 773.834.0304
  • Question: What are some considerations students should take into account when developing an emergency plan?
  • Answer: Students should consider designating an emergency contact (someone with status in the U.S.) and ensuring that their information is listed in MyUChicago.edu. Students may want to make sure they and their emergency contact know where important documents and information are located. Students are encouraged to memorize important phone numbers such as their emergency contact, family, their immigration attorney, and the UChicago Dean-on-Call. It is also important to know one’s legal rights – such as the right to remain silent during an interaction with police or ICE and the right to refuse entry to a private home to ICE without a judicial warrant. 
  • Question: Is the Dean-on-Call a resource for undocumented and DACA students at UChicago in case of an emergency?
  • Answer: Yes.
    Students faced with any emergency may contact the Dean-on-Call. The Dean-on-Call works with University partners to coordinate the University’s response to ensure that students receive due consideration and fair treatment. The Dean-on-Call is a 24/7/365 resource that helps students manage emergencies. When a Dean-on-Call assists a student, the Dean-on-Call will ensure the student’s privacy to the extent possible; this means that only those people who need to know to help in dealing with a critical incident will be given the student’s name and other limited information as necessary.

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