Undocumented and DACA Students

The University Counseling Center (UCC) believes our students who are undocumented, first generation, and/or low SES have incredible courage and resilience that have shaped them into uniquely talented individuals with significant strengths. At the same time, we recognize these factors may result in experiences and obligations that are stressful and can make it difficult to fully engage in the Notre Dame educational experience. Staying fully motivated, finding balance with overwhelming obligations, navigating relationships, feeling alone, and managing anxiety and depression are issues that ALL Notre Dame students experience. When you add to that deportation fears, concerns about family, finances, employment concerns, uncertainty about the future, identity concerns, and xenophobia/racism, it’s understandable that our students may sometimes feel overwhelmed and may have a hard time finding a sense of balance and well-being.

This is where the UCC can help. Counseling is a place where students can be themselves and feel valued, heard, and accepted. Through counseling, students learn coping strategies to better manage the stresses that they experience as a result of their circumstances and life in a rigorous academic environment. 

The idea of utilizing counseling to deal with problems or issues is something that might be unfamiliar and uncomfortable for students depending on their cultural background and family or community norms. Students might be more familiar with managing issues on their own or only talking to trusted family members or friends about concerns. While those resources continue to be available to you, sometimes those confidants may be unfamiliar with the stress of university life and the resulting concerns that you are facing. The UCC staff specializes in the stresses and concerns that are common for students in a rigorous academic environment. We can help you learn to manage your stress and cope with other concerns so that you are better able to make the most of the academic opportunities available to you at Notre Dame.

The UCC is a confidential space where students can talk with a counselor about their concerns. It is your choice whether you disclose your own or your family’s immigration status and if you do, that information is confidential and will not be disclosed by the UCC. Confidentiality means the UCC will not discuss or release information you share with anyone outside the UCC without your written consent unless there is a imminent safety concern. 

Campus Resources

  • Office of Student Enrichment
    The Office of Student Enrichment provides programs and activities where students can meet other undocumented or DACA students. Students can also receive assistance with identifying available legal resources and possible reimbursement of DACA renewal filing fees. 
  • Dream ND Support Space
    This confidential support space is for DACA students or students concerned about their own or family members’ immigration status. This space allows students with similar concerns to come together to connect and find support in the challenges they face.
  • Office of Financial Aid
    The Office of Financial Aid meets the full demonstrated financial need of each undergraduate student regardless of a student's undocumented or DACA status. Questions related to financial aid for undocumented and DACA students should be directed to Mary Nucciarone.
  • The Center for Student Support and Care
    The Center for Student Support and Care includes consultants and services to assist you with academic concerns and connect you with resources.
  • Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS) 
    MSPS fosters students in a servant-leader mindset to support their work in building a more inclusive Notre Dame community.

Local Resources

  • La Casa de Amistad
    This charitable organization in South Bend, offers programming and support to the local Hispanic/Latino community. 

National Resources