DACA Recipients Welcome

Medical education in the Jesuit tradition of care of the person and promotion of social justice

The Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is pleased to invite applications from qualified persons with DACA immigration status. Stritch was the first medical school in the United States to openly welcome applications from these students (1) and the school maintains a leadership role in regard to this population. Equitable consideration is given the applications of DACA recipients and the school has maintained a commitment to assisting each matriculant with a viable financing package. Our track record is strong. Approximately 50 DACA recipients have matriculated to Stritch and more than 30 have gone on to residencies and fellowships and some are now in practicing as board-certified physicians.

Stritch assumed this leadership role for reasons rooted deeply in our tradition. As a Catholic university that is sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), we firmly believe in the dignity of each person and in the promotion of social justice. The dignity or worth of persons calls us to steward the talents of qualified applicants rather than reject their contributions for arbitrary and arcane reasons. Social justice requires that we foster the conditions for full participation in the community by all members of our community. These young people who meet the criteria for DACA status are typically woven into the fabric of our communities and have a basic right to contribute to the fullest extent of their abilities. Our approach echoes a long tradition articulated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) of advocacy for immigrant members of our communities. (2) (3) (4)  Moreover, it is simply in the interest of the medical profession and the patients and community that we serve to utilize the talents of qualified students of this immigration status.

We call upon our peers in the medical education community to also extend opportunities to these students and to advocate for reforms of the United States immigration system that would remove the remaining barriers and uncertainties confronting this category of students. We partner with our community of DACA recipients not only to advocate for their pathway forward but also for the extension of similar protections to other undocumented youth of a similar profile. Their contributions to the medical profession and our nation’s patients should not be squandered. 

Addressing the Financial Barrier to Medical School 

Students with DACA are ineligible for most federal benefits including federal student loans. Such loans comprise an important part of a typical medical student’s financial aid package. The Stritch School of Medicine has long been commited to developing a realistic aid package for each qualified individual of DACA matriculant to address the student’s financial need. This commitment has required creativity and sustained effort.   

In years past, some loans were available through two partner organizations, the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA), the infrastructure bank of the State of Illinois and Trinity Health in partnership with The Resurrection Project.  In recent years, Stritch has made a commitment to a half-tuition scholarship for each admitted DACA recipient. Self-Help Credit Union makes available a loan program to these applicants as a supplemental financing option.  Of course, applicants should consider all available financial options and select that which is best for them. (5)

If you have been granted DACA and desire more information regarding applying to the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, contact:

Darrell Nabers, MSc|
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Recruitment

Email: ssom-admissions@luc.edu
Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
2160 S. First Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153
TEL (708) 216-3229


  1. Statement from Mayor Emanuel on Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine's Decision to Admit Undocumented Students
  2. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, November 15, 2000
  3. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, January 22, 2003
  4. Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, Statement in Support of Comprehensive Compassionate Immigration Reform, April 11, 2013
  5. DACA Financial Aid Options by Dave Rathmanner, January 24, 2019