UFUSED (United for Undergraduate Socioeconomic Diversity)  focuses on issues of access, advocacy, and awareness for current and prospective low-income and first-generation students at the University of Virginia.

We pursue positive change in these primary areas:

ACCESS – improving efforts to recruit low-SES students and spreading awareness of financial aid options and other resources at the University.

ADVOCACY – meeting with administrators to discuss and encourage reform of existing policies that may or may not be fully addressing issues of access, equity, and inclusion

AWARENESS – placing a spotlight on socioeconomic diversity, inequality, and opportunity and encouraging all members of the U.Va. community to be more conscious of these issues

SUPPORT – fostering an environment of inclusion, connecting people to helpful programs and resources, and creating a network for students

In the News



Divergent Voices

The swathes of seersucker, Polo button downs and Barbour jackets that I saw when I first came to the university were jarring. The raggedy Vans and ripped flannels that I had thought nothing of for years suddenly became a mark of shame, and in my desire to fit in I began browsing online retailers for these clothes that seemed to be mandatory school uniforms. The price tags were shocking, to say the least, and I was confronted with the full weight of what privilege meant. Still, I felt too ostracized to continue on with the clothes that I wore. The money that I received from my financial aid refund- a sum that I should have used to pay for my books- was instead spent on eBay. In my attempt to camouflage my way into acceptance, I ended up having to forgo books for some of my courses and take the grade hits that came with them. This decision wasn’t one made trivially, the way I dressed seriously impacted the way that people interacted with me. My shirt was more than a shirt, it was a badge of either privilege or disadvantage, the result of which determined whether or not I could be a “real” UVA student.


Seventeen years ago, I cried because my family moved from Colombia to the United States.

Fifteen years ago, I cried because my dad was a janitor at Chili’s and my mom a factory worker.

Twelve years ago, I cried because my dad cried. He thought he was a failure.

Eight years ago, I cried because my family had to sell our home.

Four years ago, I cried because UVa offered me full need-based financial aid.

Three years ago, I cried because I felt so different from my peers.

Two years ago, I cried because I got my golden ticket out of financial instability. I got into the Commerce school.

One year ago, I cried because I had no connections to fall back on when I applied to over a hundred internships and received no offers.

Nine months ago, I cried because I thought my parents’ sacrifices had gone to waste.

Four months ago, I cried because I applied to three companies and got job offers from two of them.

Two months ago, I cried because my mom was able to buy me a new suit from Macy’s without batting an eyelash.

One week ago, I cried because I got my signing bonus for the job I’ll start in the summer. I’ll finally be financially independent.

In two months, my family will cry when I walk down the Lawn and wear the Honors of Honor.

Santiago Naranjo


For any inquiries, questions, or comments, please contact us at ufusedatuva@virginia.edu or fic5cu@virginia.edu.