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

I am privileged many ways, one of which is having a supportive family who values education and celebrates my accomplishments. To give me opportunities, my dad worked on construction sites around the Southeast for his entire career, living on campgrounds and only coming home every couple of weeks. On many occasions, he worked a seventy hour week, then drove overnight just to see us for a day or two. He does not have a college degree, despite being one of the best historians I know, because every dollar he earns goes directly to supporting my family. To give us opportunities, my mom works a full time job and has still always managed to construct a home in which love is primary. My parents work so that my brothers and I can live and experience all we want to. They sacrifice so that we can do the things we want to do with our lives, and they expect nothing in return. They deserve to pursue their own passions and live own their lives, but their ability to do so in the future relies in large part on the choice I am making in college. The privilege of having parents who work tirelessly for my brothers and I also comes with a lot of pressure, because if I fail, I am failing not only myself, but also the people who love me most in this world and who will rely on me when they can no longer work.

The idea of being low income is not always a comfortable one. It is not something you are supposed to be proud of, but rather, it is something you are trying to overcome. It is hard to accept something as a part of your background and accept the ways in which it has formed your identity if it is something you are supposed to change. Watching my parents give all they are in order to give me all they can has defined who I am and who I strive to become

Emily Dennan

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.