(Adding: Scholarships from Roger Williams University)
In what appears to be a first, Wheaton College in Massachusetts just announced a new scholarship for an international student affected by President Trump’s immigration order temporarily banning entry into this country for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world.
The Wheaton Refugee Scholarship being offered by the liberal arts school with some 1,600 students was just announced by the college’s president, Dennis M. Hanno, and will cover all costs of attending the college in Norton, Mass. For the 2016-17 school year, tuition, room and board, and a student activity fee amounted to $61,512, with $48,694 of that covering tuition.
Hanno said, according to the school’s website, that Wheaton is “dedicated to improving the world by advancing knowledge and sharing it,” but that Trump’s order “endangers our ability to deliver on that mission.”
The executive order includes a ban on entry into the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for the next 90 days and temporarily bans refugees as well, including indefinitely blocking those from Syria.
About 1 in 20 of the more than 20 million students enrolled in U.S. colleges in 2015-2016 came from other countries, the Institute of International Education said. Some 17,000 of them were originally from the seven countries in Trump’s ban.
In late January, Roger Williams University, a semi-private liberal arts school in Rhode Island, offered four scholarships — two to the law school and two to the architectural school — to students from war-torn Syria. The announcement on the school’s website notes that as many as 200,000 Syrian students have been forced to terminate their university studies because of the crisis in Syria.
There are a number of scholarships available for immigrants and foreign-born Americans, but this appears to be the first scholarship created to help students affected by the president’s travel ban.
Colleges and universities around the United States have been scrambling to help students and scholars affected by the ban. Some school presidents have issued statements condemning the travel ban, saying that it is a violation of American values. Colleges and universities are also concerned about the longer-term fallout from the ban, which could stem the flow here of international students, who spend billions of dollars a year in this country.
Wheaton found a concrete way to express its concern for the travel ban and offer help to a student with the scholarship. This is the announcement on the Wheaton website:
Wheaton College in Massachusetts is committed to improving the world through new ideas and educational opportunity. We care deeply about assembling a global community of scholars that represents the widest possible range of viewpoints, not the least of which are the perspectives of students fleeing persecution and conflict in their home countries.
The Wheaton Refugee Scholarship will cover all costs of attendance and will be awarded to a refugee student from a war-torn nation. Selection preference will be for a qualified student from one of the seven nations outlined in the president’s recent executive order on immigration: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. These students have faced extraordinary hardships and we believe it is our responsibility as global educators to make this commitment at this time.
Qualified students currently seeking entrance to the U.S. will be prioritized in reviewing applications for the Wheaton Refugee Scholarship, should the executive order on immigration be lifted in the near future. Should the ban remain, qualified refugees from these or other war torn nations who are currently living in the U.S. will be considered.
Wheaton’s application deadline has been extended through March 1, 2017 for all candidates seeking consideration. We will also waive the $60 application fee for these candidates. In addition to the application requirements for international students, candidates must also submit the International Student Financial Aid Application.
Applicants are required to either submit a supplemental 100-200 word personal statement outlining their background and what receiving this scholarship would mean to them, or make this statement the topic of their more comprehensive application essay.