Columbia University has started a new scholarship program that will exclusively support and fund the college education of refugees and displaced students.
The Scholarship for Displaced Students,w is the first of its kind in Columbia’s history and first such initiative in the world, will cover the cost of college for individuals who have been forced from their homes by violence, persecution and other human rights violations.
Every year the scholarship will support 30 students who will receive tuition, housing and living assistance while pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees across all 18 Columbia schools and affiliate institutions.
“The program sends a powerful message about the role that colleges and universities should be playing to help young people whose educations have been disrupted because they have been forced to flee violence and persecution in their home countries,” said University President Lee C. Bollinger.
To be administered by the Columbia Global Centers, the program will cost $6 million annually.
Initially, it began in 2016 as a scholarship program for Syrian refugees, founded by professor Bruce Usher at The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise. The Business School, the School of International and Public Affairs and Columbia College followed shortly thereafter.
Foreign nationals from anywhere in the world are eligible for the program. They must either be internally or externally displaced with refugee status or have either received asylum or submitted an application for asylum in the United States.