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IIE opens fund for students from Syria, Yemen

This year's ESF grants follow previous rounds of funding for Syrian students, and IIE has also urged institutions to provide scholarships to students whose finances have been affected by crises. Photo: IIE.

IIE expects to award $150,000-$200,000 in grants to students from Syria and Yemen this year

IIE will provide emergency grants of $2,000-$5,000 each to students whose finances have been devastated by conflict, using funds designated by IIE’s trustees. Additional support for the Syria grants comes from Jusoor, an NGO supporting the country’s development.

“With the crisis in Syria in its fifth year, and conditions rapidly deteriorating in Yemen, it is imperative that we step up to keep helping these students”

In order to receive grants, students must be nominated by their US institutions. Administrators and faculty can nominate up to five students who they think will be unable to complete the spring 2016 term without assistance.

Priority will be given to those with the most urgent financial need and those closest to graduation.

“We typically ask international student advisors to nominate their students because they can rank their students’ financial need on a scale. If we ask students directly, they’d (understandably so) rank their individual financial need as high as possible,” an IIE spokesperson told The PIE News.

Institutions whose students receive a grant from the ESF are also being asked to commit to providing some additional support, such as a second grant, partial tuition waiver, meal plan or book stipend.

The amount of money that IIE awards will depend on the number of submissions and available funds, but the institute expects to award $150,000-$200,000 this year.

IIE anticipates that student need may exceed its available funding, and has issued a call for contributions to ensure it can continue to assist students in the event of a disaster.

According to Open Doors data, there were nearly 800 students from Syria in US post-secondary institutions, and more than 500 students from Yemen in 2014/15.

“With the crisis in Syria in its fifth year, and conditions rapidly deteriorating in Yemen, it is imperative that we step up to keep helping these students so that we do not lose an entire generation of future leaders,” commented Allan Goodman, IIE’s president and CEO.

“Keeping students in higher education is one of the best investments we can make in the security of the Middle East and the world.”

Since 2010, IIE’s ESF has provided $2m in emergency grants to over 700 students affected by crises in Japan, Haiti, Libya, Thailand, the Philippines, Syria, Iran, and Nepal.

This is IIE’s third round of ESF funding to support students from Syria, after it awarded a total of $306,000 to 87 students in two separate tranches in 2012 and 2014.

To secure funding for students, institutions must apply online by February 19, using a nomination form on the IIE ESF website.

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