US: NYEA expands refugee scholarships

Published 17/04/2019

Manhattan-based New York English Academy is expanding the refugee scholarship program it launched in 2017 as a response to the “travel ban” executive order.

In 2019 the institution will be awarding up to 40 scholarships, each covering a month of tuition to students with refugee or asylum seeker status. Depending on the program, the value of the scholarship will be worth around $2,500.

“We knew we had to do something to push back”

Established in 2017 after the signing of the executive order restricting entry to the US for citizens of certain countries, the scheme was a gesture of solidarity with international students. It represented the spirit of the openness New York City and the US have historically been defined by, NYEA executive director David Maxon explained in a statement.

“After the administration announced the first travel ban, it sent shock waves through our school community. We knew we had to do something to push back, even if only something small and symbolic,” he said.

Originally, the tuition waiver program was created to cater for students affected by the “travel ban”– students from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya – but has since grown to include any student with a refugee status, or those waiting for their asylum claim to be accepted.

“Since [2017], the need to support this community has only increased,” Maxon said.

“We are incredibly excited and proud to offer this small gesture of support and hope it might help restore some of the trust lost as our international student population finds itself in the cross hairs.”

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