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COVID-19: Here’s one way to get international student emergency funding in the US

emergency funds
Emergency funds will offer some relief to students who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Source: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP

Undergraduate and postgraduate international students in the US who are unable to return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive emergency funding. 

The Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Emergency Student Fund (ESF) has issued a call for IIE Network Member institutions in the US to nominate students who cannot return to their home countries over the summer break due to the COVID-19 pandemic for an ESF award.

The ESF: COVID-19 Response award will provide grants of US$2,500 to selected students enroled at US IIE Network Member Institutions who are pursuing AA (Associate in Arts), Bachelor of Art (BA), Master of Arts (MA) or PhD degrees. 

They must demonstrate a high financial need to cover their living expenses through summer 2020. 

Interested students should take note that this fund is only applicable to those attending US IIENetwork Member institutions. Deadline falls on April 26 (Sunday) at 11:59pm EST.

Their university’s international student advisor or other campus officials can nominate up to five needy students who need help to pay for living expenses over the summer as well as health-related expenses. 

Students can expect to receive the decisions directly via email, with their nominators copied, in mid-May.

International students can also expect to receive the funds directly.

Are you eligible?

Take note — IIE said on its website that students must meet the following criteria to be nominated by their university:

  • Studying at an IIE Network Member institution in the US 
  • Able to demonstrate to campus officials that you won’t be able to return to your home country over the summer;
  • Demonstrate that your financial ability to pay for summer living expenses (excluding any tuition balances) has been seriously disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Enroled for the Fall 2020 semester;
  • Have the appropriate non-immigration visa status (only F-1 and J-1 visa holders are eligible for an ESF award)

The nomination form can be accessed here while students or institutions can email esf@iie.org for questions.

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