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About the Scholarship
The United Nations (UN) estimates that more than 70 million people are currently living as refugees or asylum-seekers, or have been internally displaced due to wars and natural calamity – the largest such population in human history. A significant number of these individuals have had their education interrupted, severely impacting their potential for future success. The Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students (CUSDS) is an effort to combat this unprecedented humanitarian and economic loss by providing displaced students with the opportunity to pursue higher education at Columbia University, one of the leading educational institutions in the world.
Started in 2016 by the Columbia Business School’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, and now administered by the Columbia Global Centers, the Scholarship supports displaced students from anywhere in the world who are unable to complete their higher education. These students will receive full tuition, housing, and living assistance while pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees across all 18 Columbia schools and affiliates, reflecting Columbia’s full institutional commitment to addressing this global crisis. As the first-ever Columbia-wide scholarship, and the world’s first scholarship of its kind, this program will commit up to $6 million annually in support, per cohort, for up to 30 students each year. Mentoring and support will be provided by the Scholarship, as well as by schools and student groups at Columbia.
The Scholarship aims to shift the global dialogue surrounding displaced persons, from one that views them as a burden to one that recognizes them as vital contributors to global innovation and prosperity. Currently, there is no initiative like this at any university in the world, despite the obvious desire for education on the part of these displaced student populations. The Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students aims to be a leader in filling this pressing humanitarian need and will hopefully encourage other universities to follow suit.
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