The University will offer a new scholarship to international students next year as part of a national campaign to promote diversity in higher education.
Officials announced Monday that GW joined 56 other universities to offer two renewable #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarships, which cover at least 50 percent of tuition, to two international students each year. Admissions experts said the scholarship will extend the University’s reach toward recruiting more international students at a time when national politics could turn them off from applying to U.S. schools.
Dean of Admissions Costas Solomou said that officials are “proud” to support international students’ education. He said that two scholarships likely won’t attract a “rush” of international students, but will support those looking to study in the District.
“One of the strengths of GW is its diversity, including a diversity of international perspectives that make classroom discussions and our community overall stronger,” he said in an email. “Through the #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship, we are looking to better support and encourage those voices on our campus.”
International students are eligible to apply for the scholarship if they submit a College Scholarship Survey profile, have attended a secondary school outside of the United States, complete the scholarship application and show “interest and personal initiative” in intercultural learning, according to a University release Monday.
The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign began in November 2016, according to the campaign’s website. Temple University launched the campaign amid heightened worries from higher education experts that nationalist policies imposed under President Donald Trump would deter international students from attending American universities.
After Trump took office in 2016, officials saw the first slump in international student enrollment in at least nine years, which experts said mirrored a nationwide decline in international student enrollment.
Three of the University’s 12 peer institutions – the University of Miami and Boston and New York universities – signed onto the 2016 campaign. One of the University’s peer schools, Northeastern University, will also offer the new scholarship, according to the campaign website.
Admissions experts said the scholarship is a way for universities to demonstrate that they are supportive of international students by providing a way to assist them.
Lindsay Addington, the associate director of international initiatives at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said universities are placing a higher value on international students in recent years because they create a “global community” that could be jeopardized if they have no incentive to attend GW.
“This is a way for colleges and universities to not just talk the talk, but to walk the walk,” she said. “They are dedicating resources to international students to show their commitment toward this effort.”
Shannon Paul, the director of international admissions at Adelphi University in New York, which will also offer the #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship, said the scholarship demonstrates that admissions officers are giving international students more than an acceptance letter, placing emphasis on their potential to spread the school’s global footprint.
“It’s really important just to make sure we have diversity in our international student body,” she said. “Not just students that can afford to pay the full ticket price but also have students who can make sure that they can bring more to our campus.”
Dani Grace contributed reporting.