The Welcome Corps Expands to Facilitate Sponsorship of Refugee Students by Campus Communities and Higher Education Institutions

The Welcome Corps Expands to Facilitate Sponsorship of Refugee Students by Campus Communities and Higher Education Institutions 

For Immediate Release

THURSDAY, JULY 6, 2023 | Contact:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Welcome Corps is pleased to announce the launch of the Welcome Corps on Campus, a new targeted education sponsorship initiative that enables U.S. colleges and universities to play a leading role in resettling refugee students. The Welcome Corps on Campus operates under the umbrella of the Welcome Corps, the broader U.S. private sponsorship program that was launched by the U.S. Department of State in January 2023 for refugees admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). 

Through the Welcome Corps on Campus, qualified refugee students can pursue life-changing opportunities to continue their education and build their futures in the United States. The program marks a new era of service opportunities for campus communities—students, faculty, staff and institutional leaders—to support higher education for refugee students forced to flee their homes and leave behind the communities they’ve built.

“We are thrilled to launch the Welcome Corps on Campus, a transformative cornerstone of our private sponsorship program that will support refugees whose opportunity to pursue higher education was cut short. Education is a powerful tool for personal advancement that contributes to the strength of our country. We are grateful to the American people, institutions of higher education, campus communities, and our partners for opening doors for refugee students to reach their full potential,” said Julieta Valls Noyes, Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. Department of State. 

A first-of-its kind program for refugee students, the Welcome Corps on Campus links higher education access to resettlement through the USRAP, which provides a path to permanent legal status in the United States. Participating U.S. higher education institutions will enroll refugee students in degree programs, and Campus Private Sponsor Groups will commit to supporting their resettlement through private sponsorship. Together, they will play an instrumental role in refugee students’ journey towards long-term integration in the United States.

Institutions of higher education interested in participating in the Welcome Corps on Campus can learn more and subscribe to program updates at

The Welcome Corps on Campus is implemented by a consortium of nonprofit organizations to establish private sponsorship of refugee students at U.S. campuses through the USRAP, in alignment with the goals of the Welcome Corps. Led by the Community Sponsorship Hub, the consortium includes organizations with expertise in higher education and refugee resettlement: Every Campus A Refuge, the Institute of International Education, the National Association of System Heads (NASH), the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, and World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

“This expansion of the Welcome Corps allows higher education communities across the country to take a hands-on role in the welcome, support and integration of refugee students, many who have not only been waiting years for a safe place to call home but also for an opportunity to earn a higher education degree. The Welcome Corps on Campus provides those opportunities and creates new avenues for experiential learning, all while strengthening connections between refugee students and members of the surrounding communities,” said Annie Nolte-Henning, interim executive director of Community Sponsorship Hub. 

“Every Campus A Refuge was founded on the firm belief that higher education has a significant role to play in refugee welcome, protection, and integration. Welcome Corps on Campus is a step in the right direction – providing U.S. colleges and universities with the opportunity to directly sponsor refugee students whose access to higher education is incredibly limited if not non-existent. As part of our work over the last 8 years mobilizing colleges and universities to co-sponsor refugees and support their resettlement and integration using campus resources, Every Campus A Refuge has seen the direct impact on everybody involved when a college or university opens its doors to newcomers. From the refugees who experience a stronger beginning in their new home, to the campus community who is transformed by the power of the connections made, to the local community who benefits immensely from the contributions of its newest Americans, Welcome Corps on Campus will be a win-win for all involved,” said Diya Abdo, founder and director of Every Campus A Refuge.

“Welcome Corps on Campus shows what U.S. universities can already do to address a truly global problem. Widening access to higher education for refugees, and at a time when we have the capacity that no other country has, may be the best way we have to avoid a lost generation and make the world we share a less dangerous place,” said Allan Goodman, chief executive officer of IIE Institute of International Education.

“We are thrilled to embark on this groundbreaking partnership with the Welcome Corps to leverage the capacity of public higher education systems in providing training and support to those who need it most. This innovative program builds upon America’s longstanding tradition of providing refuge by creating new opportunities for Americans to directly engage in refugee resettlement. Together, the Welcome Corps and NASH will forge a united front, championing both education and diversity as invaluable assets for our nation’s prosperity,” said Nancy Zimpher, interim executive director of NASH.

“The launch of the Welcome Corps on Campus is a transformative moment to build on the U.S. tradition to advance safety and protection for displaced people; and embrace the drive, excellence, and experiences that refugee students bring. We are thrilled to support this new program. Through participation in Welcome Corps on Campus, campuses around the country will not only provide life-changing access to U.S. higher education and durable protections for refugee students but these institutions will be enriched and transformed by these students and their perspectives.  Sponsoring and enrolling refugee students will spur new opportunities for campuses, strengthen our communities, and enhance the national security and economic prosperity of our nation,” said Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. 

“As an organization that has been engaged in community sponsorship on postsecondary campuses across Canada for over four decades, we are thrilled to celebrate the launch of Welcome Corps on Campus. It is encouraging to see the many diverse organizations, higher education institutions and networks coming together to support the Welcome Corps initiative and its expansion to campuses across the United States. We look forward to contributing to this project with technical expertise and student identification to support the impact this project will have. This is a significant step forward in increasing long-term, sustainable solutions for refugee youth,” said Chris Eaton, executive director of WUSC. 

Colleges and universities have a rich legacy of welcoming refugees, embracing the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds that newcomers bring to America. The Welcome Corps on Campus builds on that tradition and increases the United States’ resettlement capacity while leveraging campus ecosystems as welcoming communities, where refugee students have access not only to education, but also essential resettlement services including housing, healthcare, and social services.

Through the program, colleges and universities will mobilize Campus Private Sponsor Groups–composed of peer students, faculty, and staff–to provide academic, financial, and resettlement assistance to newly arriving refugee students for their first year. Groups will also develop a plan for sustainably supporting refugee students for the reminder of their studies. The Welcome Corps on Campus creates opportunities to welcome refugee students, tapping into the vibrancy of campus communities to guide refugee students in pursuing higher education, make cultural and social connections, and adapt to American life on- and off-campus. 

Today, 145 diverse institutions and organizations with expertise in higher education, resettlement and refugee rights expressed support for the program, which provides an education pathway to citizenship for refugee students.

African Communities Together 

Agnes Scott College


American International College

Antioch College

Arizona State University 

Augsburg University

Bard College

Bennington College

Berkshire Community College

Broward College

Bryn Mawr College

Bunker Hill Community College

California State University Fullerton

Carleton College

Carnegie Mellon University

Center for Migration and the Global City, Rutgers University-Newark

Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies at Virginia Tech

Central Washington University

Cerritos Community College District

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU)

Church World Service

Clovis Community College

Colby College

College of Saint Mary

Colorado College

Colorado State University

Colorado State University Global

Colorado State University Pueblo

Colorado State University System

Community Sponsorship Hub

Connecticut State Colleges & Universities 

Contra Costa College

Contra Costa Community College District 

Cornell College

DePaul University

Diablo Valley College

Dominican University 

Eastern Connecticut State University

Educational Testing Service 

Elena’s LIght INC

Elon University


Ethiopian Community Development Council

Every Campus A Refuge

Exodus World Service

Five Together Foundation

Foothill College

Foothill-De Anza Community College District

Georgetown University

Grand Valley State University

Guilford College

Hamilton College

Hello Neighbor 


Home for Refugees USA

Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Institute of International Education 

International Institute of St. Louis

International Refugee Assistance Project

International Rescue Committee

IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services

Ithaca College

Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC)

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA


Lewis University

Los Medanos College

Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants 

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola University Maryland

Marymount University 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Metro State University

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Middlebury College

Middlesex Community College/MA

Montgomery College

Mount Holyoke College

Mt. Hood Community College

Muina International Solutions Inc

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

National Association of System Heads

New York University

Niskanen Center

Northern Arizona University

Northern Essex Community College

Oklahoma State University

One Refugee

Pace University 


Pomona College

Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration

Queens University of Charlotte

Rainbow Railroad

Re-Imagining Migration 

Refugee & Migrant Education Network

Refugee Congress 

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA)

Refugee Welcome Collective

Refugees International 



Rochester Institute of Technology

Roosevelt University

Rutgers University-Camden

Rutgers University-Newark

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Salem State University 

Salt Lake Community College

Salve Regina University

School for International Training

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Seattle University 

Southern New Hampshire University

St. Edward’s University

Stockton University

Suffolk University

SUNY Cortland


TESOL International Association

The University of Connecticut

Towson University

Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC)

Trinity College 

UC San Diego

University of Michigan – Dearborn

University at Albany, SUNY

University of Dayton

University of Denver

University of La Verne

University of Massachusetts Boston

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

University of Redlands 

University of San Diego

University of the District of Columbia 

University of Tulsa


Virginia Wesleyan University

We Are All America




Welcoming America 

World Education Services

World Learning

World Relief

World University Service of Canada


About the Welcome Corps and the Welcome Corps on Campus

The Welcome Corps is a new program that empowers everyday Americans to come together to privately sponsor refugees, building on our country’s long tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution. Through the Welcome Corps, sponsor groups welcome refugees into local communities and directly assist refugee newcomers as they build new lives in the United States. 

The Welcome Corps on Campus leverages the capacity of U.S. higher education institutions to serve as resettlement spaces and academic opportunities for refugee students, foster more diverse and inclusive campuses, and create a sustainable opportunity for colleges and universities to welcome refugee students on their campuses. Campus Private Sponsor Groups consisting of staff, faculty, and students will welcome refugee students and provide them with a softer landing, a supportive community, and set them up for academic and overall success.