Wheaton College Refugee Scholarship For Somalis

Wheaton College in Massachusetts is committed to improving the world through new ideas and educational opportunities.

We care deeply about assembling a global community of scholars that represents the widest possible range of viewpoints, not the least of which are the perspectives of students fleeing persecution and conflict in their home countries. To this end, the Wheaton Refugee Scholarship was established in 2017.

Each year, Wheaton awards more than $40 million to our domestic and international students in the form of merit- and need-based financial aid.

This additional scholarship is an incremental scholarship and does not detract from our commitment to others in our applicant pool. Rather, it further expands our commitment to access to higher education.

In what appears to be a first, Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts has announced a new scholarship for an international student affected by President Donald Trump’s immigration order temporarily banning entry into this country for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world.

The executive order includes a ban on entry into the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for the next 90 days and temporary bans refugees as well, including an indefinite block on those from Syria

The Wheaton Refugee Scholarship being offered by the liberal arts school with some 1,600 students, was just announced by college President Dennis M. Hanno, and will cover all costs of attending the college.

Scholarship Value:

For the school year, tuition, room, and board, and a student activity fee amounted to $61,512, with $48,694 of that covering tuition.


One four-year Wheaton Refugee Scholarship that covers the total cost of attendance will be awarded each academic year. Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for the Wheaton Refugee Scholarship:

  • Students applying for a first-time undergraduate, liberal arts and sciences bachelor’s degree.
  • Students who have fled a war-torn region as a refugee and who do not hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status, or who have legally entered the United States as refugees.
  • Students who would not have the financial means to attend Wheaton without a full scholarship.
  • Students who, if admitted and choose to enroll, are able to obtain a visa to study full-time in the United States (or, who are already in the U.S. on a legal refugee visa status).

Students in any of the following categories are not eligible to apply for the Wheaton Refugee Scholarship:

  • Transfer applicants (students who have previously matriculated and enrolled in a post-secondary degree, diploma, or certificate program).
  • Students who have already earned an associate’s or bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, or another post-secondary, tertiary-level degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Students interested in master’s or PhD graduate degree programs; Wheaton College does not offer these graduate degrees.
  • Students enrolled at or who graduated from a United World College.
  • Students in the U.S. with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
  • Students who have the capacity to pay for a portion of their education should not apply for this scholarship, but should instead apply as a regular Wheaton applicant.

How to Apply:

“Applicants are required to either submit a supplemental 100-200 word personal statement outlining their background and what receiving this scholarship would mean to them, or make this statement the topic of their more comprehensive application essay.”

Applicants for this scholarship will only be considered for this one scholarship and will not be considered for early decision or early action admission, or any other Wheaton College merit or need-based financial aid programs. The $60 application fee will be waived.

The application deadline for the Refugee Scholarship is January 1 and applicants are encouraged to apply with the Wheaton First-Year Application to help us manage the fee-waiver process. We also accept the Common Application.

All international applicants, including those who apply for the Refugee Scholarship, must provide the required academic and financial documentation, including proof of English proficiency. A complete list of requirements can be found on our International Students applicants page.

All applicants will receive notice of their admission decision by April 1.

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