The Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students is no longer accepting applications for Fall 2022 academic programs. Next cycle of deadlines are forthcoming.

Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students 

Thank you for your interest in the Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students (CUSDS). For information on the scholarship, please visit the scholarship information homepage. For information on applying to your chosen degree program (including questions regarding degree program application documentation or visas), please directly contact that participating school's admissions team.


This scholarship program is for foreign nationals who: have refugee status living anywhere in the world; have received US asylum or submitted a US asylum application; are in the US under Temporary Protected Status; are Internally Displaced Persons. Displaced Afghan students on Humanitarian Parole or with Special Immigrant Visas are also now eligible for the Scholarship. US permanent residents (green card holders, citizens, etc.) are not eligible for the scholarship. There are no age restrictions on the scholarship.

Submission Instructions

Note: The email address that prospective students use when submitting their applications for a degree program and a scholarship MUST be the same.

Applicants must first apply directly to a Columbia degree program listed on the scholarship information homepage. After submitting their degree application, applicants must then complete the below scholarship application form. Each school and program maintains their own acceptance requirements and application deadlines. Acceptance to an academic program DOES NOT guarantee funding through the scholarship (students may be accepted to an academic program but not receive funding through the scholarship).

Applicants must complete and submit their online Columbia degree application BEFORE submitting the scholarship form. Once the applicant creates their online Columbia degree application, they will receive an application ID / reference number through their Columbia school's respective application system. This Columbia application ID / reference number must be entered in the scholarship application form below.

To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must submit the below form in its entirety no later than the date indicated in the form (which in most - but not all - cases is their degree program's application deadline). A full list of eligible Columbia degree programs and their respective scholarship application deadlines are listed on the scholarship information homepage

Frequently Asked Questions

The following types of displacement are eligible for the scholarship:

  • Refugees from and living anywhere in the world that have official documented status through a recognized government or governmental agency
  • Asylees granted asylum in the United States but without permanent resident status
  • Applicants who have filed for asylum in the United States and are under process
  • Applicants who maintain Temporary Protected Status within the United States
  • Applicants who are Internally Displaced Persons (someone who has been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.)
  • Displaced Afghan students on Humanitarian Parole or with Special Immigrant Visas

Only these categories of displacement are eligible for the scholarship. US permanent residents (green card holders, citizens, etc.) are not eligible for the scholarship.

All scholarship applicants must submit documentation supporting their eligible status under the “Upload documentation corroborating status” section of the scholarship application below. Suggested documentation is listed in the application form. All documentation must be submitted with the application through the online form – documents submitted by email will NOT be considered.

A full list, with links and deadlines, of participating schools and eligible degree programs can be found on the scholarship information homepage under the “Participating Schools” section.  Degree program application deadlines vary by school and specific program, so applicants must check the deadlines for their respective degree program. Applicants should reach out to their prospective school’s admissions team for any admissions-related questions.

NOTE: Only the programs listed are eligible for the scholarship – programs not listed are NOT eligible for the scholarship. Students admitted to a degree program not listed are not eligible for the scholarship.

All applicants must submit their degree program application BEFORE submitting their scholarship application form.  In many cases the scholarship application deadline is the same as the degree program application deadline, but this is not the case for all degree programs. You must review the scholarship deadlines listed in the form below.

NOTE: Scholarship applications are reviewed all together for each degree program only after the degree application deadline. The review is not “rolling”, so there is no benefit to applying “first” or earlier than the degree application deadline. Scholarship applications must be made during the degree application cycle for which you are applying (ie you cannot apply for the scholarship a year in advance of when you will apply for a degree program).

If the application deadline for your degree program has passed, then you are no longer able to apply for admission for the upcoming academic year.  Any scholarship applications submitted after the program's degree application deadline will not be considered.

Degree programs can be found by locating your specific school and program on the Participating Schools section on the main scholarship information page. You must submit your degree application before you can apply for the scholarship.

Degree program application fees can be considered for a waiver in extraordinary cases by emailing [email protected] at least two weeks before the student plans to submit their degree application.

Students must begin their online degree application BEFORE being eligible for a fee waiver. Fee waiver requests must include the applicant’s full name, the Columbia school and degree program to which they are applying, and their Columbia degree application ID / reference number.

Applicants must begin their online Columbia degree application BEFORE applying to the scholarship. Once the degree application is begun, the application will have an application ID / reference number, which is created through the Columbia school's application system. This Columbia application ID / reference number must be entered in the scholarship application form. (If your school's application system does not generate a Columbia application ID / reference number, please enter "My school's degree application does not have an ID / reference number" in the form below. Applicants for the School of General Studies may submit either their Application Reference Number, found at the top of their Application Status Page, or their Personal ID Number, which is sent via email after their application is received.)

Transfer applications (those currently enrolled at another university and wishing to transfer to Columbia mid-degree) are only eligible for the School of General Studies, Columbia College, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science - Undergraduate.  Transfer applications are not eligible for any other school or degree program.

Dual degrees (degree programs with more than one Columbia school or with another university) are not eligible for the scholarship.

Scholarships are limited and competitive. As such, admittance to a degree program DOES NOT guarantee funding through the scholarship.

No further action is needed. You will not receive a confirmation email following your scholarship application submission. Applicants will receive admissions decisions from their respective school once schools release those decisions. If applicants are admitted to their degree program and if they are selected for the scholarship, they may receive notice of their scholarship award with their admissions decision, or they may receive notification separately (this will depend on the specific school). Scholarship applicants that are either not admitted to Columbia or did not receive the scholarship will not hear back regarding the scholarship.

Please note that the scholarship is limited and competitive. It is possible to be admitted to a degree program and not be selected for the scholarship – admittance to your program of choice DOES NOT guarantee scholarship funding.

Scholarship Application Form
Which Columbia school are you applying to?
Degree Programs - College of Dental Medicine
Degree Programs - College of Physicians and Surgeons
Degree Programs - Columbia Business School
Degree Programs - Columbia Climate School
Degree Programs - Columbia College
Degree Programs - Columbia Journalism School
Degree Programs - Columbia Law School
Degree Programs - Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Degree Programs - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Degree Programs - School of Engineering and Applied Science (graduate)
Degree Programs - School of Engineering and Applied Science (undergraduate)
Degree Programs - School of General Studies
Degree Programs - School of International and Public Affairs
Degree Programs - School of Nursing
Degree Programs - School of Professional Studies
Degree Programs - School of Public Health
Degree Programs - School of Social Work
Degree Programs - School of the Arts
Degree Programs - Teachers College

Contact Information

Immigration Status
Upload requirements

Students must submit four essays as part of their scholarship application (these are separate from the essays submitted as part of the degree application).  Each of the four essays should be between 300-500 words (so 1,200-2,000 words in total for the four essays). The four essays must be written in your own words. All essays must be written in English. Plagiarized essays will be grounds for immediate disqualification. Essays must be clearly labeled and uploaded as a single document. 

Essays (all four essays are required to be considered for the scholarship):
  1. Explain the situation surrounding your displacement, and your current situation.
  2. Explain your financial situation and why receiving this scholarship would be important to you.
  3. Why have you chosen to apply to Columbia University and to your specific degree program?
  4. How will your chosen degree program support you in achieving your broader life goals?

Upload requirements

I certify that the information provided in this application is true, complete, and accurate. I have not knowingly withheld any facts or circumstances that could otherwise jeopardize consideration of my application. I understand that if any of the information is found to be false, it is sufficient cause for rejection or dismissal from both this scholarship program and from my degree program, even after matriculation. I understand that the information submitted in this application will be shared with the Columbia Global Centers and with the specific school I have applied to at Columbia University. I understand that scholarship applications will only be accepted through this form, and that any applications or materials submitted via email will not be considered. I understand that this form must be submitted before or by the degree application deadline of the Columbia school and program I wish to attend. I acknowledge that submission of this application form does not guarantee admission to my chosen degree program. I acknowledge that admission to my chosen degree program does not guarantee funding, either from this scholarship or from the Columbia school and degree program.
I agree that all above personal data will be sent to the Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students. I consent that the Scholarship stores, processes, uses, and transmits my personal data to applicable Columbia schools to evaluate my candidacy for this scholarship. My personal data will not be sold or used for any non-scholarship-related purposes. I acknowledge that the above described consent can be withdrawn at any time (without giving reason) by sending an email to [email protected].