New scholarship hopes to attract international students

The University of Minnesota’s #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship was created following a national movement of the same name.

Katrina Pross

The University of Minnesota is offering two new scholarships in fall 2019 to attract first-year international students. 

The University is one of nine colleges around the country that have agreed to offer #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarships, awarding it to two incoming University students. Organizers of the scholarship program hope additional universities will offer the scholarship. 

The scholarships, which will be offered annually, covers a minimum of 50 percent of a student’s tuition. The application for the scholarship is scheduled to open later this summer.

The program was created by Temple University following the #YouAreWelcomeHere social media movement started in November 2016 in response to the election of President Donald Trump. According to the campaign’s website, it’s intended to be a “welcome message” from United States higher education to international students. 

The scholarship sends a straightforward message that international students are a benefit to American universities, said Barbara Kappler, assistant dean of International Student and Scholar Services at the University.

The University decided to participate in the scholarship program because there were no large public research universities were involved in the initiative, said Aimee Thostenson, director of international student recruitment for ISSS. 

Thostenson said the scholarship will be particularly beneficial with a 15 percent nonresident tuition hike due for the 2018 – 2019 academic year.

Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota is also participating in the scholarship program.

“Concordia College saw the scholarship as an opportunity to let international students know that they are wanted and will be accepted,” said Matthew Beatty, director of international admission at Concordia.

Students can benefit from having international students as their classmates, he said. 

“Only a limited number of Minnesota students can travel abroad. Through having international students in their classes and in their residence halls, they can learn critical thinking skills, language skills, global diplomacy and different ways of living,” Beatty said.