Since September, the college has agreed to take on more Syrian refugees in wake of the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.
The original pledge of $50,000 to fund the tuitions of up to 10 refugees was later changed to $60,000 to aid up to 12.
Laura Stranbra, the vice president of student services, confirmed that the college has accepted its first student as part of an initiative to aid Syrian refugees, in a conversation with the Times on March 18.
Stanbra stated that a student had been accepted but did not provide much other information due to confidentiality reasons. She only revealed that the individual in question has a family and will be beginning their studies in the next fall term.
Stanbra also confirmed that four other applications are being verified at the moment.
So far, the college has mostly relied on its website and word of mouth to get the message out about funds available to Syrian refugees.
The new student heard about the opportunity from a member of their church congregation. The other four saw it on the college’s website.
Despite her optimism, Stanbra is well aware that ensuring the success of these students requires a long-term engagement from the college and its community partners.
The students will need to have their past credentials assessed and meet the language requirements.
Money, although not an issue at the moment, it might be in the future. Stanbra expressed how the college may need to reach out to private donors once funds become depleted.
“This isn’t an issue that’s going away anytime soon, unfortunately,” Stanbra said.
“I see it as a multiple year project.”