Higher Education Access for Displaced Students

The College Board works with and for refugee and otherwise displaced students to make it easier for them to continue their education. This work is integral to our overall mission to expand access to higher education for all students. According to the UN Refugee Agency, only 3% of refugees worldwide enroll in college or university.

In February 2020, we held our first Symposium on Expanding Higher Education for Displaced Students to discuss how to improve higher education access for refugees and other displaced students. Revisit this page in the coming months to find out about the latest developments in our work with these underrepresented students.

You’ll also soon be able to download new resources that will make it easier for refugee and displaced students to pursue higher education.

Past Work with Refugee Counselors

In 2018, we provided funding to Ella Ininahazwe and Sadiki Bamperinzea, two refugee college graduates, to support their Refugee College Guidance Initiative. We are extremely proud of the work they and their colleagues are doing to support refugees in pursuing higher education.

Visit the Resources section at the bottom of this page to learn more about how Ella and Sadiki are making a difference in the lives of refugees.

About Our Partners

These partners are doing important work to expand higher education opportunities for refugees and displaced persons around the world.


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. Since 1950, UNHCR has worked to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge after fleeing violence, persecution, war, or disaster at home.

Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Education Movement

In 2018, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) launched its Global Education Movement (GEM), which partners with experts on the ground to offer competency-based bachelor’s degrees and pathways to quality employment at no cost to refugees. Building on successful outcomes in Rwanda, GEM now has programs in Lebanon, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa.


Kepler is a nongovernmental organization in Rwanda that partners with Southern New Hampshire University to provide a global model of accessible and excellent higher education. Through this partnership, students can earn a U.S.–accredited degree that prepares them for success in academics and the workforce. At the core of Kepler’s mission is a commitment to providing opportunities to vulnerable students, including refugees.