Arlington, VA (December 21, 2021) – NACAC and International ACAC seek to empower all students to achieve their higher education plans, and our members recognize that circumstances outside a student’s control can significantly impact their pursuit of higher education.
NACAC and International ACAC call for institutional partners to be receptive to the needs of prospective students who are adversely affected by military actions, natural disasters, political upheaval, or other events that render them unsafe and unable to access typical, basic resources. These students, counselors and their communities may also be struggling to access and obtain official records needed for opportunities elsewhere. In addition, current students, staff and faculty studying outside their passport country may not be able to return to their homes or may not have access to previous resources (financial or familial) because of the changes in their countries, necessitating extra resources from their institutions.
In these situations, we ask our colleagues to raise awareness in their institutions, to be flexible with payments, requirements and deadlines, and to provide extra resources to support populations in these vulnerable situations.
Actions for Current or Future Host Institutions:
- Advocate internally to create safe spaces by making campus resources available to impacted students such as emotional counseling, legal and/or immigration advising, food, housing or tuition assistance.
- Educate faculty/administrators on the need for flexibility in obtaining documents or extending deadlines for coursework.
- Encourage the admission staff to provide flexibility on receipt of documents used for admission and enrollment purposes. For example: allow academic documents to come in various formats, extend deadlines and offer fee waivers.
- Encourage leadership (or enrollment managers) to facilitate or expand options for deferred enrollment
- Empower and encourage collaboration among International Student Support Services (on behalf of students), administrative offices, and academic programs to be proactive in creating student-centered approaches in these difficult circumstances.
The admission and counseling communities extend our support to our students, counselors, colleagues and their families in these vulnerable situations and hope our educational partners will do the same.
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