IIE Embarks on a 10,000 U.S. Passports Journey through the IIE American Passport Project

by Lindsay Gee Calvert, IIENetwork Lead

In this inaugural year of the IIE American Passport Project, IIE is excited to announce the 40 IIENetwork member institutions selected to enable 1,000 students to obtain their U.S. passports and empower them to kick-start their study abroad plans.

Education is critical to helping solve the world’s most pressing problems, and international experience is vital for individuals to thrive in a world as interconnected as ours. Study abroad is one of the best ways that students can acquire global skills and create personal and professional opportunities. It has long been part of IIE’s mission to increase participation and diversity in study abroad and to extend these benefits for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status. For students of limited means, studying abroad can require long-term planning and involve financial hurdles, like the cost of a passport, which could bar them from moving forward.

Through the IIE American Passport Project, IIE plans to have enabled 10,000 students to have passports by the end of this decade. Each year, IIE will help 1,000 college students obtain U.S. passports by awarding funds to 40 U.S. colleges and universities in the IIENetwork, IIE’s global membership network. Each institution will identify 25 of their first-year students who are eligible for Pell grants. Eligibility will be limited to first-year students to ensure that the students have ample time remaining in their college career and receive guidance from their advisors to map out a study abroad plan. Competitive institutions will demonstrate grant need, support obtained and impact on study abroad participation.

In the inaugural year, nearly 200 institutions applied for the grant to support students obtaining U.S. passports.

In this first year, we received an overwhelming number of applications for the number of awards available. Nearly 200 institutions applied, informing IIE of the various ways they would be able to utilize the grant to support targeted student populations. At a time when COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of international education, these institutions demonstrate the drive to restart international initiatives they have been planning (either prior to the pandemic or during). We thank each institution for taking the time to apply and applaud their ideas and efforts to implement this project on their campuses.

For the 40 institutions selected, the IIE American Passport Project aids their endeavors to reach students who are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad at their respective campuses, as well as contribute to their institution’s mission and strategic efforts to expand diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. These institutions will provide the innovative programming, engagement efforts, advising, and support for those students they have identified with the goal of sending them on a study abroad program during their college experience. IIE looks forward to sharing institution and student stories as passports are obtained and study abroad plans become a reality.


Institution State Institution State
Alcorn State University (HBCU)*        MS Rochester Institute of Technology        NY
Amherst College MA Saint Martin’s University (MSI) WA
Broward College (CC/HSI) FL San Diego State University (HSI)* CA
Butler University IN Santa Fe College (CC) FL
Central Michigan University* MI Savannah State University (HBCU) GA
Central State University (HBCU) OH Stockton University*  NJ
Chatham University* PA University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (MSI)*  AR
DePauw University IN University of Illinois-Chicago (HSI)* IL
Fayetteville State University (HBCU) NC University of Louisville KY
Goshen College IN University of Maryland-Baltimore County (MSI)* MD
Governors State University (MSI)* IL University of Missouri-Columbia* MO
Harper College (CC) IL University of Nebraska Omaha* NE
Harris-Stowe State University (HBCU) MO University of New Mexico (HSI) NM
Juniata College PA University of New Orleans LA
Kapiolani Community College (CC) HI University of North Carolina-Wilmington* NC
Kings College* PA University of South Alabama AL
Massachusetts College of Art & Design* MA Ursinus College PA
Montclair State University (HSI)* NJ Virginia Tech* VA
North Carolina Central University (HBCU) NC Western Michigan University* MI
North Park University (HSI) IL Xavier University of Louisiana (HBCU)* LA


  • More than 50% of selected institutions represent minority-serving student populations (HBCU, HSI, MSI) or are community colleges.
  • More than 50% of selected institutions are IIE Generation Study Abroad Commitment Partners.
  • Nearly 50% of U.S. states are represented (33% South, 32% Midwest, 25% Northeast, and 10% West).
  • The majority are expanding their diversity, equity, access, and inclusion efforts by targeting these top 4 student populations: students with demonstrated financial need, racial/ethnic minorities, students who have never traveled abroad, and first-generation students.


Selected institutions identified the following traditionally underrepresented student populations that they are targeting with their efforts to expand diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in study abroad on their respective campuses.

*Other: underrepresented academic majors, such as STEM; student athletes; rural students; students who are parents; and Corps of Cadets

Join IIE in the journey to help thousands of U.S. students to study abroad through the IIE American Passport Project. Please consider investing in their future by making a gift to support this program.