ESF COVID-19 Response

IIE Emergency Student Fund to Assist International Students on U.S. Campuses impacted by COVID-19

To support the ESF: COVID-19 Response, please make a donation now and designate your gift by entering "COVID-19 Emergency Student Fund" in the gift designation field.


The IIE Emergency Student Fund (ESF) is issuing a call for IIENetwork Member institutions in the United States to nominate international students who face financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic for an ESF award.  The ESF: COVID-19 Response will provide grants of $1,500 to selected students who demonstrate high financial need. Students may use the grants to cover their educational, living or health-related expenses during the remainder of the summer and into the fall 2020 semester.

These grants are made possible by the generosity of the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation, the Duolingo English Test, and many other friends of IIE.

U.S. IIENetwork Member institutions are invited to nominate up to two students for whom help is needed. Students must be nominated by an international student advisor or other campus official. Please designate one nominator per campus who will complete the ESF: COVID-19 Response nomination form. IIE acknowledges that supporting international students during crises requires multiple stakeholders and expects nominating institutions to help address the students' urgent financial needs through any means possible (e.g. tuition waivers, scholarships, assistantships, housing and other direct resources). Please confirm additional institutional support prior to submitting your nomination. 

Deadline: Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 11:59pm EDT. Decisions will be sent to students, copying nominators in by the end of August. Please note, while nominators will be copied on the nomination emails, payments will be made directly to students.

Access the Nomination Forms


To be considered for an ESF: COVID-19 Response award, nominated students must:

  • Be studying at an IIENetwork Member institution in the U.S. To confirm your IIENetwork Member status, please contact
  • Demonstrate to campus officials that they are facing financial hardship as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Demonstrate that their financial ability to pay for their essential expenses has been seriously disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Be enrolled for the fall 2020 semester;
  • Have the appropriate non-immigration visa status (only F-1 and J-1 visa holders are eligible for an ESF award)

Please note that students who have previously received an ESF: COVID-19 Response grant are not eligible to be nominated again. Students who were nominated but did not receive a grant can be nominated again.

U.S. host campuses nominating students for the ESF: COVID-19 Response are expected to provide emergency assistance to nominated students through tuition waivers, scholarships, housing or other direct support. Please secure additional institutional support prior to submitting your nomination.

Nomination Instructions

U.S. campuses that are IIENetwork Member institutions are invited to nominate up to two of their international students for whom help is needed the most to cover their essential expenses. Nominations must be completed and submitted online. The nomination form can be accessed here. For questions, please email

If nominating several students, please rank students based on financial need, with "1" being the highest level of need. Please take the time to describe each student’s financial and personal situation individually. The more detailed and personalized information the selection committee has access to, the better are the chances for students to receive an ESF award.

The grant nominations must be submitted to IIE online by 11:59PM EDT on Tuesday, August 11, 2020. Awards will be announced at the end of August. 


We know the need will exceed the funding currently available in the IIE Emergency Student Fund. Contributions of any amount are welcome. To make a gift and help support more students, please visit our giving page. Thank you! 


If you have additional questions, please email

To learn more about IIENetwork Membership, please visit