Sponsoring as a campus community makes adapting to life on campus and in the United States easier for refugees and can be deeply rewarding for everyone involved. Successful sponsorship of refugee students is an all-of-campus approach which requires the commitment and buy-in of a variety of campus stakeholders to work together to secure financial, logistical, and academic support.

Campuses participating in the Welcome Corps on Campus must form a campus private sponsor group to welcome refugee students. Groups provide refugee students with a softer landing and an educational pathway, setting them up for academic and overall success. View the On Campus Mobilization Toolkit to get started.

Campus sponsor groups should include a variety of campus stakeholders (staff, faculty, and students) and community members to provide holistic support during the 12-month sponsorship period. View this Sample Group Structure for guidance on forming your group. Each group should have a designated “group coordinator,” who will create an account and complete the application.

Groups must have a minimum of five members, and all sponsors must meet the same minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Private sponsor groups must have a minimum of five members over the age of 18.
  • Everyone in your group must be an American citizen or permanent resident.
  • Members must have a connection to the campus and surrounding community where the refugee student will resettle.

There are two ways to welcome refugee students through the Welcome Corps on Campus:

  • Welcome Corps on Campus can match your group with a refugee student recruited in Jordan and Kenya and identified as an academic fit for your institution, or
  • Institutions can form a campus private sponsor group to refer a specific refugee student to the program. Use the Refugee Eligibility Tool to determine whether the refugee student you would like to sponsor is eligible for referral.

All refugee students resettled through the Welcome Corps on Campus must meet the definition of a refugee under U.S. law and the following criteria:

  • They live outside their home country.
  • They do not live in the United States.
  • They live in a country where the U.S. government is able to interview sponsored refugees and process their cases.
  • They are already registered on or before September 30, 2023, as a refugee or asylum seeker by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or by the government of the country where they live.
  • They are between 18-24 years old at the time of application.
  • They are single (unmarried) with no children. Refugee students will not be able to bring family members with them to the United States. The broader Welcome Corps program provides opportunities for family sponsorship.
  • They are enrolling in an associate or bachelor’s degree program.
  • They have not been previously denied for resettlement to the United States through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

View answers to frequently asked questions about the application process below or contact campus@welcomecorps.org.