Funding

Institutional grants and scholarship programs are increasing participation in study abroad, and helping students prepare for future career choices, according to two reports released during the 2016 NAFSA conference last week. Both reports specifically highlight the positive impact of these funding opportunities on students from underrepresented populations.

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Ahead of the G-7 Summit taking place this week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that over the next five years Japan will accept 150 Syrians as exchange students, rather than refugees, allowing them to attend Japanese universities.

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The Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), a nonprofit founded by singer Rihanna, announced a new scholarship to fund study at U.S. higher education institutions for students from Barbados, Cuba, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Brazil. 

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A Congressional sign-on letter in support of FY 2017 funding for State Department exchange programs garnered 120 signatures from Members of Congress. This is the fourth time in recent years that the Alliance has partnered with Representative Hank Johnson’s office to send a Dear Colleague letter to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee. The letter requests the highest funding level possible for State Department exchanges in FY 2017.

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A Senate sign-on letter in support of robust funding for Department of State international exchange programs, led for the second year by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), garnered a total of 19 signatures, six more than last year’s letter. The signers of the 2016 letter include:

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In the last budget request of his presidency, President Obama requested $628.9 million for core Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs.

This request represents an approximately 6.4% increase over the FY16 funding level of $590.9 million—a robust number in difficult budget times (nearly $6 million higher than last year’s request of $623 million), and a concrete sign of the Obama administration’s support of exchanges.

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The House and Senate passed an omnibus appropriations bill on Friday, finalizing funding for the remainder of FY16, CQ reports. The funding measure was signed by President Obama later that day.

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Earlier this morning the House passed a third continuing resolution (CR) to extend government funding for an additional six days through Dec. 22, CQ reports. The Senate is expected to vote on the CR today, and if passed, the CR will give lawmakers more time to pass the FY16 omnibus bill since the short-term CR passed last Friday (Dec. 11) is set to expire at midnight tonight.

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Hours before the expiration of a continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government through midnight tonight (December 11), Congress passed a short-term CR to keep the federal government funded for an additional five days through December 16, CQ reports. President Obama is expected to sign the funding measure, avoiding a government shutdown. The new CR will give lawmakers additional time to finish negotiations on an omnibus bill to fund the government for the remainder of FY16.

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A continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on Wednesday will keep the federal government funded at current levels through December 11, reports CQ.

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