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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

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The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

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David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

State Department to Pilot New Program for Refugees to Attend College

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021   

By next fall, refugee students may be able to apply to attend American colleges and universities. The State Department said it plans to pilot a new category for refugee admissions, known as P4.

P4 status would allow a group or institution to sponsor a refugee. A university sponsorship program would allow them to study in the U.S. and then apply for permanent residency.

Laura Wagner, project manager for the Initiative on U.S. Education Pathways for Refugee Students, part of the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, said the current foreign student visa program requires students to leave after they graduate.

"Right now, we are getting the best and the brightest of the world, and then we're saying, 'Thanks, now you have to go back to your home country,'" Wagner explained. "Whereas this would provide an opportunity for them to stay and continue to use and share those talents to their new community in the U.S."

The Alliance recently published a report calling on the State Department to implement a P4 category in the spring of 2022. Community colleges and universities, including the University of California-Davis, would step up to offer free tuition. Philanthropic groups would cover other costs, and the State Department would aid in resettlement.

Wagner argued refugees deserve a shot at a brighter future in the U.S., a country founded by immigrants.

"Less than 1% of refugees worldwide are able to be resettled," Wagner reported. "And we have only 5% of refugees accessing higher ed."

Advocates of the pilot program say it could initially be limited to 30 students who would apply next fall and start their college classes in 2024.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


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