New Report Offers Admission Framework for Displaced Students


Verifying transcripts and information from outside the US can often be a challenge for colleges and universities. But what about applicants who aren’t able to provide documentation at all?

A new analysis and toolkit, “Inclusive Admissions Policies for Displaced and Vulnerable Students,” from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) offers a framework for colleges and universities as they work with displaced students.

“Many displaced and vulnerable students coming to the United States will have completed university-level degrees or at least some coursework. Yet many of these students are unable to access complete official or verifiable documentation of their academic achievements, though they may have partial or unofficial documentation with them. This may be due to the inability of home country institutions to send or verify documents. It may also be due to the students’ inability to take much with them when they flee home suddenly,” the report stated.

“This lack of access to official, verifiable documentation often results in many students unable to prove their past academic work, and they may need to start all over. This is a highly disheartening prospect to well-educated displaced students who face years and thousands of dollars having to essentially re-do their education. Institutions can help these students get back on track towards finishing their education at any level.”

The report is designed to help colleges and universities build in a flexible framework to work with these applicants. Though these students will likely need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, having policies in place will give them a support system.

“We encourage institutions to proactively begin discussions of policy and procedures to help these students whenever they show up on your doorstep,” AACRAO wrote. “In other words, ask: ‘how can we as an institution help?’”

Read the full analysis and tool guide and explore NACAC’s resources for foreign and refugee students in our Knowledge Center.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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