Since late 2017, the value of the Iranian Rial has dropped over 75%. This has severely impacted Iranian students studying in the United States, forcing many to drop out and return to Iran without a degree. In response, PAAIA has secured limited funding to provide grants to Iranian nationals studying in the U.S.
The Washington Institute found that Iranian students are “broadly oriented toward and wish to contribute to America.” Despite the difficulty in applying to American universities—from the expensive application and test fees to obtaining a single-entry visa from a consulate outside of Iran—over 12,000 Iranian students are currently studying in the United States.
The study concluded that the Iran-U.S. student pipeline can “serve to lessen hardship, engender goodwill, and help fulfill the aspirations of the Iranian people.” Iranian students in U.S. colleges and universities help build a lasting affinity for America and contribute to critical fields like technology and engineering.
PAAIA’s Emergency Student Fund has provided multiple students with enough funding to complete their degree, but we’ve received an overwhelming number of applicants struggling to meet the costs of tuition. To provide enough grants for all of the students who have reached out to us, we need your support. Help students like the ones below complete their education.
Messages from ESF Applicants:
“Right now I have a debt to school of about $7,000, for which I pay $200 each month. If I can’t pay the whole debt by next year, I cannot get my degree. I have no support from my home country and I have two kids!”
“As a student, I can only work on campus for 20 hours. I could find part time job for 11 hours per week and $15 per hour. However, it doesn’t even cover my rent.”
“Since I moved to United States in 2016, Iranian currency has dropped to one fourth of its value. That means that my savings are worthless now. Any sort of help will be appreciated because right now I am getting 4 hours of sleep each day to just pay my tuition for college.”
“Life became even harder for me because of the U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran. The Iranian currency has been even significantly devalued and the money transfer has become almost impossible. My family is bearing the brunt of the U.S. sanctions also. The combined monthly income of my parents together is around $700, which has less purchasing power due to a devalued currency. As a result, I cannot not rely on them to support me.”
“I work as a graduate assistant in the Office of Research and Development. I got $1400 monthly from that, but because of the course program fee, I only get $205 every month. Meanwhile I have Crohn’s disease and need to get Humira shots every week, which are very expensive. I have a problem paying rent and utilities, and I really need help.”
“Because of the current currency situation in Iran, my retired father can’t send me anything, and I have tried to get scholarships, but still I haven’t succeeded in getting any. I really have a lot of financial problems and my life is getting so difficult. I am on F visa and am not allowed to work off-campus or even more than 20 hours on-campus. I don’t know what to do in this period of my life time.”
“My father passed away when I was 15 years old. So I consider myself responsible for both my and my family’s condition, and I came here to try all I can to see the same smile on my mother’s face as before. I want both my mother and older sister to know me as someone reliable because I am the only son. Overall, due to the devaluation of our currency, I could not pay my rent anymore, and thanks to my cousin’s kindness I am living with him. However, with the devaluation of the rial, it is even harder for my family to send money to me to pay for school. “