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U of C to waive application fees for students affected by U.S. travel ban

By Scott Strasser, February 2 2017 —

The University of Calgary will exempt application fees for prospective students from the seven countries included in the United States’ recent travel ban.

The university confirmed on Feb. 2 that application fees will be waived for students from the affected countries applying for undergraduate and graduate programs at the U of C. The exemption applies to both international applicants and those currently in the U.S. who wish to transfer to the U of C or continue their studies as a visiting student.

For international undergraduate and graduate students, an application to the U of C normally costs $145.

The U of C’s announcement came  after a Jan. 27 executive order from U.S. president Donald Trump that prohibited nationals from seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

While a Seattle-based federal judge blocked the executive order on Feb. 3, the Trump administration has stated they will appeal the decision. 

The countries on the ban list include Libya, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Syrians were to be banned from the U.S. indefinitely, while the other six countries were to be banned for a period of 90 days.

The executive order also prohibited political refugees and green card holders from entering the U.S. for 120 days.

Trump justified the ban, saying it would help “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States.”

Shortly after the executive order was announced, the U of C issued a statement saying the university is committed to welcoming students, faculty and staff from around the world, including refugees.

“Our university is based on diversity, inclusivity and the free exchange of scholarship and ideas across international boundaries,” U of C president Elizabeth Cannon said.  “These values are the foundation of great universities worldwide. Any restriction that prevents students and scholars from going abroad for study, teaching or research is deeply concerning and has a profound impact not only on scholarship but also on family relationships of our university community members.”

U of C Faculty of Graduate Studies dean Lisa Young wrote a similar statement on the graduate studies website. She said the university would work to provide financial assistance to U of C graduate students who had to cancel research or conference travel to the U.S. because of the ban.

“The recent executive order restricting travel to the United States has an immediate impact on many members of our graduate student community and on the broader scholarly community to which we belong,” Young wrote. “I share the concern expressed by University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon in her statement to the campus community.”

The University of Alberta will also exempt application fees for prospective graduate students from the seven countries until further notice. The U of A currently also exempts the $100 international application fee for prospective students from the 51 least developed nations in the world.


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