Some U.S. universities are waiving their application fees for Saudi Arabian students in Canada who have been ordered by the Saudi government to leave. The Saudi government ordered its students in Canada to transfer to institutions in other countries after it took offense to statements from Canada’s foreign affairs minister criticizing the kingdom’s arrest of human rights activists.
Saudi students were told last week to leave Canada by the end of the summer. In 2017, there were 7,640 Saudi students studying in Canada, accounting for 2 percent of Canada's international student population.
Louisiana Tech University is waving application fees for Saudi Arabian students who are affected and has extended its application deadline. It also held a Facebook Live event about transfer options for Saudi students last week. “To us this is not a political thing; this is simply seeing students who are in a situation where they need to find a solution and find one quickly, and we’re trying to help them,” said Jay Ligon, Louisiana Tech's director of international student and scholars services.
Valparaiso University, in Indiana, is also waiving application fees for affected Saudi undergraduate applicants from Canada. Portland State University is waiving application fees and offering expedited admissions decisions for Saudi students transferring from colleges in Canada.