The withdrawal of U.S. troops from and consequent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in summer 2021 led to more than 80,000 Afghan refugees seeking asylum in the United States. The Chicago area has welcomed more than 1,100 Afghan refugees since then. Many area nonprofits and refugee organizations are working to help with settlement and housing. There have also been many people who as individuals have provided various types of support.

Northeastern Illinois University is helping too! In October 2021 NEIU established the Afghan Transition Program (ATP) which is now providing 15 qualified refugees full scholarships, including for housing, for the Fall 2022, Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 semesters. Three students are enrolled in SAELL, NEIU’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program. An additional twelve students are enrolled in degree programs, the most popular of which is NEIU’s MBA program. NEIU has partnered with RefugeeOne, Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago, Catholic Charities, World Relief of Chicagoland, and Heartland Alliances to support the transitions of the 15 students to the Chicago area.

This program is not only consistent with the University’s stated values of Excellence, Access to Opportunity, Diversity, Community and Empowerment Through Learning, but also communicates Northeastern’s readiness to lead with a sense of responsibility and accountability to those historically displaced and dispossessed by circumstances beyond their control.

Learn more about Afghan Refugee Support

Application Deadlines

Applications for the ATP are now closed as all of the slots have been filled. NEIU encourages other Afghan refugees who might have another source of support to continue to apply to our bachelor's, master's and English as a Second Language programs.

Contact the Admissions Office at or (773) 442-4050 to learn more.