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GEO Passport Grant

The Global Education Office in partnership with the Institute for Higher Education (IIE) are pleased to offer UNM students a scholarship to cover the cost of their new U.S. Passport. This program is designed to grow the number of UNM students able to participate in a credit-granting international program, and to heighten students' intercultural awareness and expertise through international travel. GEO is eager to assist eligible students, who would benefit from support with paying for and procuring their passport, to take this initial step on their education abroad journey.


Preference given for students who are:

  • In their 1st year
  • Eligible for the Pell Grant
  • Member of a diverse or minority group (See application for full list)


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You are eligible to apply if you are:

  • An undergraduate or graduate, degree-seeking UNM student;

  • In good academic standing at UNM;

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen;

  • Plan to study abroad during your time at UNM;

  • Must be able to apply for U.S. Passport at the UNM Passport Center located on UNM Main Campus;

  • Must apply for your passport at the UNM Passport Center

About IIE Passport Project Grant

The University of New Mexico has been selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant that will enable 25 UNM students to obtain a U.S. passport and support their study abroad journeys. In this inaugural year of the initiative, IIE announced 40 selected institutions that, overall, will aid 1,000 U.S. students to procure their U.S. passports and to provide study abroad guidance.

It has long been part of IIE’s mission to increase participation and diversity in study abroad, so that all students can gain the academic and career benefits of international experience. The IIE American Passport Project grant is intended to promote diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in study abroad and to support the IIENetwork, IIE’s global membership network, in their efforts to encourage students to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in an international experience as part of their college education. For students of limited means, studying abroad can require long-term planning and involve financial hurdles, like the cost of a passport, which could bar them from moving forward.

Through the IIE American Passport Project, IIE plans to have enabled 10,000 students to have passports by the end of this decade. Each year, IIE will help 1,000 college students obtain a U.S. passport by awarding funds to approximately 40 U.S. colleges and universities in the IIENetwork. Each institution will identify up to 25 of their first-year students, who are eligible for Pell grants. Eligibility is limited to first-year students to ensure that the students have ample time remaining in their college career and receive guidance from their advisors to map out a study abroad plan.

In this first year, IIE received nearly 200 applications proposing the various ways higher education institutions of all types and locations would be able to utilize the grant to support diverse student populations. At a time when COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of international education, these institutions demonstrate the drive to restart international initiatives they have been planning (either prior to the pandemic or during). For the 40 institutions selected, the IIE American Passport Project provides one critical piece of the multi-faceted effort needed to reach students who are traditionally underrepresented in study abroad: a passport. The selected institutions will provide the innovative programming, engagement efforts, advising, and support for those students they have identified with the goal of sending them on a study abroad program during their college experience.