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Passports to Success

A grant from the Institute for International Education will help Montclair State first-year students obtain passports for study abroad

Posted in: Homepage News, University

IIE passport students pose for photo on rocks on the shore of a lake

Montclair State is the recipient of a competitive award through the Institute for International Education (IIE) to help first-year students with financial need get their U.S. passports and study abroad.

“This grant from IIE supports our long-term goal to increase participation and diversity in study abroad, so that all students have access to the academic and personal benefits of international experience,” says Office of International Academic Initiatives Director Domenica Dominguez. “Even a small step like getting a first passport can begin to generate excitement and open the door to international experience.”

Eligibility is limited to first-year students to ensure students have ample time in their college career to plan and achieve a study abroad plan with help from their advisors.

The application deadline is October 1, 2021, and applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Enrolled full time at Montclair State University in fall 2021
  • First-year (freshman) student in fall 2021
  • Pell Grant recipient
  • A citizen of the United States at the time of the application
  • No current or expired passport

Applications will be reviewed with consideration to the following preferred criteria (although all applicants who meet the above eligibility requirements will be considered):

  • Diversity of applicant pool, broadly defined, to support students who are underrepresented in study abroad, including veteran status, gender identity, race, ethnicity, varsity athlete, and first generation college student.
  • Commitment to participating in a study abroad program while at Montclair State.

Dominguez notes that all eligible Pell-recipient freshmen are encouraged to apply even if they do not think they meet these extra considerations.

Award Benefits

This IIE award will cover all costs associated with applying for a passport, including $15 for photos (taken onsite at the Montclair State Passport Office), $35 first-time processing fee, and $110 first-time application fee paid to the U.S. Department of State.

Award recipients are required to apply for their passport through the Montclair State Passport Office, conveniently located in the Maintenance Building across from the University Police Department. The Office of International Academic Initiatives will work with award recipients to provide specialized guidance and support throughout the process, working with the Montclair State Passport Office – the only on-campus passport office in New Jersey.

Award recipients will also receive:

Individual and/or group advising on study abroad programs and options.
Individual and/or group advising and application support for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. (Gilman Scholarship winners may receive up to $5,000 to subsidize their study abroad programs.)

The IIE award application is now open and closes October 1, 2021. Recipients will be announced in November; will apply for passports in November and December; and passports will arrive March-May 2022.

From January 2022 to May 2024, the Office of International Academic Initiatives will host advising sessions for study abroad opportunities and Gilman Scholarship applications for study abroad programs scheduled to begin in June 2022 and run through December 2024.

Dominguez is working to get out the word so that no student misses out on this full-service approach to making study abroad attainable for all students.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” says Dominguez.

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Story by Staff Writer Mary Barr Mann

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