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In 2022, the Kentucky General Assembly provided $10 million in funding for the Kentucky Innovative Scholarship Pilot Project (KISPP). Through the state budget bill, House Bill 1, the legislature directed the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) to establish a pilot program supported with this funding appropriated to provide college access and promote undergraduate student success for displaced students and for students participating in international exchange programs.

Charged to implement this groundbreaking pilot program, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) partnered with the National Association of System Heads (NASH), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, and the Community Sponsorship Hub (CSH) to launch a Community of Practice (CoP) and convene monthly to connect KYCPE, KHEAA staff, and institutions to relevant subject matter experts and resources.


KY Toolkit

The Community of Practice leaders have developed a toolkit that consolidates content from CoP workshops in an accessible, multimedia format, allowing readers to easily reference each session. The toolkit aims to uplift advice from experts and practitioners who work with displaced populations in Kentucky and nationally, who lent their time and insight to members of the CoP. The toolkit also includes voices of CoP members and scholarship recipients themselves throughout the toolkit.


This toolkit has five main sections and offers guidance on:

  • Resettlement in Kentucky & how the scholarship operates.
  • Who scholarship recipients are and how membership in various immigration categories affects access to higher education.
  • How to create and expand welcoming campuses and foster a sense of belonging.
  • How to support students with their career goals and prepare for the workforce.
  • How to sustain and mobilize support for displaced students through ethical storytelling.

Student Eligibility

Students would be eligible for funding as long as they currently live in Kentucky, and meet the definition of a “displaced student.” A traditional or non-traditional aged student who arrived in the U.S. within five years and has not established U.S. citizenship as of July 1, 2022, is a foreign national who:

  • Has received U.S asylum (Asylee)
  • Submitted a U.S asylum application (Asylum Seeker)
  • A resettled refugee, has temporary protected status (TPS / Temporary Protected Status
  • Is on humanitarian parole (Parolee)
  • Is on a special immigrant visa (SIV /Special Immigrant Visa)


The Partners Implementing the Community of Practice


The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is a coordinating board overseeing Kentucky's state universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The Council also licenses non-profit and for-profit higher education institutions to operate in Kentucky. As higher education coordinating board, the Council facilitates a positive return on investment of public funds supporting higher education by monitoring academic quality, affordability and student success through policy and accountability measures. CPE's board and attached agency are not involved in a public college's day-to-day operations, board appointments, personnel matters, budget-setting or extracurricular activities.



KHEAA is the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, a state agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to higher education. We offer FAFSA verification and student default prevention services to higher education institutions across the country. KHEAA also provides state aid such as the Kentucky Education Excellence Scholarship (KEES) program, the College Access Program Grant (CAP), the Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTG) and other scholarship, grant and work-study programs. KHEAA is part of three agencies with one mission: help our education partners, students and families achieve their goals. KHEAA, KHESLC and ARC have more than 50 years’ experience making goals a reality. In that time, we’ve remained committed to our mission, our customer service and our professional and ethical conduct. We also pride ourselves on our respect and advocacy for our stakeholders and employees. Our agencies are also committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion (same as



The National Association of System Heads (NASH) is the association of chief executives of public college and university systems in the United States. Systemness, or the idea that the whole can be more than the sum of its parts, is the fundamental concept that drives NASH’s work. Leveraging the power of systemness, NASH created the Refugee Resettlement Initiative (RRI) to promote the inclusion of refugees and displaced communities at public higher education systems and institutions across the U.S. The RRI does this by raising awareness of the new role that university systems and institutions can play as co-sponsors and sponsors of refugee students and families; providing technical and coordination support in the form of training programs for campus leaders, and convenings of statewide actors supporting refugee resettlement; and advocating for this work with the federal, state, and private sectors, as well as within and across systems.


The Institute of International Education’s mission is to help people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world. IIE develops and implements many of the world’s most prestigious and innovative scholarship and training programs, including working globally to support refugees and displaced people to access higher education. We work in partnership with a range of funders and sponsors to design and lead initiatives, both in person and virtual, to identify and place refugees and displaced people in higher education programs as well as support them during their degree programs in a holistic manner. IIE also leads the PEER platform, an on-line resource of global scholarship opportunities for refugee and displaced people.


The Community Sponsorship Hub was founded in 2021 to grow the role of local communities in the protection and welcome of forcibly displaced people, making it possible for people to sponsor regardless of where they are in the United States. We do this by generating and advancing bold, smart policies, and by connecting partners at the national and local levels with the knowledge and financial resources they need to ensure that sponsors and those they are welcoming are set up for success. In 2023, the U.S. Department of State, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, launched the Welcome Corps, empowering everyday Americans to welcome refugees arriving through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). Community Sponsorship Hub is proud to lead the consortium of organizations implementing the Welcome Corps and the Welcome Corps on Campus, a new opportunity for higher education institutions and on-campus sponsors to provide academic and community support to refugee students from around the world.

Presidents alliance

The Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration is a consortium of 550 college and university presidents and chancellors focused on the intersection of immigration and higher education. Presidents' Alliance Refugee Student Initiatives mobilizes higher education institutions for the implementation of university sponsorship of refugee students, provides resources, expertise, and technical assistance to institutions enrolling and supporting displaced and refugee students, advocates for inclusive and equitable federal, state, and campus policies that support access to academic and immigration pathways for refugee and displaced students, and develops and promotes research and narratives that recognize the contributions of refugee students, scholars, staff, and alumni in U.S. communities and on campuses.