Since the invasion of Ukraine began, millions of people have suffered. The international community has supported the Ukrainian people in various ways, but many more still need help. Luckily, many American colleges have done their part and used their resources to aid Ukrainians in need. This article will highlight 30 colleges that are going above and beyond with their support.
This ranking has prioritized a wide range of support measures that colleges are offering to Ukrainians. Naturally, support for students is a vital factor for inclusion in the below list. However, colleges that have secured the highest rankings in this list are those that are extending their support beyond students. These colleges can demonstrate that they are helping Ukrainian refugees and even Ukrainians still in their home country.
Some colleges are better placed than others to provide a broad range of support to Ukrainians. For instance, those with strong international ties or links to global organizations, are particularly well-placed to offer extensive aid. Because of this, the following ranking has also assessed college support measures compared to college sizes. Smaller colleges providing a disproportionately large amount of support are therefore highly ranked in this list.
Any prospective student that cares significantly about the support that a college offers to people in difficult circumstances would benefit from attending one of the 30 colleges in this ranking. However, it’s also true that none of these may be right for you. If that’s the case, this ranking can still be a vital resource in your college search. Each entry contains a summary of what the college is doing to support the Ukrainian people. These have been included for you to compare and contrast with your own college options. If any college that you’re considering is offering support like the 30 colleges ahead, then that’s a strong sign that it’s a college worth attending.
The initial colleges in this ranking were sourced from a range of articles that indicate colleges that support Ukrainians. These sources are as follows:
- Fierce Education, U.S. Colleges and Universities Respond to Ukraine Conflict
- Erudera, List of Universities Helping Ukrainian Students:
- VOA Learning English, Ukrainian Students Find Refuge at US Colleges
- Inside Higher Ed, Ukrainian Students Enrich U.S. Campuses
- University Business, Help for Ukraine: How 4 universities are aiding students in the humanitarian effort
- Changing America, How some universities are helping Ukrainian students amid a war at home
- Reuters, From bomb shelter to dorm room: Ukrainian students find refuge at U.S. colleges
- Insight Into Diversity, Universities Show Support for Ukraine by Cutting Ties to Russia
- Times Higher Education, Ukraine crisis makes rapid appearance on US university criteria
- Higher Ed Dive, How U.S. higher ed is reacting to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
After identifying the colleges from these sources, we then undertook research into each college to identify further ways in which colleges are supporting Ukrainians. This final research has formed the basis of the following ranking.
Ranking criteria for the following colleges are as follows:
- Colleges demonstrating significant support relative to their size
- Evidence of effective support measures
- Innovation in offering support
- Aggregated number of mentions on the methodology lists
Our final ranking, from 30 to one, is as follows:
30. Middlebury College
Student life deans at Middlebury College personally reached out to enrolled Ukrainian students following the invasion, ensuring they could access all of the financial and personal resources on offer. At this time, the college’s Student Affairs and Event Management departments also collaborated to host a fundraising event for Ukrainians. The college has hosted follow-up events linked to fundraising. Insight Into Diversity also notes that Middlebury College also rapidly suspended its Russian study abroad program after the invasion of Ukraine.
29. Indiana University
In June 2022, Indiana University announced that it was launching a nonresidential scholars program for Ukrainians, which would allow 32 scholars to gain fellowships. These fellowships provided $5,000 grants to support research or teaching activities. Individual community members of the college have also been active in supporting Ukrainians. One example is Professor Elaine Monaghan, who started working with Reuters in late 2022 to cover the war accurately in news reports. Times Higher Education notes that Indiana University’s nonresidential Ukrainian scholars’ program has become popular.
28. Lehigh University
In 2022, two Lehigh University professors, Olena and Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, were able to successfully raise $5,700 for people in Ukraine. Specifically, this money was divided into $3,300 to purchase first aid and protective kits, $2,300 to support children and refugees, and $100 for animal and environmental needs. Other college community members have been supporting Ukrainians. One example is student Katerina Bazarko, who has donated supplies to aid organizations in Ukraine. Times Higher Education notes that at least two college professors of Lehigh University have included greater Ukrainian content in their educational subject matter since the start of the war.
27. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Shortly after the outbreak of war, students at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s medical school partnered with Global Empowerment Mission to “send physical goods to their allied partners in Poland and Ukraine.” Supplies were gained through in-person events and by creating drop-off locations. Items prioritized included:
- baby supplies
- medical supplies
- other essentials
Additionally, the college system’s Ukrainian Student Association has organized rallies supporting Ukraine. Insight Into Diversity spoke to the University of Illinois Ukrainian Student Association President, Larysa Brandys, to discuss why support rallies were important.
26. Mount St. Joseph University
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Mount St. Joseph University had established a partnership with a Ukrainian university. In April 2022, the college announced that it was launching a fund to provide scholarships for high-achieving students within this college, with the purpose being to relocate the students to the Mount St. Joseph University campus in the US. Inside Higher Ed notes that Mount St. Joseph University’s scholarship program is impressive due to the college’s smaller size than many other colleges supporting Ukrainians.
25. University of Connecticut
In December 2022, two alumni of the University of Connecticut, Myles Martel, and Gary Gladstein, established a fund to support the college’s students and visiting scholars from conflict zones. The college has also organized other fundraising efforts to support Ukrainians, such as the Run for Refugees: 5k Run/Walk event. The college’s Human Rights Symposium has also focused on means of supporting Ukrainians, with the 2022 event having input from Harvard Law School’s Clinical Instructor of the Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, Dr. Lisa Dicker. Fierce Education highlights the University of Connecticut’s president for being vocal in supporting Ukrainians.
24. University of the People
In March 2022, the University of the People announced that it was providing 1,000 scholarships for students from Ukraine, which would cover all of the fees they would usually pay for online education. And in July 2022, the college’s support of Ukrainian students received a boost thanks to a $240,000 grant provided by the Oak Foundation. The college noted at this time that it had also received smaller donations for Ukrainian student support. University Business praises the University of the People’s Ukrainian scholarship program.
23. Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana State University GI fellow Dr. Lilia Stefaniwsky has been proactively raising funds for humanitarian aid, such as medical supplies, in Ukraine. In fact, she has successfully raised over $13,600 for this cause. Similarly, medical students within the college have also been raising similar funds. Students have also rallied in support of the Ukraine on campus. The college’s International Cultural Center has also supported Ukrainians by hosting awareness events. Fierce Education notes that Louisiana State University successfully hosted speakers and discussed means of support within these events.
22. University of Pennsylvania
The Center for Global Health at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine has been proactive in supporting Ukrainians. For example, it has raised over $150,000 in relief support and collaborated with the World Health Organization and Global Response Management to provide medical care to people fleeing the war. In 2022, the college also offered tuition-free enrollment to graduate students that had previously been studying in Ukrainian colleges. This offer was for one year of study, with the option for this program to be renewed for another year. Erudera notes that the college has also provided expanded intervention and counseling services for students affected by the war.
21. Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
By mid-March 2022, Princeton University had already mobilized to support Ukrainians. At this time, the college had held rallies, offered to:
- fund scholar sponsorships
- offered translation services to displaced Ukrainians
- raised funds for Ukrainians
- supported the Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival
The college President, Christopher L. Eisgruber, also used his membership of The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration to urge the US Government to designate Ukrainians for Temporary Protected Status. Changing America and Higher Ed Dive highlight Princeton University’s rallies supporting Ukraine.
20. The University of Kansas
In April 2022, The University of Kansas launched a fund to both support its existing Ukrainian students and to host displaced Ukrainian scholars and students, with this money supporting visa applications, health insurance, tuition, and living expenses. And in December 2022, six Ukrainian medical professionals visited the college’s Medical Center, including its research laboratories. This resulted in an exchange of ideas between the Ukrainian medical professionals and the Medical Center’s professionals. Inside Higher Ed notes that The University of Kansas offers scholarships to Ukrainian students affected by the war.
19. Columbia University
New York City, New York
In March 2022, Columbia University announced that it was expanding an initiative to support Afghan scholars to Ukrainian scholars. This initiative provides fellowships, residencies, and other academic support. By November 2022, one of the recipients of this program, Tetiana Kotelnykova, had used the opportunity to launch a mentorship program that connects Columbia students with Ukrainian school children. The college also provided one-year residencies for Ukrainian writers and artists, which take place in the college’s Paris-based center. The college’s Harriman Institute provides 35 non-residential fellowships, which give a €5,000 stipend to support activities within the Ukrainian intellectual community. Erudera notes that Columbia University has welcomed Ukrainian students and scholars to its campuses.
18. Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
Perhaps the most effective individual Pennsylvania State University community member to support Ukrainians is recent graduate Jeffrey Hanley. As he completed his MBA in the spring of 2022, he also aided 22,000 Ukrainian refugees over a two-week period as they entered the US. The college itself has also offered support to its Ukrainian community members in regard to applying for Temporary Protected Status to remain in the USA. Fierce Education also highlights Pennsylvania State University’s Ukrainian Society for providing emotional support and raising funds for Ukrainians. Higher Ed Dive notes that this society has also held rallies for Ukraine.
17. Georgia Institute of Technology
Shortly after the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the Georgia Institute of Technology created a relief fund, which had the purpose of supporting currently enrolled students and accommodating newly displaced students. In the summer of 2022, the college’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs had begun, “working to develop long-term solutions to protect the country from further violence in the postwar future.” For example, this school is collaborating with the think tank Central Europe in identifying ways to rebuild the city of Kharkiv in a manner that was more resilient energy-wise. The college also partnered with MedShare to provide medical supplies to vulnerable communities in Ukraine. University Business highlights the college’s Ukrainian student relief fund.
16. Santa Monica College
Santa Monica, California
In March 2022, Santa Monica College launched the Ukrainian Student Relief Fund to ensure that Ukrainian students who could not return home could access financial support. Members of the college’s community have also been supporting non-student Ukrainians. One example is the SMC Girls’ Power Association, which has partnered with Friends of UNFPA to give lifesaving sexual and reproductive care to women in Ukraine. And professor Tyler Parsons has also worked with students to fix and donate bicycles to Ukrainian refugees moving to Los Angeles. Erudera notes that Santa Monica College has provided significant support and services to Ukrainian students.
15. Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, Texas A&M University announced that it offered free tuition, room, board, and living expenses for its currently enrolled Ukrainian students. Individual community members have also been supporting Ukrainians. For instance, law student Allison Byrd flew to the Polish city of Warsaw in March 2022, to educate refugees from Ukraine on how to avoid becoming human trafficking victims. Other college community members have gathered together to protest the invasion. VOA Learning English, Inside Higher Ed, and Reuters highlight Texas A&M University’s financial support for Ukrainian students.
14. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In the fall of 2022, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched a new program in Ukraine, “to facilitate student and faculty connections between the institute and Ukraine.” This program seeks to support Ukraine in a number of ways, including the construction of rapid housing, providing heating and energy, overcoming supply chain barriers, and much more. Students within the college have also been active in raising money to support Ukrainians. For example, some have been creating and selling bracelets with the purpose of sending the proceeds to Ukrainian organizations. Also in 2022, the college announced a free mathematics enrichment and research program for Ukrainian high school students and refugees. Erudera notes that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has also provided food security and financial resources for Ukrainian students. Insight Into Diversity and Higher Ed Dive notes that the college has also ended its partnership with a Russian research university.
13. Bard College
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
In November 2022, Bard College announced the Emergency Ukrainian Student Refuge Program, which provided 60 scholarships for Ukrainian students who could not otherwise study due to the war. Successful applicants could study within the college’s New York, Massachusetts, or German campuses. This scholarship covered the total cost of tuition and had the potential to include housing and living stipends. In December 2022, the college announced a similar scholarship program, the Emergency Eurasian Student Refuge Program, which offered similar terms but was focused on affected students from countries neighboring Ukraine. Inside Higher Ed notes that Bard College’s Ukrainian Student Refuge Program cost $5 million to $6 million and was funded through private philanthropy.
12. Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
In response to the invasion of Ukraine, Yale University announced in April 2022, that it would focus on expanding the number of Ukrainian students enrolled within the college. Also during that month, a number of the college’s students from the college’s School of Management formed a group to support Ukrainian refugees. The college also collaborated with Harvard University and Stanford University to create the Ukrainian Global University, which engages a range of students, teachers, and other individuals to increase the knowledge of post-war reconstruction solutions in Ukraine. Additionally, medical professionals at the college have formed Doctors United for Ukraine to provide clinical care and research enterprises in Ukraine. Erudera notes that Yale University has provided expanded services for its existing Ukrainian students, including free consultations with attorneys. College professor Arne Westard also provided opinions to VOA Learning English and Reuters.
11. Harvard University
Within a month of the Ukrainian invasion, The Harvard University community had already launched several measures to provide support. These included donating resources, such as food and clothing, and providing shelter for refugees. And in April 2022, the college collaborated with Yale University and Stanford University to create the Ukrainian Global University, which works to ensure that students, academics, and others could “gain knowledge about the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.” The Ukrainian Research Institute at the college, which has existed since 1973, has also provided support. For instance, in early 2023, it hosted a conference focused on rebuilding Ukraine and the world in the war’s aftermath. It has also partnered with the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna to offer fellowships to Ukrainians, which provide €5,000 stipends to support intellectual activity. Erudera and Changing America also note that Harvard University has launched UkraineTakeShelter.com to connect refugees with hosts.
10. Yeshiva University
New York City, New York
In March 2022, Yeshiva University led a team of 27 students to Vienna, Austria to support Ukrainian refugees. These students distributed supply packages to support locating housing and led education efforts for children. Since this event, the college has led a wide range of panel discussions and provided insights into the humanitarian crisis. One example of these events is a discussion on the numerous fronts of the war, including cyber and economical. University Business highlights Yeshiva University’s refugee care mission to Austria.
9. Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
When war came to Ukraine, Cornell University committed to maintaining its successful Ukrainian startup incubator program, Entrepreneurs’ Organization Business Incubators. Initially, this program pivoted back to an online-only resource, as it had done during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The founder of this program, Professor of Business Law Charles K. Whitehead, was later selected by the Ukrainian finance minister to serve on a new Ukrainian government-run startup fund. Students of the college have also successfully formed Scholars for Ukraine, which raises funds for smaller, often neglected cities in Ukraine. By November 2022, this fund had succeeded in raising $25,000. The college’s faculty have also spoken with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on ways to rebuild Ukraine’s higher education system. Insight Into Diversity notes that Cornell University has held demonstrations and fundraisers for Ukraine.
8. University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, the director of the University of Michigan’s Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia, Genevieve Zubrzycki, stated that the center was communicating with colleagues in Ukraine, providing moral support, and working with institutional partners to develop support programs. Since then, the center has developed several opportunities for Ukrainians, such as the Scholars at Risk Fellowship, which awards one-year research visits to Ukrainian scholars. The center is also working with The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies? to highlight Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Additionally, current graduate student Samuel Ashley has also worked with other students to raise $100,000 to buy and deliver ambulances for Ukraine, with Ashley personally spending a month in Ukraine driving those ambulances. He has since started a venture fund for Ukrainian start-ups. Fierce Education notes that the University of Michigan has also developed a free course on the invasion of Ukraine. Higher Ed Dive states that the college community has participated in pro-Ukraine rallies.
7. University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Buffalo, New York
Aaron Epstein, a surgical resident of the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York has dedicated significant support to Ukrainians. In March 2022, he could not attend his ceremony to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, as he was in Ukraine leading his organization, the Global Surgical and Medical Support Group. This organization brings medical professionals to areas of great need. When he returned to the US in April 2022, he led an event to discuss how New Yorkers can help Ukraine. Later in the year, Vox quoted him in discussing the long-term impacts of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The student organizations Active Minds and UB Friends of Ukraine also collaborated to spread awareness of Ukraine and planted sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine, across campus. Fierce Education also notes that University at Buffalo, The State University of New York students have also rallied in support of Ukraine.
6. Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
In March 2022, a group of Michigan State University students in Poland encountered a refugee help center and decided to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees. They raised over $20,000, which was spent on essential items for refugees, such as clothing, food, and medicine. The college community on campus has also proactively been raising money in support of Ukrainians, such as through hosting dances with donation opportunities. One Ukrainian college student, Mariia Mikhova, has also worked with her professors to create a platform for academics to support Ukrainian students in America, such as by assisting with applying for Temporary Protected Status. The college’s president, Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., was also one of the US college presidents who used their platform to urge the US government to give Ukrainians Temporary Protected Status initially. Insight Into Diversity highlights Michigan State University for its fundraising efforts. Higher Ed Dive notes that the college’s president has also spoken against discriminating against Russian students and professionals living in the USA.
5. The University of Chicago
The Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies within The University of Chicago is supporting Ukrainians. Examples include hosting furniture collection events for Ukrainians who have recently arrived in the US and publishing two children’s books, with all of their proceeds given to Ukrainian relief efforts. Erudera notes that The University of Chicago has been hosting events and providing services in support of Ukrainians. VOA Learning English, University Business, Changing America and Reuters note that the college has launched a $20 million initiative to provide tuition for Ukrainian students.
4. Biola University
La Mirada, California
By March 30th, 2022, employees of Biola University’s Kyiv, Ukraine-based extension were living in and guarding its seminary building. During this time, the seminary was being used as a warehouse for humanitarian aid, while the city was, “bombarded with mortars and missiles, resulting in destroyed houses and administrative buildings.” By June 24th, students and alumni of this college were “meeting needs by turning their churches into shelters for refugees, by gathering food and supplies, and delivering it to areas that are lacking such necessities, by logistically assisting those who are trying to evacuate, and by staying in the conflict zones to shepherd those who are scared and care for those who are hurt.” The college also stated at this time that all members of the extension’s alumni, staff, and students were involved in aiding the Ukrainian community. Higher Ed Dive notes that Biola University had continuously trained pastors in Ukraine for 15 years by the time of the invasion.
3. Stanford University
To date, the Ukrainian Student Association has managed to raise $5.8 million to support Ukrainians and donated an additional $3.5 million in emergency supplies to Ukraine. This association is also doing more to support Ukrainians, such as running volunteering efforts related to tele help medical services and encouraging corporations to cut ties with Russia. In the fall of 2022, the college’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law also launched the Strengthening Ukrainian Democracy and Development Program. This program provides seven weeks of training for Ukrainian practitioners and policymakers to improve projects that strengthen good governance. Additionally, two individual Stanford University students were responsible for raising $125,000 to purchase ambulances, radios, and encrypted communications equipment for Ukrainians. They also personally drove these ambulances to Ukraine from Hungary. The college has also collaborated with Harvard University and Yale University to create the Ukrainian Global University, which allows people worldwide to collaborate on post-war reconstruction efforts in Ukraine. Insight Into Diversity highlights Stanford University for organizing pro-Ukrainian demonstrations and fundraisers.
2. Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island
In the months following the Ukrainian invasion, Brown University announced support measures. Initially, these were aimed at helping currently enrolled and incoming Ukrainian students, including covering 100% of the cost of tuition, fees, room, board, and school supplies. The college also committed to providing summer housing and a range of other support for these students. Additionally, the college worked to mobilize its alumni located in Poland to assist with communications. The Chief of Staff and Associate Provost for Strategy in the Office of the Provost, Jay Rowan, also stated that the college would seek to expand its Ukrainian student population. A group of the college’s professors also founded the Friends of Ukraine R.I. to provide emergency medical equipment for people injured in the Ukrainian conflict, which succeeded in raising $126,800. Erudera notes that Brown University has provided funds, guidance, and fundraising to support Ukrainians. VOA Learning English, Changing America, and Reuters notes that the college has provided strong support for enrolled Ukrainian students.
1. Georgetown University
In June 2022, Alumni Antonio Gracias and Sabrina Kuhl Gracias donated $5 million to Georgetown University to support students impacted by the war. Specifically, impacted students could get funding to cover their course materials, travel, health insurance, room and board, living expenses, and other expenses. In late 2022, the college also gained $10 million from the US Department of State to investigate war crimes in Ukraine. The Georgetown University Medical Center has also provided significant support for Ukrainians, including raising $5 million for humanitarian relief between February and April 2022 and training Ukrainian civilians to treat wounded people. The Ukrainian Society of the college has also been expanding cultural education in Eastern Europe, such as by visiting the Lithuanian Embassy. VOA Learning English and Reuters note that Georgetown University has gone above and beyond with its support for enrolling Ukrainian students. For instance, the sources cite Ukrainian student Oleksandr Sinhayivskyy, who had to travel to Romania to get a student visa due to Ukraine not currently issuing student visas, with the college paying for the student’s hotel stay while he sought this visa.