The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women is looking for young women eager to become part of a strong network of educated women in Afghanistan helping other women and working for positive change in the development of their homeland. To find out more about how our program works, whether you should apply, and how, please follow this virtual journey


The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women is not just a scholarship, it is an education and leadership development program.

You should consider applying if you:

  • have a TOEFL exam score of 550 or higher

  • are a young woman residing in Afghanistan and passionate about education

  • have a demonstrated commitment to community service and dream of helping other women

  • achieved excellent grades in high school and your family supports your education


For more information on program eligibility requirements, click here.


The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women is not just a scholarship, it is an education and leadership development program.

You should consider applying if you:

  • Fluent in English

  • Are a young woman residing in Afghanistan and passionate about education

  • Achieved excellent grades in high school and your family supports your education

  • Have a TOEFL exam score of 550 (paper) 80 (internet) and 213 (computer) or higher

  • Have a demonstrated commitment to community service and dream of helping other women

  • Be dedicated to returning home to Afghanistan every summer between undergraduate years and after completion of the undergraduate degree


In addition, each candidate’s family must fully support their daughter’s quest for higher education in the USA.


The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women program is a privately funded organization with a specific mission and therefore can accept a limited number of exceptional women each year. Acceptance standards are rigorous and highly competitive. Eligible candidates must submit:

  • A completed IEAW application form

  • Official TOEFL scores

  • Updated resume/CV

  • Two letters of reference from employers and/or professors

  • School transcripts from grades 10, 11, and 12 as well as any university transcripts (all translated and certified by the Ministry of Education)


 A small number of applicants who meet all eligibility requirements and submit complete applications by our published deadlines will advance as semi-finalists and receive interviews in Afghanistan. Women selected by the Admissions Committee as finalists will:

  • Complete their admission process to one of our partner schools

  • Work with our staff to arrange all necessary documentation and travel

  • Successfully complete our New Student Orientation program in Rhode Island

  • Continue on to one of our school partners for freshman year orientation and academic study


Our school partners are dedicated to providing their students with a global perspective on their studies. Their partnership with The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women is an important part of that promise. As a representative of your homeland and The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women, you will:

  • Participate in academic and social activities on campus

  • Learn from friends about your host country and teach them about yours

  • Abide by all performance expectations of our program


Performance Expectations (Student Contract)

Acceptance to The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women and continuation in the program are subject to The IEAW Student Contract.  Students are required to meet all performance expectations of the Student Contract.  Failure to adhere to the terms of The IEAW Student Contract may lead to separation from the program.


Section A – Program Policies

1.    Home Residency Requirement

To help fulfill the mission of the IEAW, participants are required to return home to Afghanistan upon completion of their educational program.  Marriage to a US citizen does not exempt the participant from this requirement and obligation.


2.    F-1 Visa Contingency

Participation in the IEAW program is contingent upon the participant’s ability to receive and maintain an F-1 visa status.  The participant is expected to uphold the standards and regulations of an F-1 visa holder.


3.    Academic Standards

Students are expected to maintain a minimum course load of fifteen (15) credit hours each semester, and students must not fall below a course load that does not comply with the standards of the F-1 visa requirements. 

Students must not exceed a course load heavier than what is allowed within the outlined scholarship.  In most cases, this course load is eighteen (18) hours.  This limit can be verified with the participant’s respective college.

Students are expected to complete their degree requirements in no more than eight (8) semesters unless otherwise agreed upon prior to entry into the program.

In order to remain in good academic standing with the IEAW, students will maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.  Students are also expected to remain in good academic standing according to the requirements of their college or university.  If the student falls out of good academic standing requirements by either the IEAW or their college or university, they will be placed on probation as is outlined by their host college or university.

4.    Medical Exam Requirements

Participants are required to have medical, dental, and eye exams in Afghanistan prior to entry into the program, and they are required to have these exams each summer upon return to Afghanistan.  Students will submit proof of these exams through completion of the IEAW medical, dental, and eye exam forms.  All necessary medical and dental treatments must be completed in Afghanistan prior to entry into the United States.  If participants are prescribed eyeglasses, the participant will bring two (2) pairs with her to her college or university.

Participants are required to have all immunizations that are required for their college entry prior to entering the United States.  Failure to complete immunizations could prevent participants from beginning classes.  Participants must present proof of immunizations as outlined on the medical forms.

Section B – Financial Provisions

1.    Personal Bills and Personal Spending Money

Each student should bring with her a minimum of $1,000.00 US from home when returning for each fall semester.

Participants are required to pay for all personal bills that they incur including cell phone bills, long-distance bills, credit cards, transportation not required by the program, etc.  Unpaid bills can result in a bad credit reporting that could impact the participant’s visa status.


2.    Visa/Passport Expenses

Participants are responsible for all fees related to obtaining their visas and passports.

3.    Income Tax Returns

Participants are responsible for all fees associated with filing an income tax return.  Filing an income tax return is a mandated requirement of the United States Federal Government.  Tax returns must be prepared in a timely fashion (with internal deadlines of March 15th) and a copy must be submitted to the IEAW offices by March 15th.


4.    End-of-year Expenses

All students must pay for year-end expenses such as missing linens, keys, late fees incurred through actions on their part so that they and the IEAW remain in good standing at each school.

Section C- Reporting Requirements

1.    Full Contact Information

Participants are required to provide the IEAW with complete contact information as requested within seven (7) days of entry into the United States, and participants are required to notify the IEAW immediately upon any changes in the contact information.  


2.    Transcripts

At the end of each semester, participants are required to submit final grades for the semester to the IEAW within five (5) days of grades being posted by the college or university.  Additionally, at the end of each academic year, students are required to have a complete transcript mailed to the IEAW from the registrar’s office. 


3.    Access to Student Accounts, Passwords to Student Information.

Each student will provide the access information/passwords to all of their school accounts (financial and academic) to the IEAW Staff, so that the Staff may have the ability to fact check on the status of each student.


4.    Health – Privacy Disclosures

Each student will sign a HIPPA form assigning IEAW staff members to act as a personal representative while that particular student is in the United States.  This allows IEAW staff to consult with students and their physicians on any health decision made on the student’s behalf, and in the students’ best interest.


5.    Immigration Documentation

Participants are required to submit a photocopy of their passport, visa, I94, and all three (3) pages of their I20 to the IEAW within seven (7) days of entry into the United States.


6.    Engagement or Marital Status

Participants are required to inform the IEAW immediately if they become engaged while participating in the program.  The participant is required to disclose her marital or engagement status prior to admission into the program.


7.    Residency of Family

It is the policy of the IEAW that the participant’s family must reside in Afghanistan at the time of entry into the IEAW program, and the participant acknowledges that her family is living in Afghanistan at the time of entry.  The participant has a duty to inform the IEAW of any change in residency of her family at any time during her participation in the IEAW program. 

Each participant will provide the IEAW with up-to-date contact information for her immediate family.

If any one of the participant’s family members moves to the United States or enters the United States for longer than a brief visit, the student is required to inform the IEAW immediately.


8.    Duty to Inform

Participants are required to inform the IEAW immediately in writing of the following:

  1. When travel away from campus for more than 48 hours is planned or occurs.  Full contact information including name, address, phone number, and email address of the person who the student will be staying with must be provided prior to making the trip.

  2. If student becomes sick, or if student has an accident.

  3. If there are any changes in residency or address.

  4. If student has any academic difficulties.

  5. If student becomes engaged.

  6. If student foresees any reason why she would not be able to continue in the program.

  7. If student is experiencing any social or family issues.

  8. If student’s family contact information and/or address changes.


As part of The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women program, you will receive valuable instruction at our annual Intersession, the cornerstone of our leadership program. Intersession will bring you together with all of the women in our program between fall and winter term to:

  • receive leadership training by internationally recognized practitioners

  • help shape US policy on Afghanistan in meetings with senior policy makers

  • strengthen bonds with your sisters in our program

  • reflect on our mission and grow in the core values of our organization


For our last year's Intersession agenda, click here.


During summer break between academic years, you will return to Afghanistan. This important requirement distinguishes us from other programs and is designed to:

  • Help you stay connected with your family and community

  • Foster understanding between the two worlds in which you live and learn

  • Assist your reentry to Afghanistan after you complete your education

  • Provide summer work in your field of study or new areas of interest

  • Lead to permanent placement opportunities after undergraduate school

Summer Requirements

All participants are required to return home to Afghanistan every summer as a means to keep them connected with their family and homeland.  Only in extreme academic hardship are students allowed to stay for a summer of summer school.  If, after going through the proper process, a student is permitted to stay, the IEAW will not be responsible for any financial obligations during the summer.  To be eligible to remain in the US for summer school, a student must provide proof of the following information prior to mid-February before the summer in question:

  1. proof that summer school is the only means for graduating on the scheduled graduation date.  Transcript, academic plan completed by the student’s academic advisor, and an outline of the remaining graduation requirements are the required forms for submission.  The student will provide a letter from her advisor that states that summer session(s) are the only option for graduating as scheduled.

  2. proof of financial aid to include tuition, room, board, fees, and personal spending money as well as any additional fees required.  The IEAW does not provide summer school scholarship supplements.


If a student fails to adhere to this policy, separation from this program will be likely.

Students are encouraged to participate in summer internships or independent studies while in Afghanistan.  In some cases, colleges or universities may give credit for the internship or independent study.  Consultation with the host college is needed.  Related fees are the responsibility of the student.


If you are a young woman who is passionate about using her education to advance the role of women in Afghanistan and you are wiling to commit to the expectations of this program— and you see yourself on this journey as:

  • An excellent student actively contributing to your college community

  • A full participant in the leadership opportunities of our program

  • A representative of the core values of our organization

  • An educated woman prepared to lead change in your country


Then you are ready to apply to The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women program