Troy University awarded passport grant to aid in study abroad opportunities

Thanks to IIE, up to 25 TROY students will be eligible for their first passport.

Thanks to IIE, up to 25 TROY students will be eligible for their first passport.

Troy University is one of 51 institutions selected by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to receive an IIE American Passport Project grant that will enable up to 25 TROY students to obtain their first U.S. passport and open the pathway to study abroad. 

The American Passport Project seeks to reach diverse student populations and institutions that serve students who identify within demographics underrepresented in U.S. study abroad or those who often do not obtain a U.S. passport. To date, the program has supported 176 higher education institutions in 41 states since its inception in 2021.

To be eligible for the Project, students will need to be nominated to and approved by IIE. Sarah McKenzie, Study Abroad Director, said TROY officials will start nominating from eligible TRIO students, to include first-generation college students, racial/ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, students with demonstrated financial need and students who have never traveled abroad.  

“We’re proud to be awarded an IIE Passport Project grant to support 25 Pell-eligible students to get their U.S. passports and open the path to study abroad,” she said. “International education strengthens critical skills students will need to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world, as well as develop lifelong friendships and participate in meaningful experiences that could shape the trajectory of their lives.”

Securing an IIE Passport grant is the newest in a string of efforts to make studying abroad accessible for as many TROY students as possible. The Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness (CAGC) aims to foster international awareness and better assimilation of Troy University students in the worldwide work place while providing the financial assistance to make that goal a reality. Over the last several years, the scholarship has grown from $500 to the current $1,250. Students are also able to apply for the CAGC each academic year.

“The Chancellor and his administration want to make it as easy as possible and incentivize students to go,” McKenzie said. “On average, most of our trips cost around $3,500, so $1,250 knocks off a third of that cost. It still sounds like a lot, but no one is going to give you that opportunity at that price once you leave TROY. Chancellor Hawkins wants everyone to have the opportunity to go if they want to.”

For more information on being nominated for the Passport Project or on studying abroad, contact McKenzie at or call 334-808-6128.

About IIE

The IIE American Passport Project represents IIE’s commitment to creating access to international education opportunities and enabling equity by removing a financial barrier, thereby increasing the diversity and inclusion of students studying abroad. The program prioritizes students early in their higher education experience to allow them ample time to go through the passport application and study abroad planning process with advising and support from the awarded institutions. Through the IIE American Passport Project, IIE aims to grant 10,000 U.S. students their passports by the end of this decade. 

The Institute of International Education is the leader in designing and implementing international education strategies and program services. IIE works with governments, policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. With support from donors, the organization also creates initiatives that assist students, scholars and artists whose lives and work are threatened; expand teaching and learning across cultures; and provide opportunities to underserved populations. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 16 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,600 higher education partners.

The IIENetwork is IIE’s global membership association supporting the strategic advancement of international education. Through the IIENetwork, IIE shares decades of experience and expertise, generates resources, and leverages knowledge and practices with members who are working to strategize and actualize international education efforts, including building international and academic partnerships, recruiting international students, and advocating for study abroad and student mobility.