The Elliott Equity Fund
Alumni of the Elliott School of International Affairs make their mark on the world as trailblazers, leaders, and innovators. Yet too many future leaders lack the financial means to pursue and complete higher education. Scholarships open doors for exceptional undergraduate and graduate students, including those whose talent and ambition might exceed their financial means. By lowering financial hurdles, scholarships play a large role in ensuring a diverse student body.
Increasing Access to Promote Equity
Scholarships and fellowships are more critical now than at any time in the history of the George Washington University – and the only way to keep GW accessible to all qualified students during this time of exceptional economic uncertainty. The pandemic’s disproportionate impact on lower-income families has widened inequality, putting the costs of higher education further out of reach. We are determined to reverse this trend.
A robustly diverse student body is especially important to the study of international affairs, and
the Elliott School is deeply committed to attracting and supporting outstanding students from the widest possible range of upbringings and experiences.
As the United States becomes an increasingly diverse society, and as the world becomes more multipolar geopolitically, the inclusion of previously underrepresented perspectives can help ensure that the international affairs community better represents the domestic and international public it serves. Increasing access to an international affairs education can help ensure that we are best positioned to understand and resolve the most pressing challenges facing the interconnected world today, and can nurture a new generation of international affairs leaders who understand the complexity of this diverse world, and therefore the importance of equity, respect, justice, inclusion, and civil discourse to greater understanding.
The George Washington University as a whole, and the Elliott School in particular, are committed to fostering an inclusive environment in which all members of our community have the opportunity to reach their full potential, to do good work, and to contribute to the university’s mission. Our emphasis on equity prioritizes providing opportunities and resources for historically underrepresented populations in order to promote equal access – with the goal of attaining a diverse student body, closing achievement gaps, and reducing disparities.
With these values in mind, the university recently dedicated significant new funds to tuition support. Yet additional resources are critically needed, and philanthropy is crucial to our mission. Scholarships that open doors to an Elliott School education truly change many lives – for students and their families, and across communities near and far.
Elliott School students aspire to make the world a better place for humankind. At the Elliott School, we provide the knowledge, skills, and experience that enable them to realize this aspiration. We invite you to join us in our mission.
Growing up, my life was surrounded by the realities of diversity and inclusion. Often, I felt like an outsider in school trying to find a community where I could feel a true sense of belonging. As a minority student, it seemed like a negative thing at first, but as I grew, I learned to love my culture. I was able to perceive things through the lens of my heritage that perhaps my peers weren’t able to. Supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion means providing everyone a chance to grow and provide outreach to underrepresented students.
Gillian Villarroel, B.A. '24
Undergraduate Student Representative,
GW Elliott School Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
How the Elliott Equity Fund Works
The Elliott Equity Fund (EEF) aims to help GW Elliott attract and maintain a highly diverse student body through undergraduate and graduate tuition and non-tuition awards for outstanding students with critical financial need who will advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of international affairs.
The benefits of diverse populations in the academic and professional arenas are well documented, with robust evidence that diversity in the workplace maximizes innovative, responsive solutions. In the international affairs field in particular, every facet of work in the profession requires the ability to tackle global challenges with the broadest possible perspective.
Just as a power shift has occurred in foreign policy, bringing in the private sector and nonprofit organizations as increasingly important voices, we are now also witnessing a shift to a more multipolar world, one in which a larger number of nations have the ability to impact global issues. To prepare our students for this new world into which they will graduate, we need to equip them with an awareness of these global power shifts, along with a deep understanding of cultural nuances – an understanding that comes not only from theory but also from learning alongside others from a range of backgrounds.
By ensuring a robustly diverse student body, the Elliott Equity Fund will contribute to the academic excellence and achievements of all of our students, with ripple effects throughout their careers.
International affairs and domestic affairs are inevitably intertwined….To understand how to improve one’s community, [individuals] must know their place in the world, and that’s why I’m in the field. Diversity and inclusion means having a variety of voices in the room and making sure that those voices are fairly heard.
Gabriel Young, B.A. '23
GW Chinese American Student Association
In addition, as described in the Elliott School’s Diversity Statement, “Fostering a welcoming and inclusive community is a core value of the Elliott School. To this end, we are committed to attracting and supporting students . . . from diverse backgrounds and experiences, for example, based on race, gender, socio-economic status, age, sexual orientation and identity, religion, nationality, culture, ideas (including political perspectives), and methods.”
Recognizing the inherent interconnectedness of academic excellence and diversity, the Elliott Equity Fund aims to strengthen the Elliott School’s promise to build leaders for the world by promoting a climate of inclusive excellence and reducing barriers that might otherwise deny academically prepared students access to higher education and the field of international affairs.
Further, this new fund will expand financial support currently offered to students, enabling them to take full advantage of the many resources and opportunities an Elliott education provides. This support includes, but is not limited to: tuition assistance, grants to purchase textbooks, and awards for study abroad, unpaid internships—often a significant training and networking opportunity but unavailable to those who need to earn to support their studies—and more.
Elliott Equity Fund awards will be offered to newly-admitted students as well as to current students. Applications for these student-support awards are holistically reviewed by a committee of professionals from the Elliott School’s Office of Student Services in partnership with GW's Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Diversity, equity and inclusion for me [means] including and valuing everyone’s perspective….allowing equal opportunity to everyone, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, or disability status. We must focus on nondiscriminatory practices that celebrate everyone’s individuality yet promote collaboration.
Faiqa Khan, B.A. '24
Graduate Student Representative,
GW Elliott School Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
Founded in 2020, Young Black Professionals in International Affairs is a student organization committed to enhancing the presence of African and African diaspora perspectives at the Elliott School and across the international affairs area.