Higher education financial assistance

Are you an international protection applicant or status holder studying at a university or higher education institution in Turkey?


You may be eligible to receive a UNHCR grant for higher education.


Supporting access to higher education is a key element of UNHCR’s education strategy as higher education provides refugees with the opportunity to become skilled professionals, become leaders in their communities and be a positive role model for other refugee youth.

UNHCR offers refugee students the opportunity to apply for cash-based assistance that will contribute to meeting the costs of attending university.

Who is eligible for the UNHCR higher education financial assistance?

To be eligible for UNHCR’s financial assistance, you must be:

  • Registered with UNHCR or DGMM as international protection applicants.
  • Registered with the Turkish authorities and have a valid foreigner’s identification number (starting with 99).
  • Enrolled in a Turkish university for an associate degree (ön lisans), bachelor’s degree (lisans) or master’s degree (yüksek lisans).
  • You can also apply for the UNHCR higher education grant if you have been accepted into a university course, but have not yet begun your studies.

Please note that Syrian nationals under temporary protection, DAFI scholarship holders, PhD students and persons enrolled in Turkish language programmes offered at university-based institutes/private providers (e.g. TOMER programmes) are not eligible for this financial assistance programme.

What financial assistance will I receive?

The value of the grant is approximately 1500 TL per semester.

Financial assistance is provided once per academic semester. A new application for assistance must be submitted each semester.

Students enrolled for Master’s degrees are eligible for partial financial assistance (50% of the standard grant amount).

How do I apply for the UNHCR higher education assistance? What supporting documents do I need to include as part of my application?

To apply, please visit our online application page, where you will be able to complete the form electronically and upload all supporting documents. You can request assistance from one of UNHCR’s partners in completing and submitting the application form.

In addition to the completed application form, applications must include the following supporting documents:

  • Proof of student enrolment or proof of university acceptance.
  • Up-to-date student certificate.
  • Copy of your foreigner’s ID card.
  • Copy of UNHCR certificate.

Applications are suspended. Please visit our page again on May 1st.

How will I receive the grant?

Payments will be made through a debit card, issued by PTT on behalf of UNHCR. This debit card can be used to withdraw cash from branches and ATMs and to make purchases in any shop that accepts MasterCard.

I am a Syrian under temporary protection in Turkey. Can I apply for this grant?

No, Syrian nationals under temporary protection are not eligible for this particular grant programme. The Government of Turkey has waived academic tuition fees for Syrian nationals studying full time at state universities.

In addition, a number of other organizations provide scholarships to Syrian students for higher education study in Turkey, including the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).

Scholarship applications information is announced annually through organizations’ websites and social media pages.

Download this information as a leaflet here.


Related information

Financial assistance for primary and secondary education
Social and financial assistance
Education (key information for non-Syrians)
Education (key information for Syrians)