Republican presidential candidates have been falling all over one another to declare their support for blocking the arrival of refugees from war-torn Syria.

Sen. Ted Cruz has called for a freeze on refugees from areas of the world affected by al-Qaida and the Islamic State, and he has said Syrians should be shut out of the United States unless they're Christian.

Donald Trump has said this about Syrian refugees: “If Obama, through his weakness, lets them come in, I’m sending them out if I win.”

Obama is indeed letting them in.

USC wouldn't be much more popular with the GOP, it seems. The university this week announced in a statement that it will “fund up to five graduate degrees and one undergraduate degree for Syrian refugees.”


The institution said its Price School for Public Policy, Viterbi School of Engineering and Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism would participate in the program for master's candidates who meet USC's admission requirements.

One USC undergrad will get a scholarship. And the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences will secure funding for additional Ph.D. students, USC said.

All the winners will start in spring 2017, the university said.

The scholarships will be part of the Institute of International Education Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis, which seeks to help Syrian refugees unable to pursue higher education at home as a result of the civil war.

“A university with the stature and profile of USC must ensure that students and scholars of all backgrounds are afforded the opportunity to be part of a culture of academic excellence,” said Elizabeth Graddy, vice provost of academic and faculty affairs. “Our participation in the IIE Syria Consortium speaks to our commitment to the public good and to our status as a global university by assisting those whose educations have been hindered by turmoil and warfare.”


LA Weekly