Research: Special Programs

EducationUSA Opportunity Funds

Opportunity funds, available through EducationUSA advising centers in many countries, support exceptionally well-qualified students of limited financial means with the up-front costs of applying to undergraduate or graduate degree programs at accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Opportunity funds may be used to pay the costs of test preparation and fees, visa and application fees, transportation costs, books, and settling-in allowances. In limited instances, Opportunity funds may be used to offset initial tuition costs.

Opportunity students are selected based on financial need and strong academic backgrounds that give them the potential to receive full or partial tuition support at a U.S. institution of higher learning. Each Opportunity student undergoes a selective process of evaluation by an EducationUSA adviser, regional educational advising coordinator (REAC), and the Public Affairs Section of a U.S. embassy. In addition to academic abilities, Opportunity students bring cultural and socio-economic diversity to U.S. campuses.

U.S. institutions interested in recruiting Opportunity recipients should be prepared to provide full or substantial financial aid. Most Opportunity recipients will need assistance to cover the cost of housing and fees as well as tuition. More than 100 colleges and universities have enrolled Opportunity students since 2006.

Opportunity funds are provided through EducationUSA Advising Centers in the following countries:

  • Asia: Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
  • Europe: Belarus, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine
  • Middle East & North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Tunisia, Yemen
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe
  • Latin America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela

For more information, contact the REAC for the region(s) in which you are interested.

Competitive College Clubs

EducationUSA Competitive College Clubs (CCC) help the best and brightest students apply to competitive U.S. colleges and universities. CCC advisers work intensively to prepare students for the application process. CCCs are open to students in grades 8-11 who are in the top 10% of their class.

CCC advisers organize student activities including study groups, intensive SAT and ACT preparation, reading assignments, lectures, and community service projects. Students sign a contract detailing their responsibilities, which include attending all meetings during the school year and summer sessions.

While there are no guarantees that a CCC student will be accepted to a U.S. college or university, this intensive group advising often provides the best possible chance. EducationUSA advisers also work with students to develop an alternative plan in case studying in the United States does not work out.

For more information, contact the REAC for the region(s) in which you are interested.

The EducationUSA Advising Center in Harare, Zimbabwe, founded the United States Student Achievers Program (USAP) in 1999. USAP helps youths negotiate the intricate admission and financial aid processes at highly selective institutions in the United States, while also creating strong cohorts that offer mutual support throughout and beyond the admission process. Run by EducationUSA advisers, USAP has expanded to several countries on four continents since 2005.

USAP students represent some of the best and brightest students in their nations. USAP participants embody the following four qualities: academic excellence, demonstrated leadership potential, an ethos of giving back to community, and economic disadvantage.

Is your institution interested in USAP? Read more...

The NeXXt Scholars Initiative seeks to engage and advance young women from around the world in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by preparing the next generation of leaders in science, engineering, and innovation. By partnering with 38 U.S. women's colleges, the Program expands opportunities for young women from 47 countries/territories with Muslim-majority populations to obtain a world-class undergraduate STEM education in the United States in an empowering and comfortable environment alongside American students.

Each school that matriculates an International NeXXt Scholar also nominates an American NeXXt Scholar, typically from the incoming class, so the pair can explore the Program together. Additionally, NeXXt Scholars provides a 5-year membership to the New York Academy of Sciences, matching to a female professional STEM mentor, career development and training opportunities, and networking support for all Scholars. The resulting relationships lay a solid STEM foundation and provide pathways to future research collaborations and economic empowerment.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the NeXXt Scholars Program, please email nexxtscholars@state.gov or visit http://www.state.gov/e/stas/nexxt to download the Program Guide or College Guide.