Opportunity Funds are funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through the EducationUSA advising program and are designed to increase access to U.S. higher education institutions for highly qualified international students of limited means to cover upfront costs of attending a university in the United States.
Here in Namibia, application forms for Opportunity Funds are available at EducationUSA centers- the only centers officially recognized by the State Department to provide accurate and comprehensive advising on U.S. higher education- and are collected by EducationUSA annually from Grade 11 and 3rd year university students.
Students are selected based on careful review of their qualifications and financial need by committee consisting of the Regional Educational Advising Coordinator (EducationUSA) and staff of the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate General/Embassy. The funds are provided to a limited number of the most talented students. Through Opportunity Funds, EducationUSA is making a commitment to seeing deserving international students have the best possible chance to experience higher education in the United States.
EducationUSA Namibia advising center in collaboration with The Namibia United States Alumni Association (NUSAA) will be administering their Opportunity Fund (OF) Program as follows:
How are Opportunity Fund candidates selected?
EducationUSA Adviser together with the NUSAA committee reviews all applications. Candidates are judged and disqualified based on the following criteria:
- Academic excellence – Applicants must have a minimum of at least 75% average in all their subjects at the time of application and other academic recognitions
- Economically challenged background – candidate must have a financial need based on parents’ job or non –employment, proof of financial hardship while in high school or university, proof of need based scholarship or financial help previously received.
- Quality of application – ability to communicate and present situation in a succinct manner
- Personal Statement– quality of essay
- Program match factor – assessment of the student’s participation in Advising Center activities and commitment to work closely with the Adviser throughout the application process as part of the cohort, and chances of securing full financial aid awards at U.S. institutions.
What will the Opportunity Fund pay for?
- For undergraduate applicants, OF will pay for TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject Test Fees and, if necessary, transportation to/from and preparation for these tests including workshops to prepare students for tests.
- College application fees
- Transcript/degree evaluations
- S. Visa and SEVIS fees, including transportation for the purpose of a visa interview if the U.S. consulate is located far from student’s home
- One-time settling-in allowance (to help students settle in when they arrive on campus)
To apply to student should send an email to the EducationUSA adviser (WindhoekPublicDiplomacy@state.gov) for initial screening thereafter the adviser will provide them with application form.
For more information about studying in the U.S. www.educationusa.state.gov