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A total of 19 brilliant and financially disadvantaged students from Nigeria have been granted full scholarships worth $2.17 million to attend American universities and colleges for the 2020/2021 academic session.

This is according to a press release by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S Consulate General, as seen by Nairametrics.

Findings by Nairametrics revealed that the kind gesture from the schools became possible through the Opportunity Funds Program of the United States Consulate General in Lagos, with support from Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited.

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The 19 beneficiaries comprise; 2 undergraduates and 17 graduate students, most of whom will major in key subjects, including but not limited to infectious diseases, chemistry, engineering, geology, political science, amongst others.

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The beneficiaries were also accepted into top U.S schools for these aforementioned courses, with some of the scholars gaining admission into schools like the University of Massachusetts Boston, Purdue University, Duke University, Northwestern University, amongst others.

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What you should know

  • The Opportunity Funds Program was established in 2009 to assist talented and determined indigent students, who are good candidates for financial assistance from U.S. colleges and universities but lack the financial resources to cover the up-front cost of obtaining admission.
  • Following a competitive selection process this year, the successful students received financial aid that covered expenses involved in the college application process, such as payment for standardized tests, application fees, visa and SEVIS fees, as well as air travel to the United States.
  • EducationUSA Advisers also worked closely with the students through regularly scheduled meetings and seminars to assist them throughout the application process.
  • According to a recent report by the Institute of International Education Open Doors, Nigeria retained its top rank, as the number one source of African students studying in the United States. About 13,762 Nigerians study at more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities.

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Why it matters

The kind gesture by the administrators of the Opportunity Funds Program is a deliberate and strategic means of developing human capital, building future leaders and change-makers that will help shape policy decisions in the future.

Given the imperativeness of human capital in developing any country, it is not out of context to assert that, such a kind gesture is also targeted at the long-run development of the country.

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What they are saying

In a reception held recently to celebrate beneficiaries, the United States Consul General Claire Pierangelo said: “The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is pleased that our two major EducationUSA centers in Lagos and Abuja helped brilliant, deserving and high achieving students defray the cost of applying to study in the U.S.  You have successfully navigated the daunting U.S. college and university admissions process and we are so excited for your future.”

“During your time in the United States, please take full advantage of every opportunity you have not only to learn but to expand your horizon. You have excelled in Nigeria and I have no doubt that you will continue on that path of academic excellence in the United States,” Consul General Pierangelo told the departing students.

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