On July 14, the U.S. Embassy celebrated with over 130 graduate and undergraduate students with admission to U.S. colleges and universities for the fall of 2016. Compared to the previous year, Nigeria experienced a 20 percent increase in students at U.S. higher institutions of learning in the 2014/15 school year. Among the students present at the send-off were 11 Opportunity Funds recipients who will be attending schools like Vassar College, Colgate University, and Tufts University on full scholarships.
U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Maria E. Brewer congratulated the students and encouraged them to have fun and to take advantage of every positive opportunity. She also said, “The success of our EducationUSA program is a testament to the value in an American education, a highly coveted U.S. export.” Mrs. Brewer pointed out that Nigeria is the top African source country for international students in the United States.
The EducationUSA Opportunity Fund Program, one of the many initiatives of the U.S. government, assists highly qualified, but low income students to finance the upfront costs of obtaining admission with full financial aid. The program aims to reach underserved audiences and youth who have the potential to excel at U.S. colleges/universities and return to Nigeria to have a positive impact.
The young Nigerians will pursue majors like computer engineering, physics, journalism, business, and electrical engineering. They have expressed the desire to return home after their studies to be part of the development of Nigeria. EducationUSA Abuja advisees received over $4.6 million in scholarships from several universities this year.