Admission to US universities is a troublesome and expensive task. In addition to the initial tests, the entrant faces many bureaucratic and administrative formalities. And in addition to paying for the training, living and other related needs, the costs associated with the very attempt to become a student of an American university are also on his shoulders:
- testing (SAT, TOEFL, GRE and others);
- fees for filing and reviewing documents in US universities – $ 60-100 per application for one university;
- visa fees;
- the SEVIS collection (an online information system in which the status of students in the country is fixed) is usually 180-200 dollars depending on the type of visa;
- the cost of transportation and equipping on campus.
All this spending will help to cover the Opportunity grant, provided by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Programs of the US Department of State.
Students can participate in the program with a high level of academic training, entering universities and colleges of the United States and not having enough funds to pay the costs associated with admission.
It is worth noting that the program allocates funds only for those who enter accredited universities. And, of course, does not guarantee unconditional enrollment in an institution and receiving a scholarship. The program also does not compensate already spent on receipt of money.
Student Opportunity program requirements
The Opportunity program provides for some requirements that the participant must fulfill. First, the future student must have the citizenship of authorized countries or the official refugee status. Secondly, the entrant must enter the accredited educational institutions (eligible to receive foreigners) for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. The availability of any types of financial assistance to foreigners in the accredited universities chosen by the student is a prerequisite. In other words, the institution should allocate scholarships or grants. Thirdly, the student must prove that neither he nor his family members can independently cover all the costs associated with entering the university.
Do not forget about academic success. The future student will have to prepare and pass international examinations (SAT, TOEFL, GRE and others). By the way, travel to the testing center and the place of the interview (for obtaining a visa) is also paid, but only if the center or embassy is in another city.
During the preparation for admission, the entrant actively cooperates with the EducationUSA center and also becomes a participant of 120 Credits and Competitive College Club. This is one of the conditions for applicants for Opportunity, and it can not be ignored.
To help foreign applicants in the framework of Opportunity is the program 120 Credits. Calculated for 6-9 months, it is designed to teach the future student how to enroll in an American university independently.
In total 120 Credits 6 steps, for which the student will attend lectures, meetings, events. Their visit and implementation of projects give points:
- Step 1: Introductory lecture – “Study in the US” – 20 points.
- Step 2: lecture – “Exploring the possibilities” – 20 points.
- Step 3: lecture (10 points) and practical lesson on the topic “Financing education” (10 points).
- Step 4: lecture and practical lesson “Filling application documents” – 10 points each.
- Step 5: meeting with consular officials – “Requesting a student visa”;
- Step 6: All-day event – “Preparation for departure”.
If lectures provide the necessary theoretical basis and remove a lot of issues related to education in the US, practical assignments and projects help to develop and develop the student’s leadership skills, teamwork skills and oratorical qualities. Projects in total give 40 points (20 each). The program is considered complete when recruiting 120 points.
In addition to general subjects, the student can attend additional bonus lectures, consult with experts individually, become a member of the alumni club, meet and communicate with “colleagues” planning to study at colleges and universities in the United States.
After 2-3 working days, confirmation of participation and invitation to the course will be sent to the mail indicated during registration.
Competitive College Club
Members of this club can only become applicants who apply for bachelor’s programs – high school students with excellent academic performance and a good level of English.
Competitive College Club conducts educational activities that will help to improve the level of English and prepare for the tests: reading the literature and discussing the readings, lectures on the correct writing of the introductory essay, letters of recommendation, help in completing documents, volunteer activities. Visiting the club is mandatory – at least twice a month during the school year and four times a month during the summer holidays.
The Opportunity program is not available for students participating in exchange programs that are funded by the US government, as well as for Fulbright and Muskie scholarship holders. Students of US universities or their graduates will not be able to take advantage of the “Possibility”. But students under the programs FLEX, YEAR and UGRAD can apply for an Opportunity grant.
Procedure for admission and selection criteria
Of course, all personal data sent to EducationUSA centers are confidential. They are required only to decide whether or not the candidate meets the requirements. It’s okay if the student forgot to mention any information – if necessary, she or he will also be asked.
The question of assistance to each particular applicant is considered individually. And the procedure is very transparent. All have equal opportunities, regardless of gender, race, age, the desired specialization. Also, EducationUSA employees, when checking applications, do not participate in the process of their approval. Applications of applicants are sent to the Selection Committee at the US Embassy, where the selection is based on specific criteria.
Main selection criteria:
- a real need for financing;
- the academic success of the student;
- the chance of receiving and receiving scholarships or other material assistance in a college or university in America;
- expressed leadership qualities.
Those who have been selected and all the preparations for pre-admission are provided with financial assistance for admission to a pre-selected US university. And financial support is provided in stages.
First, the fund pays for testing costs and application fees. And after the applicant passes all the entrance examinations and is officially accepted into the ranks of students, the fund will assume all other compulsory expenses: SEVIS, visa and consular fees, flight to the USA, initial arrangement. The student does not give cash to the hands – the fund transfers money directly to educational institutions and testing centers.