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The Opportunity Program

 
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: 29.01.09
: 498

: 01, 2010 1:42 pm     : The Opportunity Program ³

The Opportunity Program 2010 - 2011

The Opportunity Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to support the application process to U.S. higher education institutions for students who are highly qualified but are unable to cover expenses related to the application process. The Opportunity Program provides funds to talented international students of limited means who are applying to universities in the United States and who are not eligible for (or not funded by other) U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs. To be eligible for funding, students must be applying to degree-programs (AA/AS, BA/BS, LLM, MA/MS, MBA, Ph.D., etc.). The Opportunity Program offers no guarantee of acceptance or financial aid awards at U.S. institutions. Alumni of the Fulbright and Muskie programs and students already studying at a U.S. higher education institution are NOT eligible for the Opportunity Program; FLEX and UGRAD alumni are eligible.

The Opportunity Program may cover up-front expenses including, but not limited to: testing fees; transportation to testing sites located far from the student's home; application fees for U.S. institutions and international courier fees to send applications to the U.S.; costs for translations and certifications of the student's official documents and records (if required by the U.S. institution); costs related to applying for appropriate U.S. visas, including transportation, overnight accommodation and meals for the purpose of a visa interview in cases where the consulate is located far from a student's home; SEVIS fees; transportation to the U.S. to the institution where the student will study; and/or a one-time settling-in allowance to help students cover the initial costs of living in the U.S. All award decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who have worked closely with an EducationUSA adviser to make informed decisions about academic goals and plans.

Funding for selected grantees is at the discretion of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and may be discontinued at any time if the student does not meet his/her responsibilities (e.g., meeting test and application deadlines)..

Each individual student is eligible for no more that $10,000 total, which may cover allowed expenses, if the need is proven. However, some specific items such as application fee payments; test fee payments; settle-in and travel allowance also have maximum allowable amounts (contact advisers for further information).

PROCESS

a. Students may apply to the Opportunity Program at any stage in the university application process. There are two separate forms: the Application Form http://www.osvita.org/application/OP_Appl-Ukraine%202010.doc and the Disbursement Request Form http://www.osvita.org/application/OP_Disb-Ukraine%202010.doc. The forms must be signed and submitted electronically (.pdf format) to an EducationUSA Advising Center http://www.osvita.org/ukr/eac.osvita/schedule/. All information is confidential and is reviewed only by the adviser and the Selection Committee at the U.S. Embassy to determine the applicants financial need and eligibility. Please note that selection of an airline must comply with Fly America Act requirements http://www.osvita.org/application/FlyAmericaAct_Checklist.pdf.

b. The EducationUSA adviser reviews each submitted form to verify that it is complete and accurate and that the student meets all eligibility requirements. Students will be asked to submit any missing information or to verify inaccurate or incomplete information. Advisers themselves do NOT participate in the selection process.

c. Complete applications are sent by EducationUSA centers to a Selection Committee of experts at the U.S. Embassy for evaluation on a rolling basis. The experts are selected according to the following criteria: expertise in the U.S. education system and experience teaching and advising undergraduate and graduate students.

d. The Selection Committee evaluates each nomination individually based on prior academic achievements, potential for admission with financial aid to a U.S. higher education institution, leadership, and financial need. The Selection Committee supports equal opportunity for all without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, geographical region, or academic discipline.

e. The Selection Committee invites nominees with highest scores and positive recommendations on their evaluations to participate in the Opportunity Program. Finalists are required to notify their EducationUSA adviser of any and all offers (or rejections) of admission and financial aid from U.S. universities. Nominees who are not selected for funding will receive letters notifying them of their status.

f. Opportunity funding is provided by the US Department of State through the Institute for International Education in Kyiv. Grants are awarded by bank transfer (EFT) to the grantees bank account in Ukrainian hryvnias upon signing of a Grant Agreement and provision of appropriate bank details. Finalists may be required to submit receipts verifying use of grant award.

g. Any questions should be directed to the EducationUSA adviser http://www.osvita.org/ukr/eac.osvita/schedule/ or OpportunityProgram@gmail.com
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