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The Opportunity Funds Program 2020

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

USEF-Nepal has prepared this document to answer questions about the Opportunity Funds Program 2020. In addition to this document, also carefully read ‘Guidelines for Opportunity Funds Program Application Formand ‘Information on Plagiarism’.

1. What is the Opportunity Funds Program?
The Opportunity Funds (OF) Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is designed to increase access to U.S. higher education institutions for highly qualified international students of limited financial means. Through Opportunity Funds, EducationUSA is committed to helping international students have the best possible chance to experience higher education in the United States.

In its ninth consecutive year of administering the OF Program, USEF-Nepal aims to make U.S. higher education more accessible to students who lack the financial resources to study in the U.S. With the belief that lack of finances should not deprive a talented student from applying to a U.S. college or university, the OF Program funds selected up-front costs associated with applying to U.S. colleges and universities, such as standardized test fees, application fees, and student visa related fees. The OF Program will NOT pay for the costs associated with attending U.S. colleges and universities (such as tuition, room & board, insurance, books and supplies, etc). Therefore, the OF Program is targeted for students with excellent academic records who have a high chance of obtaining full funding from U.S. colleges and universities.

For students who are selected to participate in the OF Program, USEF-Nepal will pay selected up-front costs associated with applying to colleges and universities in the United States. USEF-Nepal will also provide special guidance on the application process and scholarship search for U.S. colleges and universities.

SELECTION FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE OPPORTUNITY FUNDS PROGRAM DOES NOT GUARANTEE ADMISSION TO A U.S. COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY NOR DOES IT GUARANTEE A SCHOLARSHIP OR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO STUDY IN THE UNITED STATES.

2. Who can apply for the Opportunity Funds Program?
Students with outstanding academic records and demonstrated financial need can apply for the OF Program. The OF Program in Nepal only supports students applying for freshman (first-year) entry at the undergraduate (Bachelor's) level at U.S. colleges and universities for the Fall semester (August/September) of 2020. The OF Program DOES NOT support transfer students or graduate (Master's/ Ph.D. level) students. Students applying for other semesters (such as Summer or Spring) are also NOT eligible to apply.

OF applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated financial need.
  • Outstanding academic records.
  • 80% or higher (pre-2016) or 3.60 or higher (2016 onward) on SLC/SEE in Nepal.
  • Completed Class 11 (or first year of A-Levels, or equivalent) and currently enrolled in Class 12 (or final year of A-Levels, or equivalent) with scheduled completion by summer 2019; or completed Class 12 (or equivalent).
  • Applying for the undergraduate degree for Fall semester of 2020 at an accredited college or university in the United States.

3. What kinds of expenses are funded by the Opportunity Funds Program?
Opportunity Funds pays for specified up-front costs of applying to accredited colleges or universities in the United States such as application fees, certifications of education credentials, standardized testing fees, U.S. student visa fees and SEVIS fees. The amount of funding to be granted is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Items eligible for Opportunity Funds:

  • Testing fees and travel to testing sites (if no testing site available in student's city).
  • U.S. college and university application fees.
  • Transcript attestation of educational credentials.
  • Postage/courier fees for dispatching U.S. college and university applications.
  • U.S. student visa fees and SEVIS fees.
  • Travel to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for student visa interview.

Items that might be considered under Opportunity Funds:

  • Test preparation materials.
  • Advanced English language course/tutoring.
  • Other items related to applying to U.S. universities.

Items NOT for consideration under Opportunity Funds:

  • Application fees to non-U.S. colleges and universities.
  • On-going, long-term expenses associated with attending a U.S. college or university, such as tuition, living costs, insurance, books, supplies, rent, etc.

4. Can the OF Program pay for my tuition/ room and board fees at U.S. institutions?
The OF Program pays only for selected up-front costs associated with applying to U.S. colleges and universities and does not cover tuition/ room and board and other costs for attending a U.S. institution.

5. What is the application process?
Eligible students must complete the online application including uploading of required documents no later than Friday, March 29, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted. All completed applications will be reviewed by the selection committee. USEF-Nepal will invite short listed candidates for a written exam, after which the selection committee will generate a second short list. Candidates on the second short list will be invited for an interview, after which the selection committee will make its decisions on selected candidates. Please note that only candidates short listed for the exam will be contacted.
If you have any questions regarding the Opportunity Funds Program, you are highly encouraged to attend one of the two Q&A sessions at USEF-Nepal's office at Gyaneswor (dates below). USEF-Nepal will not entertain any email, phone, or in-person queries regarding the Opportunity Funds Program.
The table below lists the dates and activities for the OF Program 2020. Please check USEF-Nepal's website for any changes to the dates and times below.

Day Dates Activity
Tuesday March 5, 2019 Opportunity Funds Program 2020 announcement
Wednesday March 13, 2019 Question & Answer session #1 at USEF-Nepal's auditorium at 3:00 p.m.
Friday March 22, 2019 Question & Answer session #2 at USEF-Nepal's auditorium at 3:00 p.m.
Friday March 29, 2019 Application deadline at 4:00 p.m.
Friday April 26, 2019 Candidates short listed for written exam are notified by email
Wednesday & Thursday May 1 & May 2, 2019 Written exam at USEF-Nepal
Wednesday May 8, 2019 Candidates short listed for the interview are notified by email
Friday & Monday May 10, 2019 & May 13, 2019 Interviews at USEF-Nepal
Friday May 24, 2019 Opportunity Funds Program 2020 selection results by email
Monday June 3, 2019 Opportunity Funds Program 2020 Orientation for selected students.

6. Where can I get the application form?
The online application form can be accessed from USEF-Nepal's website: www.usefnepal.org/opportunity.

7. What documents are required to apply for Opportunity Funds Program and how do I send them?
Please see the blue box in ‘Guidelines for Opportunity Funds Program Application Form.

8. How can I be sure that my online application has been received by USEF-Nepal after I submit it?
After you submit your application online, you will see a confirmation screen and you will also receive a confirmation email at the email address you specified on the application form. Please do not submit applications multiple times.

9. Who reads and evaluates applications for the OF Program?
A committee consisting of but not limited to USEF-Nepal staff and other individuals will evaluate OF applications.

10. How important are the essays on the application form?
Essays are an integral part of the OF Program application. Excellent essays are vital not just for the OF Program, but also while applying to U.S. colleges and universities and for scholarships. Please put time and effort into the essays on the OF Program application.

11. What kind of services will USEF-Nepal provide for OF students?
For students selected for the OF Program, USEF-Nepal will pay for standardized test fees, selected fees associated with applying to U.S. colleges and universities, SEVIS fees and student visa fees, depending upon the need of the applicant. Additionally, throughout the year, USEF-Nepal will conduct dedicated advising sessions for OF students to help them through their college application process (including scholarship search).

12. If I am selected for the OF Program, what type of time commitment is required during the year-long application process to U.S. colleges? What is the timeline?
Students selected for the OF Program will be required to attend various USEF-Nepal advising sessions organized to inform and guide students through the college selection process, application process, and scholarship search process. Students will also be required to put in considerable amount of time and effort preparing for standardized tests such as TOEFL, SAT/ACT and for the college application process. Additionally, students must put considerable time and effort into creating strong applications to submit to U.S. colleges and universities.

Timeline: Since selected students will be applying for the Fall 2020 semester, they will be appearing for the TOEFL/SAT/ACT exams during the months of September to December 2019. OF students will send their applications to U.S. colleges and universities by December 2019 or January 2020, depending on the deadline dates of the institutions. All application materials – i.e. application forms, application essays, standardized tests, letters of recommendation, financial documents, etc. – must be completed before the institutions’ deadline dates.

13. I live outside Kathmandu Valley and cannot afford to travel to Kathmandu to take the standardized tests (TOEFL/SAT/ACT). Can the OF Program help?
For successful applicants who live outside Kathmandu Valley and do not have the finances to travel to Kathmandu to appear for the TOEFL/SAT/ACT tests, the OF Program will cover basic travel and other related expenses for such applicants. Funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the applicant's demonstrated financial need.

14. My SLC percentage/GPA is just a little bit lower than the stipulated required percentage. Can I still apply?
Students who do not meet the required criteria, both academic and financial, should NOT apply for the OF Program. Students who do not meet the required OF academic criteria are not eligible for the program. Similarly, students who can afford to pay the up-front cost to apply to U.S. colleges and universities are not eligible for the OF Program.

15. I have not appeared for the SLC examination but I have completed an equivalent of SLC/SEE/Class 10. Am I eligible to apply for the OF Program?
Applicants for the OF Program must have appeared for the SLC exams in Nepal and must meet all other eligibility criteria. Students without an SLC from Nepal or without the stipulated percentage or GPA are not eligible to apply.

16. I have recently appeared or am about to appear for my Class 11 examinations and can only apply to U.S. colleges for the Spring 2020 semester. Am I eligible to apply for the OF Program?
Applicants for the OF Program must have completed SLC and Class 11. Additionally, applicants must be either currently enrolled in Class 12 (or in final year of A-Levels or other equivalent boards) with scheduled completion by summer 2019, or must have already completed Class 12 at the time of application. Only students applying to U.S. colleges and universities for the Fall (August/September) semester of 2020 are eligible to apply for the OF Program.

17. I have already completed Class 12. Can I apply for the OF Program?
Students who have already completed Class 12 or equivalent are eligible to apply for the OF Program. However, students with gap years must explain on the application the reason for the gap years.

18. Can students applying at the graduate level to U.S. colleges/universities apply for the OF Program?
The OF Program does NOT support students applying at the graduate (Master's and Ph.D.) level. Students applying at the graduate level in the U.S. are advised to visit USEF-Nepal to learn more about the application process and possible scholarship opportunities.

USEF-Nepal administers the Fulbright Scholarship and other scholarships that are targeted for graduate students. Please check USEF-Nepal's website for further information.

19. I am currently enrolled in a Bachelor's degree in Nepal. Am I eligible to apply for the OF Program as a transfer student to U.S. colleges and universities?
Students applying as transfer students to U.S. colleges and universities are NOT eligible for the OF Program.

20. I have already applied previously to U.S. colleges and universities. Can I apply for the OF Program?
Students who have previously applied to U.S. colleges are eligible to apply for the OF Program, provided they can demonstrate their financial need and academic excellence, and are applying for the Fall 2020 semester.

21. Does selection for the OF Program guarantee admission and/or a full scholarship at a U.S. college or university?
Selection for the OF Program does NOT guarantee admission or a full scholarship at U.S. colleges and universities. However, students selected for the OF Program will be advised by USEF-Nepal on how to seek and apply for admission and scholarships at U.S. colleges and universities.

22. Does selection for the OF Program guarantee a student visa for the U.S.?
Selection for the OF Program does NOT guarantee a student visa for the U.S. However, OF students will be guided through the student visa application process.

23. I am applying to another country (India, UK, Australia, Canada, etc.) for higher studies. Can the OF Program fund my up-front application cost to colleges in non-U.S. countries?
The OF Program only supports students applying to U.S. colleges and universities. It will NOT fund applications to other countries.

24. Is there any age limit to apply for the OF Program?
There are no age limits to apply for the OF Program as long as the applicant is applying for undergraduate studies at an accredited U.S. college or university.

25. I am applying for an online degree from a U.S. college or university. Can I apply for funding from the OF Program?
The OF Program does NOT support applicants applying for an online degree from U.S. colleges or universities. The Opportunity Funds Program provides assistance to students who would like to experience all aspects of U.S. culture and college life at an accredited college or university in the United States.

26. I am applying for a summer/short-term course at a U.S. institution. Am I eligible for the OF Program?
The OF Program does NOT provide funds for summer or short-term courses. Students must be applying for an undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. college or university.

27. I am applying to a U.S. college or university's overseas campus (e.g. in Europe, Asia, South America). Am I eligible for the OF Program?
All applicants must be applying to a U.S. college or university located in the United States. Applicants to overseas campuses of U.S. colleges or universities are NOT eligible for the OF Program.

28. Can I apply for the OF Program to attend an intensive English language course at an accredited U.S. college or university?
The OF Program does NOT support English language courses or other short-term courses.

29. Is parental/guardian consent required to participate in the OF Program?
Yes, parental/guardian consent is required to participate in the OF Program. After students are selected for the OF Program, students may proceed only with parental or guardian consent.

30. Can a student with a disability apply for the OF Program?
Yes, students with disabilities are eligible to apply for the OF Program, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. Students with disabilities should mention their disability in the application form so that the OF Program can make arrangements to accommodate their special needs if necessary. The Opportunity Funds Program does not discriminate on the basis of caste, race, religion, gender, national origin, or disability.

Thank you for your interest in the Opportunity Funds Program at USEF-Nepal. For additional USEF-Nepal services and information on other USEF-Nepal programs and scholarships, please visit www.usefnepal.org

 
USEF - Nepal
PO Box: 380
Gyaneswor, Kathmandu
Nepal

Phone: +977 1 4444779, 4444780
Fax: +977 1 4410881
email: opportunity@fulbrightnepal.org.np