The United States government has granted a total of N23.2 billion financial aid and scholarships to help improve and equip Nigerian students through its progranmme ‘‘EducationUSA’’.
The finance was disclosed on Monday by the US Embassy’s Counselor for Public Affairs in Nigeria, Mr. Adnan Siddiqi, at the 22nd annual U.S. Embassy and Education USA College Fair in Abuja.
He also disclosed that the College Fair is aimed at providing students and parents in Nigeria with unbiased information and counsel for study in United States universities and colleges.
He said: “It is worth noting that Nigeria sends more students to the United States than any other African country. According to the latest data available, over 14,400 students are currently pursuing their studies in over 973 institutions, spanning all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our annual college fairs have played a pivotal role in boosting the number of outstanding applicants to U.S. institutions, as well as in securing additional financial aid and scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students.
“In the past year alone, nearly $30 million (23.2 billion naira) in financial aid and scholarships were granted to students advised by EducationUSA.”
Siddiqi, also noted that Nigerian students have contributed about $449 million to the U.S. economy.
He said: “In 2021, Nigerian students contributed a staggering $449,000,000 to the U.S. economy. This is a testament to the significant economic impact of Nigerian students in the United States, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. Nigeria proudly holds the 1st position in Sub-Saharan Africa and ranks 10th in the world in numbers of students that attend higher education institutions in the United States. An impressive 50% of Nigerian students studying in the U.S. are pursuing graduate-level education. Mission Nigeria issued over 9,000 student visas last year, resulting in an astounding 405.3% increase in visa issuance. After Texas, the top receiving states for Nigerian students are Illinois, New York, Georgia, and Massachusetts. The United States boasts an exceptional support system for international students, ensuring a welcoming and enriching experience.”
The Counselor for Public Affairs, further urged Nigerian Students to use the occasion to unlock their potentials and explore the educational landscape of United States.
Siddiqi added: “Our EducationUSA advisers from the Embassy are on hand to address any queries and guide you in the right direction. We are also fortunate to have representatives from the U.S. Embassy Consular Section here to shed light on their role in international education. Drawing from my experiences abroad, I’ve witnessed the profoundly positive impact that international education has on students from all corners of the globe. I sincerely hope that your time with us today will ignite within you a desire to explore the opportunities of studying in the United States and discovering something new. Seize the incredible opportunity before you and may your journey to a U.S. college or university be imminent.”
The two days College Fair organized by the EducationUSA Advising Centre of the U.S. Embassy, has over 1,500 participants and it is the 22nd Edition of the College Fair with the theme: “Connecting Dreams with Opportunities.”
Michael Olugbode in Abuja