Opportunity Funding | MEET-USA.COM Portal

Opportunity Funding

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Opportunity Funds provided by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, support international students with the application process to U.S. higher education institutions. Opportunity provides funds to talented international students who are highly competitive for full financial aid but who do not have the financial means to apply to universities in the United States and who are not eligible for (or not funded by) U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs. Opportunity only covers the costs associated with the application process to degree programs at accredited colleges and universities in the United States and offers no guarantee of acceptance or financial aid awards at U.S. institutions.


To be eligible for Opportunity funding in Russia, a student must:

  • be a citizen of, or officially recognized refugee in, the Russian Federation;
  • complete “120 Credits” – program for preparation to apply to the U.S. university
  • be a member of the Competitive College Club (for undergraduate students), and work closely with an EducationUSA Adviser throughout the application process;
  • apply to degree programs at accredited higher education institutions in the United States (AA/AS, BA/BS, LLM, MA/MS, MBA, Ph.D., etc.);
  • apply for sufficient financial aid to meet the student’s need;
  • demonstrate that they and their family are not able to pay for the application process;
  • be ready to take the TOEFL.

Not Eligible

  • Alumni of the Fulbright and Muskie programs and students currently studying at or who have graduated from a U.S. higher education institution are not eligible for Opportunity funding.
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents, employees and immediate family of employees of EducationUSA Advising Centers or a U.S. Embassy/Consulate are not eligible for Opportunity funding.
  • Note: FLEX, YEAR and UGRAD alumni are eligible.

Opportunity Application Process

Consult with an EducationUSA Adviser, either in person or via internet/phone to discuss educational opportunities in the U.S.

Complete the Opportunity application form online (URL sent by EducationUSA Adviser after successful completion of “120 Credits” program).

Opportunity funding is approved in two phases: (1) assistance for the application process (testing, application fees, etc.), and (2) assistance to begin studies (SEVIS/visa fees, travel to U.S., settling in, etc.)

All information is confidential and is reviewed only to determine the applicant’s financial need and eligibility.

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

Complete applications are sent by EducationUSA Advisers to a Selection Committee of experts at the U.S. Embassy for evaluation. The experts are selected according to their expertise in the U.S. education system and experience teaching and advising undergraduate and graduate students. The Selection Committee evaluates each nomination individually based on demonstrated financial need, prior academic achievements, potential for admission with financial aid to a U.S. higher education institution, and leadership. The Selection Committee supports equal opportunity for all without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, geographical region, or academic discipline.

The Selection Committee invites nominees who otherwise would not be able to pay for their application process and who show strong test scores and positive recommendations on their evaluations to apply for Opportunity funding. 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.


Opportunity funding may cover up-front expenses including, but not limited to:

testing fees and transportation to testing sites located far from the student’s home;

application fees for U.S. institutions;

  • U.S. visa fees, including transportation for the purpose of a visa interview if the U.S. Consulate is located far from student’s home;
  • SEVIS fees;
  • transportation to the U.S. institution where the student will study;
  • one-time settling-in allowance to help cover the initial costs of living in the U.S.

All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Funding for selected grantees is at the discretion of the U.S. Embassy and may be discontinued at any time if the student does not meet his/her responsibilities (e.g., meeting test and application deadlines).


EducationUSA Advising Centers promote U.S. higher education around the world by offering accurate, comprehensive and current information about educational opportunities in the United States and guidance to qualified individuals on how best to access those opportunities.

Any questions about the program should be directed to EducationUSA advisers: adviser@educationusarussia.org