EducationUSA Features USEFP

Opportunity Fund Students Shine Bright

Mahnoor (left) and Amna (right) are making the most of their freshmen year.

Mahnoor (left) and Amna (right) are making the most of their freshmen year.

The EducationUSA Opportunity Funds (OF) program helps students from all over the world overcome seemingly unsurmountable odds to obtain a U.S. education. The brightest students who lack even the financial resources to cover the up-front costs of obtaining admission (such as testing, application fees, and airfare) work closely with advisers for two whole years to develop their potential, showcase their strengths, and enhance their college applications.

The goal is to send them off to college in the United States with full funding. We are proud to present two success stories from the most recent cohort:

Syeda Mahnoor Raza

The University of Rochester

Mahnoor is currently enrolled in the University of Rochester and planning to double major in Political Science and English Literature. Her hard work and perseverance paid off with a full ride to a school that fits all her preferences: an open curriculum, vibrant campus culture, diverse student body, and many research opportunities for undergrads.

Mahnoor boasts an exceptional academic and extracurricular trajectory. In her first semester at Rochester, she managed a 3.93 GPA and was selected to co-author a chapter for a UNESCO publication. She is also writing for the Campus Times and for a theater troupe called TOOP. Other past accolades include being Head Girl in high school, winning the USEFP/EducationUSA High Achiever Award in 2018 and 2019, and speaking at the Asia Climate Rally 2020.

“I’m extremely grateful for all the guidance and support the advisers at USEFP have provided every step of the way over the past two years. I could not have gotten into one of my top choices without their invaluable assistance in the application process, be it helping me develop my profile, narrow down schools, look for scholarships, boost my SAT score, or support my application expenses,” says Mahnoor.

“Being part of the 2018-20 Opportunity Fund cohort has been an incredible experience, and I couldn’t be more excited to begin this next chapter as part of the UofR Class of 2024! Meliora!”

Amna Zuberi

Drexel University

Amna is currently a freshman at Drexel University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Receiving a full ride to a school known for its co-op program, which allows students to get work experience in their respective majors before graduating, has been a game changer for her in so many ways. In just her first quarter, she has already learned the basics of Python, a programming language, and is enjoying the demanding nature of her courses.

Aside from outstanding academic performance, Amna has been an all-rounder and has various awards and achievements. With help from her EducationUSA adviser in Lahore, she was able to secure admission to four U.S. universities with an impressive $121,000 in financial aid and scholarships.

“Being a part of the 2018-2020 cohort has been really helpful for me throughout the college application process. USEFP paid the expenses for my SAT, college application fee, visa, and SEVIS fee, and even my ticket to the States. My SAT score the first time wasn’t great, but with USEFP’s SAT prep classes, I learned a great deal and scored 1440 the second time around! Furthermore, USEFP also provided me with a very interesting summer camp experience where we did all sorts of interesting activities. Our cohort also organized a blood drive,” Amna states.

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