This program is one of the most prestigious U.S. government-funded exchange programs
It is designed to support talented international students who need financial help to take their first steps toward study in the United States at an accredited institution of higher learning.
The program promotes the Department’s objectives of broadening outreach to youth and underserved audiences, advancing mutual understanding, and supporting social inclusion.
Opportunity Funds assist highly qualified students who are likely to be awarded full financial aid from U.S. colleges and universities but lack the financial resources to cover the up-front costs of obtaining admission, such as testing, application fees or airfare.
A maximum of $5,000 in Opportunity Funds may be spent on each student to cover costs associated with any of the following:
- Test preparation programs;
- Testing fees and submission of test scores;
- Application fees to accredited colleges/universities in the United States;
- Visa and SEVIS fees;
- Round-trip transportation to a U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a visa or attend a pre-departure orientation at the EducationUSA advising center (including overnight accommodation and meals if needed);
- Round-trip international airfare to the U.S. institution where the student will study;
- One-time settling-in allowance (e.g. laptop). Total costs should be determined by using the maintenance living costs listed on the student’s I-20. The one-time “settling in” payment should be equal to 1 to 1½ times the monthly average (total yearly cost/number of months covered) in the I-20.
Opportunity Funds are available only to students who participate in an ongoing cohort advising program with EducationUSA advisers.
The EducationUSA advising center at the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission is currently running an online virtual advising program. The students must maintain active participation in the cohort advising program to remain eligible for Opportunity Funds.
Second, students should be in the top 5% of their class with grades and leadership potential that proves their highly talented status.
Third, students should be able to demonstrate strong financial need through the required documentation outlined below. A baseline indicator of average family member income of 1400 BGN per month is suggested.
Request Application Form
Applications must include the following:
Student’s high school transcripts for grades 9 and 10
A parents’ income statement (with letters from employers or confirmation from unemployment bureau)
A statement of household expenses (review of monthly expenses [bills] and number of family members living in their household)
Copies of average utility bills and rent or mortgage receipts.
January 8, 2024
Submitting full application via e-mail to the EducationUSA Adviser
January 31, 2024
Award letters sent to the nominees
The Nomination Committee shall be comprised of the:
Cultural Attaché, U.S. Embassy (САО), the Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for EducationUSA Europe and Eurasia (REAC), and the Executive Director of the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission.
All candidates are receiving notification letter by e-mail for the results of their participation.
Additional information and application form are available upon request from Filip Lyapov, EducationUSA Advisor at Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission