16 Scholarships for Nigerian American Students

In the midst of ‘japa’ craze, everyone in Nigeria is looking for the slightest opportunity to move abroad, especially to countries like the US. The study route is just one of the pathways out of the country, however, schools in America can be really expensive. America is a world-class study destination with global recognition. So, if your focus is schooling in an American institution, then we are going to look at scholarships for Nigerian American students.

In this post, we have compiled a list of scholarships offered by both the US government and private organizations. I usually advise Nigerian students to visit the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Nigeria’s website and the International Institute of Education. You could get some important information that will really help your scholarship application process.

Scholarships for Nigerian American Students

We are going to look at scholarships offered by government bodies, educational institutions, foundations, private programs, and more. Let’s get in.

a) Government Scholarships

1. Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program

Each year, the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program provides grants to over 800 scholars from more than 150 countries worldwide. These grants support post-doctoral research at US institutions. Eligible scholars need to apply for the grant through the US embassy or Fulbright Commission office in their home countries. For information on eligibility criteria and application procedures, you can visit here.

2. Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

At number 2, we have the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. This program targets young and mid-career professionals in various fields, including but not limited to:

  1. Agricultural and Rural Development
  2. Communications/Journalism
  3. Economic Development
  4. Educational Administration, Planning, and Policy
  5. Finance and Banking
  6. Higher Education Administration
  7. HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention
  8. Human Resource Management
  9. Law and Human Rights
  10. Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, Climate Change

The program offers a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with US counterparts.

3. Young African Leaders Initiative

The third opportunity for scholarships for Nigerian American students was launched in 2010 by President Barack Obama, the Young African Leaders Initiative. This program looks to empower young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities.

4. Fulbright Foreign Student Program

This scholarship is awarded to international graduate students, artists, and young professionals who want to study and conduct research in the United States. Each year, around 4000 students from over 160 countries benefit from this program. The scholarship is managed by Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or through US embassies.

5. Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant

At number 5, we have the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program. This is sponsored by the US Government to offer young English teachers from abroad the opportunity to improve their teaching skills and broaden their understanding of American culture and society. They also get to teach their native languages at US colleges and universities.

b) International Organization Scholarships

6. Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund

Inspired by Margaret McNamara’s commitment to gender and education equality, the Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG) have supported 416 women from 75 countries since their start. MMEG awards scholarships to women over 25 years old who are studying at selected accredited universities in the US, Canada, South Africa, and Latin America.

7. Rotary Peace Fellowships

The Rotary Foundation annually awards the Rotary Peace Fellowships to foster leaders around the world as catalysts for peace. The fellowship provides 50 master’s degrees and 50 certificate studies at top universities. It covers tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, internship, and field-study expenses.

8. American Association of University Women International Fellowship

At number 8, we have the American Association of University Women International Fellowship. This fellowship is for Nigerian women pursuing graduate or postgraduate studies at accredited US institutions. The primary requirement of this scholarship is that applicants must not be US citizens or permanent residents. So, you have to be a Nigerian or an international student from any other country.

9. Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Africa’s next generation of leaders is developed via the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. It supports students for whom economic challenges are a barrier to education. The Foundation emphasizes the transformative power of education and the importance of giving back to the community. The program provides academic, social, and financial support.

c) Educational Institution Scholarships

In addition to the scholarships for Nigerian American students provided by the US government and private organizations, there are specific scholarships offered by universities. These are often for particular programs, and some focus on supporting women scholars, and promoting gender equality.

10. University of Central Missouri Olaiya Foundation Scholarship

The UCM Alumni Foundation offers over 600 active scholarships. Each year, the university awards about $7 million in merit-based scholarships.

11. Bonnie Hyland Umeh Excellence in Leadership Scholarship

St. Catherine University awards this scholarship to Nigerian students enrolled in undergraduate programs, regardless of their field of study.

12. Wellesley College Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

This program, part of Mastercard’s $700 million global initiative, aims to educate young people. It plans to provide scholarships to 15,000 Nigerian American scholars over the next 10 years.

13. Texas A&M International University Graduate Fellowships (MBA)

This scholarship is offered by Texas A&M International University to students in Business and Management graduate and doctoral programs.

Other Scholarships for Nigerian American Students

14. FTE Fellowships for Doctoral Students of African Descent

FTE Fellowships is actually a really reliable form of scholarship for Nigerian American students. This fellowship supports Ph.D. and Th.D. students in religion, theological, or biblical studies, who have completed their coursework.

15. AEF Scholarship

At number 15, we have the Ascend Educational Fund. This organization provides the AEF Scholarship to assist immigrant students who have graduated from a New York City high school and are planning to attend college or university.

16. Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship

Established in 1989, this was the first Microsoft-sponsored employee resource group. It focuses on encouraging black students to pursue careers in technology and supports their development.

Typical Eligibility Requirements for Nigerian Students to Get Scholarships in the US

The eligibility requirements for scholarships depend on the scholarship itself. Some common requirements might include:

  1. Academic Excellence: Many scholarships are awarded to students with exceptional academic records.
  2. English Proficiency: Proficiency in English is often required, usually demonstrated through exams like TOEFL or IELTS.
  3. Admission to U.S. Universities: Some scholarships are linked to being admitted to specific U.S. universities.
  4. Field of Study: Certain scholarships are targeted towards specific fields of study or majors.
  5. Financial Need: The financial need of the applicants is a key consideration for some scholarships.
  6. Leadership and Extracurricular Activities: Evidence of leadership skills and participation in extracurricular activities can be beneficial.

How to Apply for Scholarships in the USA

Nigerian students seeking scholarships in the USA can take the following steps to apply:

  1. Research and find scholarships that align with your qualifications and aspirations.
  2. Collect all necessary documents, such as academic transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and essays.
  3. Accurately and completely fill out each scholarship application.
  4. Make sure that you are aware of and meet all application deadlines.
  5. If possible, get advice from teachers, counselors, or scholarship specialists.
  6. Since many scholarships require admission to U.S. universities, make sure to apply for university admissions.

These are just like the general application guidelines. Most importantly, you have to keep track of your applications for scholarships for Nigerian American students and follow up if necessary. You will usually be contacted through your email, so always check your inbox or turn on your notifications to avoid missing guidelines and deadlines.


So, these are just the scholarships for Nigerian American students. Both male and female students can apply and get these scholarship opportunities. Also, there are specific scholarships exclusively for Nigerian women who aspire to pursue higher education in the USA. Organizations such as the Nigerian Women Association of Georgia, along with other foundations that concentrate on women, often provide these types of scholarships. As we’ve discussed earlier, you have to track your application status so that you don’t miss out on any important information.

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