The United Student Achievers Program (USAP) assists highly-talented, economically-disadvantaged students to negotiate the admissions and scholarship process to attend top universities internationally. Run by the non-profit Education Matters, this project provides a fund to cover hidden costs in the enrollment and admission process for the 42 USAP Zimbabwean students in our current cohort who are applying for 2018 university admission.
Historically in Africa, it is only the rich and connected elite who feel entitled to apply to study internationally at top universities. Additionally, multiple hidden costs in the college admission process for international students act as barriers to access for high-achieving, low-income international students. As a result, funded opportunities to study do not often reach the most deserving and talented students. Zimbabwe harbors incredible youth talent that only needs to meet opportunity.
Meeting in intensive bootcamps during each school holiday, USAP works with final year high school students on all aspects of the application process to university. As USAP students work through the process in a cohort, they form the "USAP family" that continues to serve as a support network once they are in university and beyond. This project will provide Education Matters with a reliable fund to provide for hidden costs USAP students encounter throughout the admission process.
USAP alumni have already made tremendous achievements while they are students and after graduation - impacting their families, schools, their communities and countries in meaningful ways in a variety of sectors including public health, agriculture, education, infrastructure, technology and economic growth. By developing a united group of students who have come from humble backgrounds to excel at high levels, we are redefining leadership for the future of Zimbabwe and of the African continent.