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How to Study in the US for Nigerian Students

The United States of America houses the best Universities in the world. This guide is focussed on how to study in the US for Nigerian Students.

Benefits of Studying in the USA For Nigerian Students 

The benefits of studying in the U.S are diverse. For starters, you have access to top class education systems in the best Universities of the world. 

And you get access to state-of-the-art facilities that can make you one of the top professionals in your field. As a Nigerian student you want to have access to the best American Universities can offer. 

1. World-Class Education

MIT, Harvard, Stanford, University of California Berkeley, Yale, when you come to study in the US, you have the option  of choosing the best Universities in the world. Here you have access to world class education programs. 

2. Cultural Immersion 

You will get a taste of the real American culture as you study in the U.S. Of course, the American culture is plastered all over their media but you get your experience first hand how Americans work and live in America. Nothing beats the U.S spirit and way of life. 

3. Networking and Career Opportunities

Many of the best companies are founded by Americans or situated in the U.S. This gives a seemingly endless pool of networking and career opportunities to the Nigerian student even when he is still studying and when he gets a degree. 

The networking system in the U.S is top notch and America is a land of innovation when the “next big thing” might just be invented at the least time imaginable. 

4. Diverse Range of Programs

American Universities offer a diverse range of programs to local and international students. In fact, you will be shocked how well packed their offers are. They offer flexible programs that will suit your needs and finances accordingly. 

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5. Cutting-Edge Research Facilities

If it is good and in vogue, then it is in the U.S. American Universities have one of the best research facilities that introduces the students to state-of-the-art procedures and measures that makes their learning one of the best.  

6. Scholarships and Financial Aid

Bulking under the financial burden of studying in an American University? Don’t you worry. There are tons of scholarships opportunities and financial aid programs international students can take advantage of. 

7. Personal Growth and Independence

Studying in the U.S. gives you diverse room for personal development and independence. There is a good reason why America is dubbed “land of the free”. In the U.S, individuality and personal growth are important features in society.

Requirements for Studying in the USA

Now, you know how interesting studying in the U.S as a Nigerian is, the next question to ask is what are the requirements to study in the U.S for Nigerians. 

First on the list, you need to get admission to a University. And you need to get a U.S. student visa for Nigerians. 

Admission to a U.S. Institution  

Admission to the U.S institution is very easy, that is, if you know how to go about it. You can join other Nigerian students in the U.S. 

There are many requirements for acing the application process for US Universities from Nigeria. 

– Student Visa

You will need to apply for a Student Visa U.S. If you are planning to study in the United States for any period of time. 

This visa allows you to remain in the country until your period of education lapses. 

You can study in the US from Nigeria online.  But I don’t think that is what you want.

There are three U.S. student visas. You must have the type that fully covers your education type in order to be accepted. 

– Financial Resources

You need to show the University proof of your financial capacity when you apply for the visa. This will allow them to understand that you are capable of seeing through your education throughout the duration financially. You will need to submit a proof of funds to convince them of issuing you the visa.

– English Proficiency  

Although Nigeria speaks English, you must prove that you can read, write, speak and understand English at a level that lets you study for a degree. 

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Students can prove their language proficiency by writing tests such as the IELTS or TOEFL. 

– Academic Credentials

You will need some form of Academic credentials. Some of which include:

  • Original transcripts
  • Standardised test scores from Standardised exams
  • Acceptance letters from the institution which admitted you
  • Previous degree diplomas, if you have.

– Health Insurance

Nigerian students need good health insurance policies because healthcare in the US is expensive. 

In addition, as an international student, you are under a government health protection scheme. You have to pay more when you have health issues. 

This is why Nigerian students must pay for their health insurance before they are allowed to relocate to the US. 

– Passport

Your passport must be valid before you can travel to the United States. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States. 

So if you are studying a 2 year course, your passport must be valid for at least 2 years and 6 months.


Prospective Nigerian students travelling to the U.S are to pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee.

I-901 SEVIS Fee costs $350 for visa applicants.                                 

Choosing a University

With a myriad of universities to choose from, the Nigerian student is spoilt with choice. Nonetheless, you should remember that the cost of attending these Universities differ, as well as the quality of education. 

With that in mind, it is necessary to choose a top university. 

Top Universities in the USA

There are many top universities in the US for Nigerian Students to choose from.

QS World University Rankings lists the best University in the U.S. This is a table showing the top 20 Universities in 2024. 

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2 Harvard University 
3 Stanford University 
4 University of California Berkeley (UCB)
5 University of Chicago 
6 University of Pennsylvania
7 Cornell University
8 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
9 Yale University
10 Princeton University
11 Columbia University
12 Johns Hopkins University
13 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
14 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
15 New York University (NYU)
16 Northwestern University
17 Carnegie Mellon University
18 Duke University
19 University of Texas at Austin
20 University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Factors to Consider When Choosing a University

The choice of an American University is determined by some factors, some personal, others financial. In all, students choose Universities mainly because of one or more of the following reasons. 

  • Location
  • Tuition fees
  • Academics
  • Campus life
  • Where to live
  • Food
  • Finances
  • Employment opportunities after school 
  • Security 

All these factors can affect the student life in the US for Nigerians. They should carefully consider the above before making a choice. 

There are also study abroad programs for Nigerians in the USA, if they are interested.

Popular Programs of Study

Every country has its own programs that pull the crowd. In Nigeria, medicine (or the medical line) is a popular course to study. The table below shows the top 10 programs for Nigerian students in the U.S.

1 Medicine
2 Computer Science 
3 Information Technology
4 Engineering
5 Business Management
6 Architecture 
7 Data Analysis
8 Cyber Security 
9 Social Science 
10 Law 

Program Costs

Program costs differ from University to University, but the average cost of studying in the US ranges from $8,000 to $35,000. Private Universities are more expensive, lying between $25,000 to $50,000, based on the program, University  and duration. 

Exams Required

As in every University, there are required exams that you must pass before you can get admission to an American University. Some of these tests are the standardised exams and the English Proficiency exams 

– Standardised Exams Accepted

Undergraduate admissions will need SAT and ACT while GMAT/GRE and MCAT are needed for graduate-level courses. 

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– English Proficiency Exam

There will be English proficiency tests for Nigerian students. 

These tests include IELTS and TOEFL. There is a minimum score you need to get before you pass. 

Intakes and Application Process

The US education system for Nigerians is 

different from what you are used to. Being aware of when the admission application begins lets you get prepared.

Application Deadlines

Typically, most US university application deadlines are from November 1 to November 15 for early action or January 1 to  15th.

The fall intake is the most popular among applicants. But deadlines can be specific to University, so it’s better to look up when they are due. 

Intakes Explained

If you didn’t know, US Universities offer  two to three intakes in one academic year unlike the Nigerian education system which offers only one intake.

Most US Universities have two admission intakes, fall and spring. 

Fall intake begins in September and ends around December. Spring intake starts in January and ends in May. 

Why this is done is to accommodate the number of applicants these universities get every year.

Financing Your Education

Money makes the world go round. It is important to have a good source of finance in the course of your study. 

Cost of Studying in the USA  

The tuition fees in the USA for Nigerian students are high, no lie about that. The average cost to study in the US for Nigerian Students for an undergraduate course is at $8000 to $35000, in a public school, that is. 

And this is just tuition. What about student housing in the USA for Nigerians?

Cost of feeding and upkeep could increase this amount. All these makes living expenses in USA for Nigerian students astronomically high.

Sources of Funding

You can fund your study through various means. Most Nigerian students studying in the US are founded by the following means.

  • Personal savings
  • Family 
  • Sponsors
  • Student grants from Nigeria
  • International Student Loans
  • Working and Studying
  • International Organizations
  • U.S. Government
  • Scholarships 

There is an access to financial aid for Nigerian students in the USA, which they can take advantage of. 

To learn about this you can join the Nigerian student associations in the USA. Collective effort gives you faster access to such opportunities.

Available Scholarships

To reduce the cost of studying you will want to learn about scholarships for Nigerian students in the US. Below are some of the fully or partially funded scholarships open to Nigerian students.

  • Boston University (BU) 2024 Presidential Scholarship For High Achieving Students
  • University Of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Perry World House Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • American Association of University Women International Fellowship
  • Black At Microsoft International Fellowship
  • Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund
  • Rotary Peace Fellowship 
  • Scholarship for Nigerian Students in The USA 
  • Undergraduate Scholarship for Nigerian Students in USA
  • Master’s Scholarship for Nigerian Students in USA

Post-Study Opportunities

After you finished studying, what else? There are a ton of opportunities for you if you get to stay in the US. From getting a job online to putting your acquired skills to play, the sky’s the limit. 

Work and Entrepreneurship Options

There are many full time jobs in budding industries that are willing to absorb the school leaver. 

There are also part-time jobs for Nigerian Students in the USA. Most of them require little or no skill but they can help pay some bills. 

You can also be inspired and start your own business. America is the home of innovation. You might get investors that are willing to invest in your new business. 

There are many Nigerian student success stories in the USA, they are now established doctors, engineers or managing their businesses. 

Nigerian are naturally adaptive. The cultural adjustment for Nigerian students in USA is easy as they absorb thier host countries and thrive with minimal effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I study in the US as a Nigerian? 

Yes, you can study in the US as a Nigerian. 

Do I get access to Scholarships as a Nigerian? 

As an international student, you are eligible to apply for some scholarships designed for you

Can I work after my Course? 

They’re many employment opportunities on ground even when you are in school. You can take up a part time, full time or an online job. 


Studying in the USA as a Nigerian student can be thrilling but expensive. But there are many benefits of that.

To make your transition easy, you need to know which visa you are getting, which University you choose and why, and the proposed costs of securing an admission to a US university.

Agreed, understanding how to study in the US as a Nigerian student might be challenging.You might need a consultant to ease your admission process. Book a free consultation session with us. We will love to guide you. 

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