USAP students represent the best and brightest students of their nation. They aspire to broaden their horizons and share ideas and perspectives with a diverse array of people. USAP participants are selected for embodying all of the following four qualities:
• Academic excellence
• Demonstrated leadership potential
• Ethos of giving to community
• Economic disadvantage
USAP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, ancestry, sex, religion, age or disability nor does it use these criteria in its selection. While we make a genuine effort to recruit USAP students from all provinces and areas in the countries our program is present, we do not set quotas for geographic or ethnic distribution but seek the students who meet all four of our criteria.
USAP began in Zimbabwe in 1999 with the aim of providing access to higher education for determined, bright, low-income youth, thus producing highly-skilled and liberally-educated leaders for tomorrow’s Zimbabwe. More than a decade later, more than 300 Zimbabwean USAP students have excelled as students at America's top colleges and universities, and many are continuing graduate studies or are working all over the globe.
USAP works closely with students through a year-long program of meetings and seminars designed to empower and assist them throughout the application and orientation process while building their confidence and bonding them as a supportive family who share similar backgrounds and will be facing similar challenges while studying in the US. In the US, USAP students run an active listserv, yearly conferences, a trust fund to support application and preparation costs of future USAP students, and provide intensive support for one another. USAP expects a commitment from students to give back of their energy and time to the "USAP family" and to their own communities at home and in school.
USAP provides many benefits to colleges and universities – pre-screened, well-rounded applicants, focused, committed and involved students, and economically-diverse international students.