By Aaron Ossai
Eighteen-year-old Maryam Habila Usman, a former student of Air Force Girls Secondary School, Jos, has emerged the overall winner of the nationwide scholarship examination into the American University of Nigeria.
Ms. Usman, who outscored all other candidates from all states of the federation, hails from Borno State and has applied to study Natural & Environmental Sciences at AUN.
Welcoming her and other spring scholarship awardees, AUN President, Margee Ensign said: “I would like to personally congratulate all of our scholarship winners, and to welcome them to the AUN Community. Ms. Usman and her fellow AUN students represent the brightest hope for a better future for Nigeria and for Africa. We shall all do our very best to ensure that their time with us is as rewarding and fruitful as they clearly deserve. Congratulations all!”
As the overall winner of the national scholarship exams for spring 2017, Ms. Usman’s award will cover tuition, board, meals, and other fees at AUN.
The scholarship examination was conducted simultaneously at six centers covering all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria, in December 2016. The aim was to screen college-ready applicants for AUN’s 49 scholarships for spring 2017.
Ms. Usman, who graduated with distinction in all her SS3 subjects and scored 253 marks in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, took the scholarship exam at the Northeast center, which is on the AUN campus in Yola, Adamawa State.
“I have chosen AUN because I consider it to be one of the most prestigious universities in Africa and a place where I can fulfill my dream,” writes Ms. Usman in the short essay accompanying her application for AUN admission. She went on to say that she was born in a perennially flooded Lagos neighborhood, hence her desire for environment-related studies.
The Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Recruitment, Linus Ikyurav, who released details of the awards, said that altogether 34 candidates won 45 of the 49 available slots. Four states–Gombe, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, and Yobe–did not field eligible candidates.
The American University of Nigeria had also offered 67 scholarships to students across Nigeria during the 2016 Fall semester which began on August 26. This brings to 116 the total number of scholarships offered to fresh students by AUN in the current academic year.
Competitive scholarships which afford brilliant candidates from poor background an opportunity to acquire world-class education is a tradition of American universities; and along that tradition, the American University of Nigeria, which is a member of Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU), is committed to cultivating the best and brightest students from Nigeria and Africa.