OAS Scholarship – Eligibility, Application, and Deadlines

The Organization of American States (OAS) offers two scholarship programs to support the academic pursuits of students in the Americas: the OAS Academic Scholarship Program and the OAS Special Caribbean Scholarships Program (SPECAF). These programs aim to foster regional collaboration and development by providing financial assistance to individuals seeking higher education.

OAS Scholarship

The OAS Academic Scholarship Program is open to citizens and residents of OAS member states pursuing Master’s degrees, Doctoral degrees, or Graduate Research at universities in any member state (excluding their own country). SPECAF, on the other hand, caters specifically to citizens and residents of English-speaking Caribbean OAS member states and Suriname, offering scholarships for the final two years of their undergraduate studies at any OAS member state university. Both programs provide financial support for tuition, living expenses, and other academic costs, making it easier for qualified individuals to achieve their educational goals.

Understanding the OAS Scholarship Programs:

The OAS offers two scholarship programs catering to different academic levels:

OAS Academic Scholarship Program (Regular Program)

This program awards scholarships for Master’s Degrees, Doctoral Degrees, and Graduate Research leading to a university degree at an OAS Member State, excluding your home country.

OAS Special Caribbean Scholarships Program (SPECAF)

This program specifically supports citizens and residents of English-speaking Caribbean OAS Member States and Suriname by funding the last two years of their undergraduate studies at any OAS Member State university.

Benefits of OAS scholarships

OAS scholarships offer a range of valuable benefits that can significantly ease the financial burden of pursuing higher education, particularly for students coming from underprivileged backgrounds. Here’s an overview of the key advantages:

Financial Support

OAS scholarships cover a portion of the costs associated with your studies, including tuition and mandatory fees, roundtrip airfare, annual book allowance, and medical insurance (for on-site programs). This reduces the financial burden on students and their families, making graduate-level education more accessible.

Global Exposure and Networking

By studying in a different OAS member state, you gain valuable international experience and the opportunity to build networks with individuals from diverse backgrounds. This can be hugely beneficial for your personal and professional development.

Focus on Academic Achievement

Knowing a portion of your expenses is covered allows you to focus on your studies and achieve academic excellence. This can lead to better performance and a more fulfilling learning experience.

Alignment with Development Goals

OAS scholarships are aligned with the OAS Strategic Plan for Integral Development. By supporting students in specific fields related to the plan’s eight priority areas, these scholarships contribute to the socioeconomic development of the Americas.

It’s important to note that benefits may vary depending on the specific program and individual circumstances.  For detailed information on the specific benefits and eligibility criteria, it’s recommended to visit the OAS website or contact the relevant authorities in your country.

Eligibility criteria for OAS scholarships

Eligibility for OAS scholarships varies slightly based on the specific program you’re applying to (OAS Academic Scholarship Program or OAS SPECAF). However, some general eligibility criteria apply to both:

General Requirements:

  • Citizenship/Residency: Be a citizen or permanent resident of an OAS member state.
  • Academic Qualifications:
  • OAS Academic Scholarship Program: Have obtained a university degree by the application deadline.
  • SPECAF: Have completed the first two years of an undergraduate degree or hold an Associate’s degree.
  • Language Skills: Possess the necessary language skills to undertake studies in the language of instruction at the chosen institution.
  • Academic Performance: Maintain a GPA above the minimum standard required by the university.
  • Physical and Mental Health: Be in good physical and mental health to complete the program.

Additional Requirements:

  • Program-specific requirements: Each program may have additional eligibility criteria. For example, some programs might require a minimum number of years of work experience or specific academic backgrounds.
  • National Liaison Offices (ONEs): The National Liaison Offices (ONEs) in each OAS member state might have additional requirements or limitations.

How to apply for OAS scholarships

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in pursuing an OAS scholarship, here’s a general overview of the application process:

1. Research and Choose Your Program:

  • Visit the OAS website to explore the OAS Academic Scholarship Program and SPECAF in detail.
  • Review the eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and available fields of study for each program.
  • Choose the program that best aligns with your academic goals and interests.

2. Contact Your National Liaison Office (ONE):

  • The ONE in your country serves as the primary point of contact for OAS scholarship applications.
  • Locate the ONE contact information on the OAS website or through your country’s Ministry of Education or relevant government agency.
  • Contact the ONE to confirm your eligibility, obtain application forms, and inquire about any specific requirements or limitations they might have.

3. Prepare and Submit Your Application:

  • Gather all required documents as listed by the OAS and your ONE. This usually includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores (if applicable), and proof of language proficiency.
  • Complete the application form carefully and accurately, following all instructions provided.
  • Submit your application to the ONE by the designated deadline. Remember, applications submitted directly to the OAS will not be considered.

4. Selection Process and Notification:

  • The ONE will review your application and pre-select candidates based on established criteria.
  • Pre-selected candidates will be notified and may need to provide additional information or submit an admission letter from a university.
  • The final selection is conducted by the OAS Scholarship Committee.
  • Awardees will be notified by the OAS and their ONE.

OAS scholarship deadlines

OAS scholarships have rolling deadlines throughout the year, meaning they have multiple application periods with different deadlines. Here are the current deadlines as of February 26, 2024:

  • March 8, 2024: This is the deadline for the first application period of the OAS Academic Scholarship Program for the 2024-2025 academic year.
  • May 10, 2024: This is the deadline for the second application period of the OAS Academic Scholarship Program for the 2024-2025 academic year.
  • July 5, 2024: This is the deadline for applications to SPECAF for the 2024-2025 academic year.

It’s crucial to remember that these are just the current deadlines, and they may change in the future.

For the most up-to-date information on deadlines for both programs, it’s highly advisable to visit the official OAS website or contact the National Liaison Office (ONE) in your country. They will be able to provide you with the exact deadlines applicable to your specific situation.