An increasing number of Nigerian students dream of pursuing higher education to uplift their lives and contribute to national development. However, lacking the finances to support their education is a major barrier.
Thankfully, students can now look beyond traditional student loans by tapping into educational grants specifically aimed at Nigerians. These grants help students study for free or at significantly reduced costs by providing amounts that cover tuition fees, living expenses, books, projects and more.
If you are a Nigerian looking for grants to fund your diploma, undergraduate or graduate studies, here are 15 incredible educational grants you should definitely know about and apply for.
Top 15 Incredible Educational Grants for Nigerian Students
1. TEF Entrepreneurship Programme
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is one of the most prestigious grants for Nigerian youth with creative business ideas and dreams of being entrepreneurs.
It offers seed capital of $5,000 as an unconditional one-time grant to select applicants with innovative and executable business plans aimed at tackling African challenges. The goal is to catalyze economic prosperity across Africa through entrepreneur-led development.
Beyond just funds, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme provides access to world-class mentoring, training opportunities, exclusive alumni network and more. Successful applicants undergo a rigorous 12-week online training program focused on strengthening business management skills.
TEF is totally committed to the spirit of Africapitalism which believes Africa’s private sector has the power to transform the continent through their long-term investments, creating both social wealth and economic prosperity.
Since launching in 2015, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has benefited over 15,000 talented young African entrepreneurs and committed over $250 million in grant funding so far. It receives around 200,000 applications annually making it highly competitive.
If you are an innovative Nigerian youth aged 18-35 years old with the passion and vision to grow an enterprise, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme grant can be a life-changing opportunity.
2. NLNG Post Primary Scholarship Scheme
The Nigeria LNG Limited launched the NLNG Post Primary Scholarship Scheme in 1998 to provide increased access to quality secondary education across Nigeria through grants to outstanding students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Under this scheme, the top graduating students from select public secondary schools in communities neighboring NLNG’s operational areas are awarded educational grants. The eligible states are Rivers, Edo, Delta, Imo, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Ogun.
100 secondary school leavers are selected annually for the 4-6 year scholarship program worth around ₦200,000 per session till completion of the SSCE. The grant covers tuition, accommodation, books, medicals, transport and more.
The scheme has supported over 22,000 Nigerian students with grants worth around $50 million aimed at developing qualified manpower. Applicants are shortlisted based on academic excellence and face-to-face interviews.
For bright Nigerian students from economically disadvantaged families especially in the Niger Delta, the NLNG Post Primary Scholarship presents an amazing opportunity to complete secondary education with one less financial worry.
3. Shell Secondary School Scholarship Scheme
First established in 1993, the Shell Secondary School Scholarship Scheme (SSSSS) is aimed at gifted Nigerian students from low income households who have concluded primary education with exemplary results.
SSSSS provides comprehensive grants covering tuition, boarding fees, allowances, textbooks, school uniforms and more up till the completion of university education. On average 150 new secondary school scholarships are awarded annually under SSSS.
The scholarship is open to applicants from select states where Shell Nigeria has a business presence namely Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Rivers, and Lagos. Students from government-owned schools are prioritized.
SSSSS scholars not only receive financial grants annually but also educational mentoring and career guidance. University education expenses are covered provided the students maintain minimum 2.2 CGPA.
For bright Nigerian students with big dreams but lack of resources, the SSSSS by Shell Nigeria provides a life-changing educational grant from secondary school till university graduation.
4. Agip Post Primary Scholarships in Nigeria
Since 1992, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) has given educational grants to gifted Nigerian youth from challenging backgrounds through the Agip Post Primary Scholarships scheme.
The scholarship targets students in their final year of public secondary school education in select states of the Niger Delta region including Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers State. Around 370 final year students are selected annually.
The program funds the full cost of tuition, accommodation, provisions, books and medical care from secondary education till completion of undergraduate degree. An annual grant of approximately ₦200,000 is disbursed through university education as long as minimum CGPA is maintained.
The NAOC scholarship has produced over 500 university graduates in fields like Geology, Engineering, Environmental Sciences and more. Students from rural areas are given priority in the selection process.
For youths from neglected Niger Delta communities determined to excel in life through education, the Agip Post Primary Scholarships serve as a crucial stepping stone.
5. MTN Foundation Scholarships
Since 2007, the MTN Foundation awards university scholarships annually to high performing Nigerian students as part of its goal to brighten lives through education.
The MTN Scholarship Scheme is open to Nigerian undergraduates enrolled in public tertiary institutions within the six geographical zones of Nigeria. Priority fields of study include Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
To be eligible, students must have completed a minimum of 1 academic year with minimum CGPA of 2.5 and come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Final year undergraduates are excluded.
Up to 300 students receive MTN Scholarships worth N200,000 annually for tuition, textbooks, medical insurance and stipend. Each scholar gets a laptop plus one-on-one mentorship.
The MTN Foundation works closely with the Nigerian Scholarship Board for a transparent selection process consisting of screening, examinations and interviews.
For Nigerian undergraduates from financially constrained backgrounds, the MTN Scholarship provides the funding relief they require to stay focused on academics and graduate with pride.
6. Niger Delta Development Commission Undergraduate Scholarships
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) offers local and overseas undergraduate scholarships as part of its Human Capacity Development Program to equip youths from Niger Delta with education and skills.
The NDDC Foreign Scholarship Program funds Niger Delta students to study at top universities abroad for undergraduate degrees in fields like Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Medicine.
The Local Scholarship Program funds students from the nine Niger Delta states for Bachelor’s degrees at accredited colleges in Nigeria in fields like Medical Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture, Finance, Social Sciences and more.
The scholarship value ranges from ₦125,000 to ₦200,000 per session for both local and foreign scholarships, which covers tuition, books, dissertation costs and stipends.
For undergraduate students from neglected oil-producing communities, NDDC scholarships present a lifeline to access quality higher education and opportunities.
7. PTDF Overseas Scholarship Scheme
The Overseas Scholarship Scheme (OSS) run by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) provides scholarships to Nigerians to study for Masters and PhD degrees in select courses crucial to oil and gas sector development.
The scheme sponsors thousands of Nigerians to undertake specialized programs at top ranking institutions abroad in destinations like UK, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Romania and others.
The PTDF scholarship fully funds tuition, travel expenses, living stipend and bench fees up to $100,000. Fields covered include Engineering, Geosciences, Environmental Sciences, Petroleum Economics, Management and other technical disciplines.
To be eligible, applicants must hold a First Class or Second Class Upper degree, not be above 35 years old, and secure admission in select programs at partner foreign universities.
The OSS helps equip Nigeria with high quality human capital in strategic areas so the nation can derive sustainable value from its vast petroleum resources.
8. UBA Foundation National Essay Competition
The UBA Foundation organizes a merit-based National Essay Competition annually for senior secondary school students in Nigeria with lucrative educational grants as prizes.
The top prize is ₦2 million educational grant plus a 5-day educational excursion trip outside Nigeria. The second prize is ₦1.5 million while third prize is ₦1 million scholarship. There are seven consolation prizes worth ₦100,000 each.
To participate, students must write a creative essay based on a given theme for that year related to development issues. Topics have included AfCFTA, Clean Energy, Digital Economy, Green Economy etc.
An independent panel of judges scores all entries anonymously and the winners are selected based solely on merit. Since 2011, the UBA Foundation has awarded grants worth over ₦300 million to Nigerian students.
For senior secondary students seeking funding to commence university, placing in the UBA Essay Competition can make that dream come true.
9. Nigerian Federal Government Scholarship Awards
The Federal Scholarship Board of Nigeria offers a range of scholarship and bursary awards annually to support gifted Nigerian students in accessing higher education locally and overseas.
Key scholarship programs include the Bilateral Education Agreement Scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies abroad. It is awarded based on bilateral agreements with countries like Russia, Morocco, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey, Hungary and more.
The Scholarships for Critical Fields sponsor students in specific disciplines like Engineering, Agriculture, Geology, Sciences, Medicine, Paramedical fields, Technology and other specialized fields.
The Scholarships by States of Origin are Local merit scholarships awarded by home state governments to indigenes for diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Nigeria. These target educationally less developed states.
The Scholarships for Girl-Child Education aim to bridge gender gaps and sponsor female Nigerian students to complete schooling.
For bright and needy Nigerian students, the Federal Government scholarships open doors to access quality learning without financial burden.
10. CNOOC-NNPC Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies
The CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) in partnership with the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) offers an overseas scholarship program for Nigerians to pursue postgraduate studies related to the oil and gas industry.
Sponsored students undertake MSc and PhD programs at Chinese universities in fields like Geology, Geophysics, Petroleum Engineering, Pipeline Engineering, Offshore Engineering, Drilling Technology and Petroleum Economics among others.
Each CNOOC-NNPC scholar receives tuition waiver, accommodation allowance, stipend and medical insurance amounting to around $30,000 – $50,000 total funding.
The program aims to produce highly specialized Nigerian petroleum sector professionals able to contribute to the nation’s oil and gas advancement. Over the past decade, hundreds of Nigerian students have benefitted from this grant.
The CNOOC-NNPC scholarship presents a fully-funded opportunity for Nigerian students to access top quality postgraduate education in China focused on oil expertise.
11. Total Nigeria Scholarship for Young Girls
Total Nigeria implements the Total Scholarship Scheme for Young Girls (TSSYG) to support gifted Nigerian girls from the Niger Delta region to complete their secondary and university education.
Each scholarship beneficiary receives around ₦200,000 annually till completion of their education. The grant covers tuition, books, feeding and accommodation with the aim of ensuring the girls can focus fully on academics.
To be eligible, applicants must be Nigerian girls aged 12-18 years from select communities in Rivers State where Total Nigeria CSR projects operate. They should have obtained minimum pass mark of 50% in the entrance examinations.
The scheme has supported over 250 girls from the region since 2011, out of which over 60 are university graduates in diverse study fields.
For bright young girls from modest backgrounds who dream big, the Total Nigeria scholarship is a boost to turn aspirations into reality without financial worries hampering their education.
12. Sure-P Graduate Internship Scheme
The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) Graduate Internship Scheme serves as both a learning opportunity and earning opportunity for Nigerian graduate interns.
Under this scheme, unemployed Nigerian graduates with minimum 2nd class upper degrees in STEM fields undergo 1-year internship programs at universities/research institutes within Nigeria.
Interns get monthly stipends of ₦30,000 along with tablet devices pre-loaded with e-learning content. They gain hands-on research and work experience.
Priority areas include Engineering, Agriculture/Agribusiness, Pure and Applied Sciences, Medical Sciences, ICT and other Technical fields. SURE-P partners with bodies like UBEC, NUC and NYSC for intern selection and placement.
Since 2013, over 5,000 young unemployed graduates have benefitted from enhanced employability through this fully-funded SURE-P internship opportunity.
13. Nigerian Tulip International Colleges Scholarship
Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) operate private schools in Nigeria from nursery to secondary level offering British curriculum education integrated with Nigerian values.
NTIC awards annual scholarships worth 25% to 75% of tuition fees to students enrolled at their schools based on exemplary academic performance, conduct and compliance with rules.
Scholarship applications are open to existing NTIC students moving to the next grade level as well as new students seeking admission. The discounts help reduce the financial burden of school fees.
Beyond academics, NTIC nurtures young Nigerian scholars in areas like arts, debate, public speaking, sports and life skills to produce well-rounded future leaders and professionals.
For parents seeking private education with high standards for their children, NTIC’s scholarship program makes it more affordable.
14. Ondo State Undergraduate Scholarship Program (For Indigenes)
The Ondo State Undergraduate Scholarship program aims to support education access for bright indigenous students by providing annual grants as they progress through higher institution degree programs.
The scholarship targets Ondo State students already admitted into 200 Level (year 2) and 300 Level (year 3) programs for approved courses at accredited universities. Priority fields include Law, Agriculture, Engineering, Sciences and other technical courses.
Selected scholars receive annual grants worth ₦100,000 which is disbursed in two installments. The scholarship is renewable yearly subject to satisfactory academic performance.
The successful applicants are selected based on merit, with minimum CGPA of 3.0 (Second Class Upper), and meet set criteria regarding residency and program enrollment.
For Ondo indigenes striving for university education despite financial challenges, this statewide scholarship delivers funding relief when it matters most.
15. Lagos State Scholarship Award (for Lagosian Only)
The Lagos State Scholarship Board overseas undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs overseas as well as local diploma/degree programs for qualified indigenes of the state.
The award categories include Human Capacity Development Scholarships in strategic sectors like ICT, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, STEM fields and more. There are also Scholarships for Exceptional Achievers with outstanding credentials.
The overseas scholarships are for top ranking schools worldwide while the local scholarships apply for accredited Nigerian tertiary institutions.
Successful candidates receive full tuition coverage, stipends for books/projects and living expenses. The award is renewable annually subject to meeting approved CGPA level and compliance.
This Lagos State sponsorship of its brightest minds enables access to world class education locally and globally, for enhanced contribution to the state and Nigeria.
In conclusion, Nigerian students have an array of amazing educational grant opportunities at their disposal today to pursue quality higher education regardless of financial constraints. The grants highlighted in this article cater to students at secondary, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
While all 15 grants are life-changing in their own right, a few stand out for the huge value. The Petroleum Technology Development Fund Overseas Scholarship is fully funded up to $100,000. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme provides $5000 in seed capital along with training. Shell Secondary School Scholarship and Agip Post Primary Scholarship fund students all the way from secondary school till university graduation.
Students should thoroughly research grants, assess their eligibility, and apply well in advance to suitable programs aligned with their academics and interests. With grants easing the tuition burden, Nigeria’s students can focus on learning that transforms their lives and careers.