I am trying to complete the following sentence:
" . . . where certification qualifies students to apply [prep.] a wider range of employment and higher learning opportunities."
I have noted the following explanation elsewhere on the Internet:
apply to: This is the idiom to use when you are putting yourself forward as a candidate for something such as a course of study, or a job. You apply to graduate school. You apply to a company for employment. You apply to a bank’s loan department for a loan.
apply for: This is the expression to use if your intention is to obtain something. You apply for scholarship money. You apply for admission. You apply for a job.
According to this explanation, "to" seems to be more appropriate option, since students are "putting themselves forward as candidates." But "for" seems to be ringing in my ear as the more natural option for whatever reason, and maybe also makes sense after all if we think that students are "intending to obtain" an opportunity to be considered as candidates.
Would appreciate your opinions, especially as to which option sounds more natural.