The largest scholarship and leadership initiative of its kind in Africa, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program prepares talented and diverse young people with a commitment to giving back with the skills and mindsets they need to pursue their aspirations and enrich their communities. The Scholars Program is more than just a scholarship. It offers mentoring, leadership skills development, tutoring, internship opportunities, and career services in addition to covering tuition and basic living expenses.
Implemented through a Pan-African and global network of more than 40 universities and non-governmental organizations, the Scholars Program is strengthening the higher education ecosystem by encouraging inclusion and accessibility, innovation in teaching and learning, research and collaboration across critical sectors and stakeholders.
Since 2012 the Scholars Program has supported nearly 40,000 young transformative leaders. Mastercard Foundation Scholars are making change happen: They are starting businesses, creating jobs, and using technology to tackle critical challenges such as climate change and health care.
By 2030 the Program will more than double its impact by adding 60,000 scholarships and partnering with new universities and ecosystem stakeholders, the majority of which will be based in Africa. Together, will support a new era of economic prosperity and African-led growth across the continent.
We are optimistic about Africa’s future! What role will you play towards a better continent?
The Scholars Program is implemented through a network of partner universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with expertise working with marginalized groups. Requirements for each institution differ, applicants are encouraged to review the guidelines and contact the institutions directly.
For an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree, candidates must be 29 years old or under at the time they apply. For a graduate (master’s) degree, candidates must be 35 years old or under at the time they apply.
In addition, each university has its own eligibility criteria. Carefully review the application requirements at the institution to which you are interested in applying.
To be considered for the program, students must be academically strong and have demonstrated a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. The Scholars Program is implemented through our partner universities and non-governmental organizations. The application process and decision-making are managed individually by each partner. If you are interested in becoming a Scholar, you must apply through the university of your choice.
Partner institutions have their own deadlines and admission fees. We recommend that you research the application guidelines or contact the institution of your choice for more information. For schools that require application fees as part of the admissions process, the fees will be reimbursed if the student is selected for the Scholars Program.
Admission fees are required by many of our implementing partners as part of the application process. North American universities require TOEFL and/or SAT scores as part of their application process for international students. Understandably, these costs can be a barrier for many potential Scholars. Although we are unable to change these admission requirements, we have found the following options to be helpful to some applicants.