Updated: 19 + 3 Universities offering MasterCard Foundation $500 Million Scholarships to Empower 15,000 Africans + How to Apply

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Ahead of 2017, 3 new universities have currently been added to the 19 universities (6 USA universities, 3 Canadian Universities, 7 African Universities and 3 universities from other regions) which have been participating in the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program since 2012.

On Wednesday September 26, 2012, the MasterCard Foundation announced the launch of the 10 years MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. The program is a $500 million education initiative that will provide 15,000 talented yet economically disadvantaged students from developing countries, particularly from Africa– with comprehensive support for secondary and university education.

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The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a network of extraordinary educational institutions, non-governmental organizations, and young people. Together, they will contribute to the emergence of a more equitable, dynamic, and prosperous Africa.

  • Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation’s significant commitment to provide today’s youth with the values, attitudes, and skills to give back and contribute to their societies through education demonstrates the values at the heart of Education First.

  • Gordon Brown , the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The MasterCard Foundation scholarship is more than just school fees to me; it’s the fuel, it’s inspiration, it’s courage and confidence.

  • Joseph Munyambanza, MasterCard Foundation Scholar

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a growing initiative and to date, the Program has committed over $700 million to supporting the education and leadership development of over 30,000 young people.

Below is a list of educational institutions participating in the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program. The institutions are responsible for selecting the Scholars who attend their schools.

Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often for updates on newly added institutions and organizations.


Additional Universities

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – $25 million

The MasterCard Foundation announced a commitment to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) on June 2015.  This commitment will enable 500 academically talented students from economically disadvantaged communities to pursue their Masters level education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It will also support the creation of a teacher training program which will improve the quality of secondary-level math and science teaching in Cameroon

Carnegie Mellon University – Rwanda – $10.8 million

This new partnership, which will be established at Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering program in Kigali, Rwanda, will benefit 125 academically talented but economically disadvantaged students from Sub-Saharan Africa as part of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. 

University of Edinburgh UK  $15.6 million

At the University of Edinburgh, the seven year programme will support 200 of the brightest and best students from Africa with great potential but few educational opportunities who have a commitment to give back to their communities. It will provide full scholarships, including accommodation costs, living costs, travel and tuition fees to 80 undergraduate students and 60 postgraduate students taking courses on campus at Edinburgh.

Other Universities

USA Universities

Arizona State University – $27.8 million

Arizona State University USA is partnering with the MasterCard foundation scholars program to offer scholarships to students from sub-Saharan Africa to study for full bachelor’s degree

Duke University – $13.5 million

Duke University, USA Partners with MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program to offer Undergraduate Scholarships to Students from Sub-Saharan Africa.

University of California, Berkeley – $30.1 million

At University of California Berkeley, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will provide holistic support – financial, academic, social, and career counselling – to 113 undergraduate and Master’s students from Sub-Saharan Africa from 2012 to 2020.

Michigan State University – $45.1 million

The MasterCard Foundation Scholarship for African Students is open for Application at Michigan State University USA.

Wellesley College, USA – $2.9 million

According to Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly, the goals of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program align well with the mission of the College, which is renowned for educating many of the world’s women leaders. Wellesley will provide nine (9) African women with comprehensive support.

Stanford University, USA$6.6 million

The MasterCard Foundation education initiative at Stanford University USA will provide comprehensive support to 20 talented but economically disadvantaged students from Africa over the next eight years. The Scholars Program will support five (5) undergraduates from Sub-Saharan Africa each year, according to Karen Cooper, director of financial aid.

Canadian Universities

McGill University, Canada$27.4 million

The McGill University, Canada is partnering with the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program to offer undergraduate and Masters Scholarships for African students over a period of 10 years.

University of Toronto, Canada – $22.6 million

Thanks to the Foundation’s visionary support, University of Toronto can now provide 67 African students with one of the world’s top-ranked educations—in one of the world’s most multi-cultural cities.

University of British Columbia, Canada $25.1 million

The University of British Columbia, Canada partner with the MasterCard foundation Scholars Program to grant $25 Million Scholarships for African students; Over the next 10 years, 77 undergraduate and 35 master’s degree students will go through the Program.

African Universities

Ashesi University College, Ghana$13.0 million

Through a $13 million partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, Ashesi University College will be awarding significant financial support to qualified undergraduate students who need such assistance. Half of the scholarships funded by the Master Card Foundation will be awarded to non-Ghanaians.

African Leadership Academy (ALA) – South Africa – $13.0 million

African Leadership Academy, South Africa in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program offers scholarships for Pre-University Program on Entrepreneurial Leadership and African Studies.

BRAC Uganda$46.7 million

BRAC, a global development organization, launch a national-level scholarship program in Uganda, providing academically promising students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds with access to a quality education. The program will enable 5,000 talented students to complete secondary school and transition into higher education within 8 years period.

University of Cape Town, South Africa$23 million

In 2013, the University of Cape Town (UCT) became a member of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. The MasterCard Foundation Scholars at UCT Program will provide 300 scholarships for economically disadvantaged students from the African continent to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies at UCT.

University of Pretoria, South Africa$21.3 million

University of Pretoria will offer $21.3 million MasterCard Foundation sponsored scholarships for African students.

Makerere University, Uganda$21.0 million

Makerere University entered a partnership with MasterCard Foundation to offer scholarships to 1,000 academically bright but economically disadvantaged youth from Africa to study at Makerere University from 2013 to 2023.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana$20.8 million

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at KNUST provides academically talented yet economically disadvantaged young people in Ghana and Africa with access to quality and relevant university education.  It embodies an array of mentoring and cultural transition services to ensure student academic success, community engagement and transition to employment opportunities which will further social and economic change for Africa.

Other Region/Countries

Jacobs University, Germany

The Jacobs University, Germany has partnered with MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program to offer scholarship and leadership development program to support 25 students from sub-Saharan Africa.

EARTH University, Costa Rica$19.5 million

Earth University Costa Rica offers the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship program for Students from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to study for undergraduate degrees in Agricultural sciences and Natural resources management.

American University of Beirut, Lebanon$9.0 million

With $9 million, American University of Beirut (AUB) and The MasterCard Foundation have partnered to provide scholarships to students at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) pursuing B.Sc degree in Environmental Health or Medical Laboratory Sciences.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in 49 countries, the Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, it was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006. For more information, visit www.mastercardfdn.org.

To learn more about The MasterCard Foundation Scholars program, please visit www.mastercardfdnscholars.org.

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