The MasterCard Foundation has partnered with Michigan State University to provide full tuition scholarships to undergraduate and Master’s degree students from sub-Saharan Africa.
Scholarship recipients are chosen from a pool of students who have demonstrated academic talent, are economically disadvantaged, and have a personal commitment to serve their countries or regions of origin. Through leadership and career training, financial, academic, social, and post-graduation support, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at MSU ensures that Scholars are equipped with the academic and professional skills and competencies needed to make significant contributions to economic growth and social development in their respective countries of origin.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program differs from other scholarship initiatives in several key ways.
Community-minded students with the potential to create change. Scholars are academically strong students who come from economically disadvantaged communities and demonstrate strong leadership and a commitment to improving their communities.
Holistic support. The scholarship is comprehensive, covering school fees/tuition, uniforms, textbooks, computers and other learning materials. The Program provides financial support for transportation, living expenses and stipends, and also have access to mentors and counsellors.
A focus on leadership skills and socioeconomic change. Scholars receive leadership training and develop skills and experience they need to initiate change in their home communities.
A practical employment orientation. Scholars are provided with career guidance, internship opportunities and training in skills critical to employment success.
Africa is home to approximately 600 million people under the age of 25, the world's youngest population. Some parts of Africa have seen tremendous economic growth, but that growth has not always been equitable. In some areas more than 60 percent of youth live below the poverty line. In sub-Saharan Africa, 70 percent of people live on less than $2 per day.
With the right opportunities, the Foundation believes these young people can lift themselves, their families and communities out of poverty.
The Foundation is contributing to an inclusive, more equitable Africa by supporting the implementation of proven development models and scalable approaches. These initiatives tackle some of the big challenges the people of Africa face, such as a lack of access to financial services and quality education.
The mission of The MasterCard Foundation is to advance education and financial inclusion to catalyze prosperity in developing countries. The Scholars Program is a 10-year, US $500 million initiative that will enable 15,000 academically talented students from economically disadvantaged communities (mostly in sub-Saharan Africa) to attend secondary school and/or university.