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The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is open to residents and citizens of sub-Saharan African countries. Students who are already enrolled in degree programs in Africa or elsewhere are not eligible for the program.

Who is Eligible

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at MSU targets students living in sub-Saharan Africa who have financial barriers to education (ranking in the lower 40 percent in their origin country based on family economic background and income).

Applicants must live on the continent; the only exception is for applicants who are studying outside Africa on a full scholarship and who qualify on the basis of economic disadvantage. To apply, students must be either:

  • New master's scholars who have not yet started a master's degree program. Master's programs must be 2-year programs and begin in the fall semester (August).

Scholars pursuing online or hybrid degree programs are not eligible for the scholarship. The list of excluded programs can be found here:

Doctoral students, transfer students, and students with dual citizenship in the U.S. and a sub-Saharan nation are not eligible to apply. 

Scholar Expectations

Students who are accepted to the program demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Strong academic performance to date in secondary school, suggesting continued academic success as an undergraduate student.
  • Demonstrated interest and capacity for serving others through engagement in volunteer activities in school and/or community.
  • Leadership potential.
  • Ability to cope with change, and interest in other countries and cultures.
  • Significant financial need and/or from lowest income bracket in country of origin.
  • Commitment to return to serve home country or region in ways that enhance economic growth and social development.

To Apply

To apply for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, visit the Applications page.

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