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The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program will provide comprehensive support to more than 15,000 deserving young people so they can successfully complete their secondary and university education, develop their talents and pursue their aspirations. Through the Program these 15,000 young people will develop their leadership skills and use their education to benefit the lives of others in their families, communities and their countries.

The Program provides holistic support, including:

  • Comprehensive Scholarships. Scholars receive financial support for fees, uniforms, books and supplies, transportation, accommodation and stipends.
  • Transition Support. Scholars receive support during their transition into secondary school, university or the workforce with mentoring, career counseling, internships, leadership development and other life skills coaching.
  • Skills Training. Sholars benefit from enrichment in areas relevant to employment success, such as critical thinking, communications and entrepreneurship.
  • Give-Back. Scholars are encouraged to develop a personal vision of how they can make an impact in their communities. The Program supports their give-back aspirations through volunteerism and community service, problem-solving skills and leadership development.
  • Scholars Community and Alumni Network. Current and alumni Scholars are connected through a network that supports leadership development, lifelong learning, entrepreneurism and community service.


Students selected for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program are bright, talented young people who are committed to using their education to improve the lives of others. Scholars demonstrate leadership qualities and share a deep personal desire to become agents of change on the continent.

Partner institutions identify and select young men and women from economically disadvantaged communities who have demonstrated the following attributes:

  • Academic Talent. Our Scholars value learning and have the drive to complete their education.
  • Commitment to Giving Back. Scholars have a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of others.
  • Potential to Lead. Scholars are role models, mentors and problem solvers.

 How to Become a MasterCard Foundation Scholar

For more information on how to become a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, please contact partner institutions directly. Students must first apply and be accepted to the universities, before they can be considered for the Scholars Program.  Partners and links to application criteria are listed below.

Scholars Program FAQs


The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is building a global network of academic institutions and non-profit organizations committed to developing next-generation leaders. Partners in the Program are selected for their shared values, academic excellence, nurturing environments and programs relevant to developing countries.

African Leadership Academy

American University of Beirut – Faculty of Health Sciences

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Ashesi University

Arizona State University



Duke University

EARTH University



Makerere University

McGill University

Michigan State University

Stanford University

University of British Columbia

University of California, Berkeley

University of Cape Town

University of Pretoria

University of Toronto

Wellesley College