Mastercard Foundation has partnered with Michigan State University to provide full tuition scholarships to Master’s degree students from sub-Saharan Africa.Eligible students have demonstrated academic talent, are economically disadvantaged, and have a personal commitment to serve their countries or regions of origin.
Expenses Covered by the Program
The MasterCard Foundation Scholarship provides comprehensive support for the completion of a bachelor’s or master’s degree. We cover:
- Travel costs
- Visa and SEVIS fees
- Tuition and other MSU fees
- Housing, food, and living expenses
- Health insurance
Program Scholars are also provided with a laptop and backpack.
The Program does not provide support for dependents of Scholars.
ADVANCED ENROLLMENT DEPOSIT
If you are accepted as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, you are not required to submit the $250 Advanced Enrollment Deposit (AED). The MasterCard scholarship will cover this fee for those accepted to the Program. Selected scholars will be directed to take steps to secure their F-1 Visa.
MasterCard Foundation Scholar candidates are not required to submit financial information, including an Affidavit of Support, Statement of Financial Proof, or supporting bank statement. The only financial documentation required is contained in the MSU MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program application.
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
The 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. Students who are accepted to the program demonstrate the following qualities:
- Prior completion of a bachelor’s degree from an African University with academic achievements suggesting continued academic success as a graduate student.
- Strong commitment to a professional path in line with an area of study that can positively impact Africa.
- Demonstrated interest and capacity for serving others through engagement in volunteer activities in school, college, 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.
How to Apply
To apply for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, fill out the Scholar’s Program graduate application.
STEP 1: APPLY TO DESIRED MASTER’S PROGRAM
To apply for a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship at MSU, prospective Scholars must first apply to the desired master’s program through the program’s department. After being accepted to the program, the Scholar must be nominated for a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship by a faculty member.
Only students who have been admitted to on-campus Master’s Programs are eligible for this scholarship. A list of graduate programs is available at the MSU Graduate School website.
Save your applicant ID and password during the MSU application process; you will need it to complete the MCF Scholarship Application.
STEP 2: COMPLETE AN ENGLISH PROFICIENCY EXAM
Complete an English Proficiency Exam (TOEFL or IELTS) and any other examinations (for example GRE or GMAT) which the department or program you’re applying to requires.
Students are strongly encouraged to take these exams no later than early-December 2017 for MSU to receive scores promptly.
STEP 3: SUBMIT ALL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS TO THE MASTER’S PROGRAM
- Ensure that the master’s program department receives all required supporting documents and official test scores.
- Each department sets its own criteria for admission. Read the department’s website carefully and then follow the department’s instructions for graduate admission.
- Submit all required official academic documents, letters of support, official test scores, etc. as indicated by the department and on the Application for Graduate Admission.
Communicate directly with the appropriate graduate department regarding the status of your application.
STEP 4: COMPLETE THE MASTERCARD FOUNDATION SCHOLARS PROGRAM APPLICATION
Complete the MCF Scholarship Application (.docx) and send it to your graduate department; it should arrive no later than February 1 each year. If submitting a hand-written scholarship application, ensure that the document is clearly legible after it has been scanned.
STEP 5: SUBMIT THE RECOMMENDATION FORM
Submit at least one Recommendation Form (.docx) from an individual who can confidently speak to your family’s economic circumstances. Please select someone other than a family member (teacher, community member, etc.) who knows you well and can best answer the questions on the Recommendation Form. Do not submit more than two Recommendation Forms.
Students with multiple names or nicknames must be careful and consistent when submitting application materials (academic documents, English language test results, etc.). Inconsistency in the student name listed on application materials could delay or halt the processing of an application. Students should apply using their name as it appears or would appear on the student’s passport.
MSU requires official academic documents to be sent by mail and do not accept academic documents sent via email as official.
Resubmitting an Application
Graduate applicants may request a change of semester by contacting their department. Applicants do not need to resubmit academic documents already received by the MSU Office of Admissions. Students only need to submit:
- Missing materials or new academic information not provided with the initial application for admission;
- An updated MSU MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program application and recommendation form
The updated application and recommendation form for the following fall are first made available in September on the Graduate Application page.