5 US scholarships all African students should know about

scholarship letter of recommendation
An excellent scholarship letter of recommendation will increase your chances of getting your dream scholarship. Source: Shutterstock

As the second largest and second most populous continent on Earth, it is no wonder why Africa remains a key source market for international students.

Corresponding with increased mobility, more and more African students seek educational opportunities abroad every year, with the number of those pursuing post-secondary degrees overseas reportedly growing by a significant 24 percent between 2006 and 2014.

And like many heading from other popular source markets such as China and India, a decent-sized portion of outbound African students pick the US as their study abroad destination. Between March 2017 and March 2018, the size of the African student population in the US grew by 1.4 percent, according to a new biannual report on student visa data compiled by the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

Of course, for any international student, cost is a major factor. And it is no secret that a degree from an Ivy League college could cost you up to US$60,000 a year. This may seem daunting, but thankfully, there are plenty of generous scholarship schemes for African students.

If you’ve always dreamed of being one of the 38,000 African students flocking to the US for a world-class education every year, these funding opportunities can help make your American Dream a reality.

MasterCard Foundation Scholarships

The MasterCard Foundation Scholarships offer students from African countries financial support for a range of study levels and courses.

To apply for the scholarship, you must qualify for a course at one of the scholarships’ partner universities or charities, which can be found here, giving you ample choice and flexibility in where you study.

The funding can cover tuition fees, living costs, educational supplies and even a plane ticket home if you study abroad, leaving you with nothing to worry about except making the most of your study abroad experience.

Each educational partner has its own deadline, so get in touch with the universities funding department to find out if you are eligible.

Fulbright Scholarships

Fulbright scholarships mobilise around 4,000 students around the world to study in another country every year.

African students can get scholarships for plane tickets, living costs, health insurance and tuition funded through Fulbright awards, allowing even low-income students to benefit from the US’s prestigious higher education system.

Students must apply for the scholarship through their country’s embassy, meaning you don’t have to navigate tricky time zones or language differences to get the scholarship.

With numerous awards being allocated each year, you have nothing to lose by applying for your dream university.

Edufrica Home and Overseas Scholarships

This scholarship helps the best students from Africa who are making a positive societal impact fund their studies at undergraduate, Master’s and PhD level, regardless of their financial situation.

Three US$500 scholarships will be awarded to students studying outside of Africa for the 2018/19 academic year.

An additional US$250 hardship fund will also be granted to an overseas-based African student who is facing unexpected hardships and needs support to complete their studies.

Applications are open until July 25.

Global Leaders Fellowship for Kenyan Students

If you’re planning on studying a Master’s or PhD-level course, the annual Global Leaders Fellowship could be the answer to your funding worries.

George Washington University offers the scholarship annually to cover books, living and other expenses for students from Africa and Asia, meaning you can experience the historic capital of the US while being supported financially through the scholarship.

Applications are not yet open for the 2019/2020 academic year, so you have plenty of time to prepare your application and maximise your chances.

School for International Training Scholarships

The School for International Training facilitates students to study or complete research abroad through their programmes. They operate social, environmental and community-based projects that allow all students to expand their learning experience.

Students can apply to the scholarship scheme that helps fund students to take part. Scholarships range from US$500 to US$5,000 depending on the student’s financial situation. This is a unique opportunity to be able to engage in educational projects in the US and beyond.

Applications for the fall programmes close on May 9, and winter programme applications close Nov 1.

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