Home Scholarship The Ultimate Guide to Applying for MasterCard Foundation Scholarships as a Nigerian Student

The Ultimate Guide to Applying for MasterCard Foundation Scholarships as a Nigerian Student

by wealthtech84
Guide to Applying for MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program is a life-changing opportunity for talented Nigerian students who dream of pursuing higher education at world-renowned universities. This comprehensive scholarship covers tuition fees, living expenses, and provides access to invaluable resources such as mentorship, leadership development, and internship opportunities. For Nigerian students facing financial barriers, the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship can open doors to a brighter future and the chance to make a meaningful impact in their communities and beyond.

Guide to Applying for MasterCard Foundation

Guide to Applying for MasterCard Foundation

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship, Nigerian applicants must meet certain criteria:

  • Age: Undergraduate applicants must be 29 years old or younger at the time of application, while graduate applicants must be 35 years old or younger.
  • Academic Excellence: Candidates should demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, with strong grades and test scores in relevant subjects.
  • Leadership Potential: Successful scholars exhibit leadership qualities, such as initiative, resilience, and a commitment to giving back to their communities.
  • Financial Need: The scholarship aims to support students who face significant economic barriers to accessing higher education.

Choosing a Partner University

The MasterCard Foundation partners with a network of top-tier universities across the globe, offering a diverse range of programs and disciplines. Some notable partner institutions include:

  1. University of Cambridge, UK
  2. University of California, Berkeley, USA
  3. McGill University, Canada
  4. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  5. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

When selecting a university, consider factors such as:

  • Program alignment with your academic and career goals
  • Research opportunities and faculty expertise
  • Location and cultural fit
  • Application deadlines and requirements

The Application Process

Applying for a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship involves several key steps:

  1. Research: Identify partner universities that offer programs aligned with your interests and goals. Visit their websites for detailed application guidelines and deadlines.
  2. Gather Documents: Prepare required materials, such as transcripts, standardized test scores (e.g., TOEFL, SAT, GRE), essays, and recommendation letters. Ensure that all documents meet the university’s specific requirements.
  3. Craft Essays: Scholarship essays are crucial for showcasing your achievements, goals, and fit with the program. Highlight your leadership experiences, community engagement, and vision for contributing to Africa’s development. Seek feedback from mentors and peers to refine your essays.
  4. Submit Application: Follow the university’s application procedure, which typically involves an online portal. Make sure to submit all required documents before the deadline.

Financial Support and Benefits

MasterCard Foundation Scholarships provide comprehensive funding for selected scholars:

  • Tuition and Fees: The scholarship covers full tuition costs for the duration of your program.
  • Living Expenses: Scholars receive a stipend to cover housing, food, books, and other essential living expenses.
  • Enrichment Opportunities: Benefit from mentorship programs, leadership workshops, internships, and networking events to enhance your personal and professional growth.

To cover application fees and standardized test costs, explore:

  • University fee waivers for applicants from low-income backgrounds
  • External scholarships and grants dedicated to financing application expenses

Preparing for Standardized Tests

Many partner universities require standardized tests as part of the application process:

  • Undergraduate: SAT or ACT
  • Graduate: GRE, GMAT, or program-specific exams
  • English Proficiency: TOEFL or IELTS for non-native English speakers

To prepare effectively:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the test structure and question types
  2. Utilize official study materials and practice tests
  3. Consider enrolling in prep courses or working with a tutor
  4. Plan ahead to ensure you have enough time to retake the test if needed

After Submitting Your Application

Once you’ve submitted your MasterCard Foundation Scholarship application, expect to hear back from the university within several months. If awarded the scholarship, you’ll receive instructions on accepting the offer and preparing for your studies.

If not selected, don’t be discouraged. Consider:

  • Requesting feedback from the university to strengthen future applications
  • Exploring alternative scholarship opportunities
  • Reapplying in the next cycle, highlighting your growth and new experiences

Succeeding as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar

As a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, you’ll have access to a wealth of resources and support to thrive academically and personally:

  • Attend orientation events and workshops to navigate university life
  • Join student organizations and volunteer initiatives aligned with your passions
  • Engage with fellow scholars and alumni to build a strong support network
  • Leverage career services and mentorship programs to prepare for post-graduation success

Remember, the scholarship community is invested in your growth and success. Don’t hesitate to seek guidance and support throughout your journey.

Nigerian MasterCard Foundation Scholar Success Stories

Nigerian scholars have achieved remarkable feats through the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship. Here are a few inspiring examples:

  • Adeyemi Adewole, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, founded a social enterprise that provides affordable healthcare solutions in underserved Nigerian communities.
  • Fatima Abdullahi, an alumna of the University of Cambridge, conducts groundbreaking research on renewable energy and works to promote sustainable development in Africa.
  • Emmanuel Okonkwo, a graduate of McGill University, leverages his expertise in artificial intelligence to develop innovative solutions for Nigerian businesses and startups.

These scholars demonstrate the transformative power of the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship and the potential for Nigerian students to drive meaningful change in their fields and communities.


Applying for a MasterCard Foundation Scholarship is a challenging but rewarding process for Nigerian students. By carefully researching partner universities, crafting compelling essays, and leveraging available resources, you can increase your chances of securing this life-changing opportunity.

Remember, the scholarship is more than just financial support – it’s an investment in your potential to create a brighter future for yourself, your community, and Africa as a whole. Embrace the challenge, stay focused on your goals, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance along the way.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards becoming a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, start exploring partner universities and their application requirements today. With dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence, you can unlock a world of possibilities and make your mark as a leader and changemaker.

Key Takeaways

  • MasterCard Foundation Scholarships cover full tuition, living expenses, and provide access to valuable enrichment opportunities for Nigerian students.
  • Eligibility requirements include age limits, academic excellence, leadership potential, and financial need.
  • Research partner universities carefully, considering factors such as program fit, deadlines, and application requirements.
  • Prepare compelling essays, gather required documents, and plan ahead for standardized tests.
  • Leverage scholarship resources and networks to thrive academically, personally, and professionally.
  • Nigerian MasterCard Foundation Scholars have achieved remarkable success in various fields, driving positive change in their communities and beyond.


  1. Are MasterCard Foundation Scholarships only available for undergraduate studies?
    • No, the scholarships are available for both undergraduate and graduate programs at partner universities.
  2. Can I apply to multiple partner universities for the scholarship?
    • Yes, you can apply to multiple partner universities. However, make sure to tailor your application to each institution and meet their specific requirements.
  3. How can I strengthen my scholarship application?
    • Focus on highlighting your academic achievements, leadership experiences, and community engagement. Seek feedback from mentors and peers to refine your essays and application materials.
  4. What happens if I am not selected for the scholarship?
    • If not selected, consider seeking feedback from the university, exploring alternative scholarship opportunities, and reapplying in the future with a strengthened application.
  5. How can I make the most of my experience as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar?
    • Engage actively with the scholarship community, participate in enrichment activities, and seek mentorship and support to maximize your personal and professional growth.

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