“Your talent is a seed; cultivate it, and in no time, you will harvest successMatshona Dhliwayo, Zimbabwean philosopher

Scholarships in USA

A scholarship could be your gateway to your bachelor’s or master’s degrees in the USA. Most colleges and universities offer scholarships to international students, and some of these scholarships are allocated specifically to African students. 

The majority of scholarships are offered by the universities themselves – as such, you will need to look at the information on each university’s website to check what scholarships are offered and the requirements for being awarded that scholarship.  Remember that most scholarships are partial not fully funded (in other words, they cover a certain percentage of tuition). Also, there are many more university scholarships offered at Bachelor degree level than at Master’s level. Don’t forget that many of Seed’s partner universities in the USA have been chosen partly because of their attractive scholarship options.

However, in addition to universities’ own scholarships, there are also institutional and governmental scholarships. The list below presents some of these scholarships for African students to study in the USA. 

Government-funded US scholarships 

Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is the most popular government-funded US scholarship for International students. This scholarship is open to young professionals, graduate students, and artists. It is available to eligible students to study in all fields except medicine. Contact your nearest US Embassy for more information.

Hubert Humphrey Fellowship program

This is a non-degree program that offers scholarships to experienced professionals who wish to study in the USA. It is part of the Fulbright Exchange Program (see above).

Non-Government US scholarships

#youarewelcomehere Scholarships

This scholarship is accessible to international students studying at many colleges or universities in the USA. For more information on participating institutions, go to https://www.youarewelcomehereusa.org/2021-scholarship

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship program

This scholarship is only for students from select African countries, who would like to acquire their postgraduate masters and phd degrees at a graduate school in the USA. They must have an excellent academic background to attain this sought after graduate scholarship.

The Foundation accepts scholarship applications from nationals for the following African countries: Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, and Mozambique.  More information is available at https://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-foundation/international-scholarship-programme


Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

This leadership program is open to all eligible African students from Sub-Saharan African countries. It is aimed at young Africans between 25 and 35 years of age who have shown outstanding leadership and achieved positive change in their communities. More information can be found at https://www.mandelawashingtonfellowship.org/

  • MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program’s vision is to educate and develop bright yet economically marginalized young African students from developing countries. See https://mastercardfdn.org/all/scholars/ for more information. 

Zawadi Africa Education Fund Undergraduate Scholarship for Women- in Partnership with Google

The Zawadi Africa Education Fund is a scholarship program that provides funding to African women. The women must have a proven excellent academic background from disadvantaged backgrounds. The selected women are eligible to pursue their higher education in the USA, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya. See https://www.zawadiafrica.org/ for more information.

MMMF Scholarship for Women from Developing Countries in the US & Canada

The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF) provides women who come from developing countries scholarship opportunities. This financial aid aims to help women improve their lives and strengthen their leadership skills.

The MMMF awards grant the selected women approximately $12,000 each. For one to qualify for this scholarship, they must be currently enrolled at an accredited university in the US or Canada. Visit https://www.mmeg.org/ for details.

AAUW International Fellowship for Women

American Association of University Women – AAUW International Fellowships are awarded to students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Applicants for this scholarship must have attained an equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree by September 30 (the previous year). The said students must have applied to their chosen higher learning institutions by the time of the application.

The scholarship is worth $18,000 for Masters, 20,000$ for PhD and $30,000 for Postdoctoral students. Visit https://www.aauw.org/resources/programs/fellowships-grants/current-opportunities/international/ for more details.

African Palliative Care Nursing Scholarship Fund by Global Partners in Care

The mission of this scholarship is to expand the availability of hospice and palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa. The Global Partners in Care, formerly FHSSA, created the African Palliative Care Nursing Scholarship in 2010. https://globalpartnersincare.org/our-work/research-and-education/scholarships/ has more information.

How to Find Search For Scholarships In The USA

Use the Internet

The list above is just a selection of the institutional and government scholarships that are available. Browse the internet to find out all the information you need on the available scholarships and whether you are eligible to apply. For school scholarships offered directly by individual universities, research their website for information about the options available and, if you need further clarifications, contact the specific university.

Ask Your School

If you are already at university in the USA and are looking for ways to reduce your costs, ask your chosen university about available scholarships. Most universities have a list of scholarship opportunities for their students and some scholarships to study are only awarded by institutions after 1-2 semesters of study as the university wishes to evaluate your academic performance in the USA first.