About the Program

About The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program 

This Program, in tandem with its carefully selected partners, will help promising young people build experiences, values, and competencies critical to success in the economy, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and working across diverse groups.

Please note, the last Mastercard Foundation Scholars admitted to the College will be those entering in Fall 2019.

    The Mastercard Foundation Scholars  

    The Mastercard Foundation Scholars selected for the Program are: 

    Academically talented: They value learning, and are driven to complete their education.

    Economically disadvantaged: They face significant barriers to accessing education.

    Committed to giving back: They apply what they learn to improve their communities.

    Future leaders: They are committed to embracing ethical leadership to improve the lives of others.

    The program provides holistic support to enable Scholars' success

    The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Wellesley, a women's college, goes beyond traditional scholarships. The holistic, four-year support includes:

    Comprehensive scholarships: Support for tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and meal plan, and more.

    21st-century skills: Training in skill areas relevant to employment success.

    Transition assistance: Mentoring, career counseling, leadership development, and other life-skills coaching

    Internships and career opportunities: Access to job opportunities across the African continent

    Give-back support: Experiential learning and opportunities for volunteerism and community service

    The global network of partner institutions

    Wellesley College is among a global network of educational institutions and nonprofit organizations to partner in The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Partner institutions are carefully selected for their shared values, academic excellence, nurturing environments, and programs relevant to growth sectors in Africa. Each believes that education is a catalyst for social and economic betterment. The network will expand as the Foundation adds more secondary and university partnerships in Africa.  A sampling of these institutions includes:

    African Leadership Academy, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Ashesi University, Accra, Ghana
    Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
    EARTH University, San Jose, Costa Rica
    McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
    University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa                     
    Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

    The partnership with the African Leadership Academy will enable development of an African-based careers network for the Scholars to access internships and jobs across the continent.

    The future of Africa: to be shaped by its young people 

    In recent years, Africa has experienced an economic and political resurgence. Many countries have become electoral democracies. Seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies are African. The region has become an investment destination. New industries in manufacturing, telecommunications, banking, agriculture, and services are developing. The education of youth is becoming increasingly important since, at present, 70% of Africa’s population is under the age of 30. Those who will be entering the labor force include young people with academic talent and a commitment to giving back to their countries, yet who are economically disadvantaged and face significant barriers to accessing quality education.

    To seize this opportunity, the Mastercard Foundation and a collaborative, global network of education institutions and nonprofit organizations have created The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Together the partners firmly believe that education is a catalyst for social change and economic betterment.