Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

MCF students 2016

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program prepares young people, particularly from Africa, to lead change.

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The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is a $700 million global initiative to educate and develop next-generation leaders who will contribute to social and economic progress. The Program enables young people to complete quality secondary and tertiary education, and make successful transitions to further education or the workforce in their home regions. Over the next 10 years, the Program will select 15,000 Scholars, primarily from Africa, who will be unified by a common philosophy of change and ethical leadership.

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. 

At Wellesley College, known worldwide for its academic excellence, we bring a special expertise to this Program: We educate women who will make a difference in the world. The Mastercard Foundation is providing funding for a total of 23 Mastercard Foundation Scholars at Wellesley College from the Class of 2017 through the class of 2023. 

Please note, the last Mastercard Foundation Scholars at Wellesley College were admitted in Fall 2019.