In recent years, pursuing higher education abroad has become increasingly popular among African students. The United States, with its world-renowned universities and diverse academic offerings, has emerged as a top destination for African scholars.

This article provides updated information on some of these universities where you can apply for full scholarships. As an African student planning to study in the US, the costs involved can be significant. 

However, with a fully-funded scholarship, you can benefit from waived tuition fees and coverage of living expenses throughout your academic journey at the institution. 

Many of these scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellence not only in academics but also in areas such as sports or the arts, showcasing their creativity and talents.

Thankfully, there are numerous scholarships available specifically for African students in the USA, making their educational dreams more attainable.

Why Scholarships for African Students in the USA?

1. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

Universities and organizations offering these scholarships aim to foster diversity and inclusivity by providing opportunities for students from underrepresented regions.

2. Investing in Future Leaders

Many scholarship programs target students with exceptional academic achievements and leadership potential, investing in the next generation of African leaders.

3. Enhancing Global Collaboration

By supporting African students, these scholarships contribute to global collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Top Scholarships for African Students in the USA

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

  • Description: This program provides comprehensive support, including tuition, accommodation, and other expenses, to academically talented but economically disadvantaged African students.
  • Eligibility: Typically open to students from Sub-Saharan Africa with a strong commitment to giving back to their communities.
  • Application Process: Applicants must demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, and leadership qualities.

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Program

  • Description: Aimed at outstanding students from developing countries, including African nations, this scholarship covers tuition and living expenses for graduate studies.
  • Eligibility: Candidates must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, and a commitment to improving the quality of life in their communities.
  • Application Process: Requires submission of academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Fulbright Foreign Student Program

  • Description: Administered by the U.S. Department of State, this prestigious program offers scholarships for graduate-level study, research, and teaching assistantships.
  • Eligibility: Open to students and young professionals from various countries, including several African nations.
  • Application Process: Applicants must submit a detailed study/research proposal, academic transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Mandela Washington Fellowship

  • Description: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, this fellowship program targets young African leaders for academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities.
  • Eligibility: Designed for mid-career professionals with a track record of leadership and community engagement.
  • Application Process: Requires submission of a detailed application, including essays and letters of recommendation.

Why African Students Should Choose the USA for Higher Education

The United States offers a myriad of compelling reasons for African students to pursue higher education within its borders. 

Firstly, American universities are globally renowned for their academic excellence and cutting-edge research facilities, providing students with access to top-notch educational resources and opportunities for intellectual growth. 

Moreover, the diverse and multicultural environment in US universities fosters a rich learning experience, exposing students to different perspectives and enhancing their cross-cultural communication skills. 

Additionally, the US higher education system offers flexibility and a wide range of academic programs, allowing students to tailor their education to suit their interests and career goals. 

Furthermore, studying in the USA opens doors to a vast network of industry connections, internship opportunities, and potential employment prospects, contributing to a well-rounded educational experience and future career success. 

Overall, the United States stands as a premier destination for African students seeking world-class education, cultural enrichment, and professional development.


Can undergraduate students apply for these scholarships?

Some scholarships, like the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, also support undergraduate studies. However, many are primarily focused on graduate-level education.

Do these scholarships cover all expenses, including travel and health insurance?

Scholarship coverage varies by program. While some scholarships cover tuition, accommodation, and living expenses, others may also include travel and health insurance.

It’s essential to review the specific details of each scholarship.

Are there specific GPA requirements for these scholarships?

GPA requirements differ for each scholarship. While a strong academic record is generally necessary, other factors such as leadership experience and community involvement are also considered.

How competitive are these scholarships, and what can applicants do to increase their chances of selection?

These scholarships are highly competitive, given the limited number of awards available. 

To enhance their chances, applicants should focus on academic excellence, leadership skills, community service, and a compelling personal statement highlighting their goals and aspirations.

Can students from all African countries apply, or are there restrictions based on nationality?

Eligibility criteria vary by scholarship. While some scholarships are open to students from all African countries, others may have specific eligibility requirements based on nationality or region.

It’s crucial for applicants to check the eligibility criteria before applying.

Final Thoughts

Scholarships play a crucial role in making higher education accessible to African students in the USA. By availing themselves of these opportunities, students can not only fulfill their academic aspirations but also contribute to positive change in their communities and beyond. 

With a range of scholarships available, aspiring African scholars can embark on a transformative educational journey in the United States.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *