12 Best Scholarships in USA for African Students

Scholarship in USA for African Students– Africa is a continent full of great and untapped potentials. One major way to let loose these potentials is through sound and quality education. But unfortunately, quality education is available in only few African countries, thus facilitating the need to travel abroad for higher studies. Higher institutions in the USA offers quality and sound education but the cost of study can really be expensive and not affordable by most students. In this article, I will be sharing scholarship opportunities available for African students and top secrets to winning some of the scholarships.

Twelve (12) Top Scholarships in USA for African Students

 #1       MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program

This program was set up with the aim of developing and educating young people in Africa and other developing countries. The program is intended to load up these young ones with knowledge, values, skills and leadership capabilities to enhance economic and social growth across Africa. About 15,000 young Africans are the target numbers of people to be beneficiaries of these program. MasterCard Foundation is in partnership with some universities in the US to offer the scholarship to young Africans and they include:

  1. Wellesley College
  2. Stanford University
  3. Arizona State University
  4. University of California, Berkeley
  5. Michigan State University
  6. Duke University

Government Scholarships in USA

#2        Foreign Full-bright Student Program

This scholarship program is for international students who want to obtain Master’s or PhD degree. The offer takes care of tuition, books, health insurance, living allowance and airfare.

#3        Joint Japan / World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program, Japan.

The world bank and the government of Japan through this program gives scholarships to students from developing countries. This scholarship is for students who want to pursue Master’s degree in the following field; education, agriculture, environment, health, economics and other development-related subject.

#4        Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowships for International Students-USA

This is a non-degree program for professionals who are interested in knowledge exchange and understanding of issues related to US and its fellow countries.

#5        Zawadi Africa Education Fund

This Scholarship program is run in partnership with google. It is targeted at providing scholarships for intelligent girls/women from developing and poor African countries to pursue bachelor’s degree in the USA in the following courses: Computer Science, Computer Engineering or ICT.

#6        The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF)

This scholarship is valued at $12,000.  The program is meant to assist young women in developing countries to further their education and also strengthen their leadership skills. Successful candidates are usually enrolled in universities in USA and Canada.

#7        Harambe Fletcher Scholarships

This is a full-tuition award for African Students with great entrepreneurial potentials.

Successful candidates get enrolled at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Available fields of study include: Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, Professional degree in international affairs, Master of International Business.

#8        Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship

This scholarship is open to students from the following African countries: Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, Mozambique, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Scholarships are given to outstanding students who are not financially capable to pursue their post-graduate studies. Scholarship awarded is 50% grant and 50% loan.

Available course of study at Masters and PhD level include: Rural Development, Culture, Economic Development, Humanitarian Assistance, Education, Music, Architecture, Health, Civil Society, Planning & Building.

#9 Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarships, USA

This is a one-year scholarship program for outstanding women graduate students who desire to pursue PhD in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or Mathematics.

#10 Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities to study in USA or Canada

This scholarship is for Students with disabilities who desires to study Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Software Engineering at undergraduate, graduate or PhD Level in USA or Canada.

#11 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships for Women

This scholarship is targeted at women in Europe, the Middle East and Africa who desires to study in the field of computing and technology at Bachelors, Masters or PhD level. The scholarship is worth €7,000.

#12 Yossi Schiff Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship fund at University of Michigan, USA is for graduate students. It was created to foster international understanding and also offer an educational opportunity to foreign graduate students from developing countries.  Available field of study includes:  Masters in Social Sciences, Humanities, Medicine, Public Health, Public Policy, Nursing and Environmental Sciences.

10 Best Tuition-free universities in USA

  1. Berea College

The college founded in 1855 is located in Berea, Kentucky. It is a private liberal arts college. The scholarship awarded by this college is worth $25,000.

  • Alice Lloyd College

This college is located in Pippa. This four-year liberal arts college was established in 1923. In addition to the financial aid given to students, laptops are also made available for them at no cost.

  • Webb Institute

It is a private engineering institute in Glen Cove, New York.  The school is well recognized as one of the best engineering schools in the state. Duration of course is for four years and scholars get full-tuition for those four years free!

  • College of the Ozarks

It is a Christian liberal arts college located in Point look, Missouri. The school discourages debt and encourages hard work. One major criteria to benefit from this scholarship is to work very hard. The faculties in this college include arts, science, business and education.

  • Curtis Institute of Music

It is one of the best music conservatories in the world. It offers courses for performance diploma, bachelor degree in music, master’s degree in music opera. Everyone admitted into the Institute gets full-tuition scholarship. The Institute accepts only 160 students yearly.

  • City University of New York

It is a public university located in New York City. It was established in 1961. The university gives scholarships to those that joins her Teacher academy. Students are also given a teaching role in New York school on completion of study.

  • U.S Academies

There are five U.S academies namely: U.S Military Academy, U.S Air Force Academy, U.S Naval Academy, U.S Coast Guard Academy, and U.S Merchant Marine Academy. Students enrolled into these academies get full tuition-free plus monthly stipends.

  • State of Washington Universities

The University of Washington and Washington State University offers programs that are full tuition-free.

  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

It is a private engineering college located in Needham, Massachusetts. It offers undergraduate courses in the field of Engineering. Full-tuition scholarship is given to selected students enrolled in the college.

  1. Deep Springs College

It is a private liberal arts junior college located in Deep spring valley. It is a two-year college that gives its student full scholarship. The scholarship is worth $50,000.

4 Secrets to Winning a Scholarship

I will quickly share with you four secrets of landing a very robust scholarship.

Secret 1: Ensure you graduate with a good grade from school

Majority of the scholarships available are targeted at academically-inclined students. So you must take your studies very serious if you want to bag scholarship for further studies.

Secret 2: Be very active while in school and also in your community

While studying in school, don’t just focus on getting good grades alone, you must engage in extra-curricular activities. Partake in sports, contest for leadership role in your department, join a drama group, the list can be endless. But you must be wise in whatever activity you are selecting. Don’t choose one that will take too much of your time and also you don’t have to join too many groups. Just find one or two groups that suits your personality and give your best to it.

Secret 3: Seek work opportunities that are related to your field of study

Get jobs that are related to your field, even if it is low-paying. You can even choose to work for free as a volunteer in an organization that you know will add value to you. Getting work experience in your field of study gives you higher chances of getting a good scholarship for advanced studies.

Secret 4: Apply for as many scholarships as possible

The more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances of getting a good one. Just ensure you get all the requirements for the scholarship before applying. You must also ensure you are very thorough with each application you make.

10 FAQs about Scholarships for African Students

#1        Are Nigerians allowed to study in USA?

Yes, as long as you fulfill the requirements for studying in USA as an international student.

#2        Is there 100% scholarship to study abroad?

No, as an international student, there are no fully-funded scholarships. Even though you may have all your tuition taken care of by the scholarship, you will still have to take care of some expenses personally.

#3        How long does it take to obtain student visa to USA?

This varies from one country to another. It is usually between 3 days to 3 months.

#4        What countries offers free education for international student?

Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland gives opportunity for international students to study for free or at very reduced cost.

#5        What is the required bank balance for US student Visa?

There is no fixed amount but the least amount is about 10,000 USD.

#6        How many Scholarships can I apply for?

You can apply for as many scholarships as possible. The most important thing is to start to apply early.

#7        What traits do colleges/ universities look out for when giving out scholarships?

As an applicant, you must have short and long-term goals. Your application must contain these goals as organizations that gives scholarships love to help students that are focused. Having goals shows that you are focused as a student.

#8        Are you required to pay back scholarships?

No, scholarships are awarded free. You don’t have to pay to pay anything in return.

#9        How long does it take for scholarship application to be processed?

The processing could take between 3-4months.

#10      Should I include scholarships won in my resume?

Yes. It gives your resume a good boost. Employers will see you as a serious and focused person.


So if you are an African student reading this article with great ambitions but you still need advanced studies, get on the road now! You don’t need to be wealthy to get good education, all you need is the right information which I believe you have gotten from this article.

Wishing you the best!

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