December 29, 2022

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Who qualifies to apply for the scholarship?

The following are the minimum academic qualifications for a person to apply for the scholarship:

Minimum university entry grade as set by the Kenya Commission for University Education (CUE).

Students who have done other curricula other than the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) have their grades equated by the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) and must equate to at least a C+.

For some programs, e.g. the programs in the school of health sciences, the minimum entry grade is higher and cluster subjects are also checked.

ChadFrench system, at least a score of 10 obtained in all the subjects taken at Secondary school certificate
Democratic Republic of Congo High School diploma, with a cumulative average of 60% or better.
The GambiaWest Africa Examination Council (WAEC) – 5 passes of grade B4 or better
GhanaWest Africa Examination Council (WAEC) – 5 passes of grade C5 or better
KenyaKenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) – Mean grade of C+ or better (Cluster subjects will be required for Science majors)
LiberiaWest African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSSCE) – 5 passes of between 1-7 grade
MalawiMalawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) – Grade 6 or better in at least 5 subjects
NamibiaNamibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) Higher Level examination Grade 3 and above
NigeriaWest Africa Examination Council (WAEC) – 5 passes of grade C5 or better
Sierra LeoneInternational Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) of B4 grade or better
TanzaniaAdvanced level, 3 passes of C and above
Uganda2 Principal passes and One subsidiary pass
ZambiaExamination Council of Zambia ECZ or GCE equated to ECZ- 5 passes grade B or better
ZimbabweSenior High School (Advanced level) passes of C or better
  • The applicant must demonstrate commitment to giving back to the community through previous/past community service engagements. The student must also demonstrate willingness to go back to their community after completing the program they get admitted to.
  • The applicant must demonstrate leadership qualities through previous/past leadership positions held at any level.
  • The applicant must be a maximum of 29 years of age by the time of the application.
  • The student must be from any of the categories stated; a young man, a young woman, a young refugee, a displaced youth, a youth living with disability.
  • The student must apply for any of the 13 programs covered by the scholarship and meet the minimum cluster points for the program applied for.
  • The applicant must demonstrate that they are from disadvantaged background and need support to undertake an undergraduate program.
  • The applicant must not have undertaken an undergraduate course in another institution of higher learning. The scholarship is for first-time undergraduate seeking applicants.

  1. When can I make an application for the scholarship?

There are 2 intakes per year for the scholarship; Summer (May) and Fall (September). Calls for applications are sent out around October/November for Summer intake and February/March for Fall intake. The calls for applications are posted on the USIU-Africa website and all USIU-Africa social media pages.

  1. Where do I get the application forms for the scholarship?

The scholarship forms are posted on the website under the call for applications for the specific cycle. The applicant just needs to download the form, print it, fill all the required areas, scan and send to the email provided, attaching all the required documents. Printed application forms are also available at the USIU-Africa main campus, at the admissions office.

  1. Where do I send my filled application forms?

The email address to send the application documents is always specified in the call for applications. The hard copy documents can also be dropped at the USIU-Africa main campus at the admissions office. An acknowledgement of receipt is given to those who drop their hard copies and also sent on email to those who send their applications on email.
Any application sent to an email address other than the one specified in the call for applications is not reviewed thus leading to automatic disqualification.

  1. How do I know I have qualified for the scholarship?

Due to the high number of applications we receive every cycle, we are not able to give individualized feedback to every applicant. The call for applications always includes the timelines for the scholarship application process. Those who don’t receive any communication by the set dates should consider their applications unsuccessful.
Those who get shortlisted are called and invited for either face to face interviews or virtual interviews. Those who succeed in the interviews are called and informed and are also sent their scholarship award letters. Those who attend the interviews but are unsuccessful are also emailed informing them that they didn’t pass the interviews.

  1. Can people who didn’t do the KCSE but other curricula apply for the scholarship?

Yes. Those who undertook other curricula of education can apply provided they meet the other minimum eligibility criteria. They will undergo the vetting process just like everyone else.

  1. What if I only get to know about the scholarship after the set deadline has passed?

The set timelines for the scholarship are strictly adhered to including the application deadlines. If a person misses the deadline, they have to look out for the next cycle to make an application.

  1. Can I apply for the scholarship if I am from another country other than Kenya?

Yes. The scholarship is open to applicants from across the African continent provided they meet the minimum eligibility criteria.

  1. Can I apply for the scholarship if I am from a country that is not in Africa?

No. The scholarship is only open to African nationalities. Africans who have studied in countries other than their countries of origin qualify to apply even if the countries they studied in are out of Africa. They just need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria.

  1. What makes an applicant not to be shortlisted to attend the scholarship interviews?

The recruitment team thoroughly goes through all the submitted applications. Failure to meet the minimum stated eligibility criteria leads to automatic disqualification. The following are some of the other reasons that make an applicant not get shortlisted:

  • Submitting an incompletely filled application form.
  • Failure to attach the relevant required documents.
  • Submitting the application past the set deadline.
  • Sending the application to an email address other than the one advised on the call for applications.
  • Making the application on an invalid application form. An invalid application form is a form that is different from the application form sent out in the call for applications for the specific cycle applied for.
  • Sending the application documents in a format that is not easily accessible by the recruitment team, e.g. formats requiring a password to access. We recommend that applications are scanned in pdf format and sent as an attachment.

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