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The MasterCard Foundation Program Scholars Program Fall 2013 Application Process
As we announced in September, MSU is honored to be participate in the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. This program targets academically qualified yet economically disadvantaged young people in Africa who will contribute to the transformation of the continent. The university will award a total of 185 scholarships throughout the nine-year program, which will be distributed to 100 four-year undergraduates and 85 masters degree students.

For more information on this program and the requisite qualifications please visit

GRADUATE Selection Process:
The Graduate Scholars Program is open to residents and citizens of Sub-Saharan African countries who will be pursuing on-campus two-year Master’s degrees at MSU. Applicants should have completed or be completing a bachelor-equivalent degree from a recognized university on the African continent. Departments are encouraged to nominate applicants who meet the selection criteria for this program (see below). In so doing departments agree to pay the application fee for such students and work closely with them to ensure the timely completion of their degree programs. Moreover departments must be prepared to support students who do not finish in the two-year time frame. MCF scholars enroll in the fall semester and are required to participate in the Leadership Academy for African Development, a seminar program that will continue throughout their studies at MSU. With placement and financial support provided by the MCF program, Graduate Scholars also will complete internships in Africa, ideally coupled with robust research activities, during the summer between their two years on campus.

Graduate Selection Criteria
• Prior completion of a Bachelors Degree in Africa with academic achievements suggesting continued academic success as a graduate student
• Strong commitment to a professional path in line with an area of study that can positively impact Africa
• An interest in and capacity for ‘give-back’, evidenced by commitment to and engagement on campus in professional pursuits and/or the community
• Manifest ethical behavior and strong character essential to joining The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Network
• Ability to deal with change, uncertainty, and adversity, as well as interest in other countries and cultures, necessary to succeed as a student overseas and represent one’s home country in this role
• Significant financial need evidenced by presence in lowest income bracket in country of origin
• Commitment to give back in ways that enhance the economic growth and social development of Africa.

Scholarship applicants should apply as usual online to the desired masters program and take an English Proficiency Exam (TOEFL or IELTS) and any other required examinations (GRE or GMAT, depending on departmental requirements). Students are strongly encouraged to take these exams by mid-December, 2012 in order for MSU to receive scores quickly. In addition students must complete and send an additional MCF Scholars Program application to the departments. This application is now available online via

The process will operate similar to the University Distinguished Fellowship selection process in which an advisory committee with representation from MSU’s colleges provides input on final scholar selection.

The overall timeline for MCF Graduate Scholars is as follows:
15 November 2012 Scholarship application available
15 February 2013 Application, all required documents, test scores and Scholarship Application due to Department/Program
15-25 February 2013 Department/College undertakes review and forwards nominees (with recommendation letter)
27 February 2013 RAF Forms due in the Office of Admissions for MCF Scholarship Nominees, with cover note indicating they are MCF nominees. Only those who actually receive the scholarship will obtain university admission as others will not have proof of financial means. Concurrently, departmental nominations due in ISP to Adedayo Adekson, Assistant Dean for the MasterCard Foundation Program at MSU via A completed nomination includes: An MCF Nomination form the student’s MCF Scholars Program application, the student’s application for admission and related statement of purpose, etc., copies of all academic documents and letters of recommendation.
8 March –9 April 2013 Verification of university admissibility, MCF Graduate Selection Advisory Committee review, finalist interviews via Skype or telephone
10 April 2013 Final Selection Complete/Notification of recipients
1 May 2013 Acceptance deadline

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Last Modified: 11/30/2015

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