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Financial aid for African students

March 23, 2016 4:57 pm

A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” – Nelson Mandela

We have all heard that “Education pays” and it does, in more ways than we know. When I was younger, I thought school was my parent’s idea of torture. I didn’t really like school, but was fortunate in that I managed to get good grades in spite of myself. Now I am older, I have been able to reap the benefits of a good education, which are not only economic, but social and intellectual.


I read an article that states that people who attend university are less likely to commit crime, drink heavily or smoke, according to a new database of evidence on the social benefits of higher education. For the African community, I think that higher education can be a powerful tool that allows us to positively impact our continent. The economic benefits of higher education to society include increased tax revenues, faster economic growth, greater innovation and labour market flexibility, while individuals profit from higher earnings, lower unemployment and higher productivity.

Rather than stand on a soapbox and preach on how great education is, we would like to provide potential students with resources to help them access higher education. We all know that university education is expensive, so here are some resources to help you in your quest for higher education.

Below are links to information that might be useful to students from African countries interested in finding fellowships to study in abroad. The list is by no means complete, and we will continue to source resources for your benefit. Happy hunting!

1. eduPass

A comprehensive website from FinAid, the Financial Aid Information Page is specifically for foreign students. They claim they can help students from the beginning of the process to the end. One page on the site lists schools that have given scholarships to foreign students. To be included in the lists, the schools must have an average award that is greater than 1/5 of the cost of attendance.

2. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

The Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from select developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies, in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, primarily within the AKDN.

Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant: 50% loan basis, through a competitive application process once a year in June or July. The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master’s level courses but is willing to consider applications for PhD programmes, only in the case of outstanding students who are highly recommended for doctoral studies by their professors and who need a PhD for the fulfilment of their career objectives (academic or research oriented).

3. Stanford University Libraries Campus resources relating to Africa

On this site, there is one page with information on funding opportunities which are specific to African nationals.

4. 2004 Rockefeller Guide to Funding for African Students

A Funding list compiled by The African-American Institute and then The Rockefeller Foundation. It is out of date, and some of the links are inactive, but there are some great resources.

5. Wellesley College Mastercard Foundation Programme

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme prepares young people, particularly from Africa, to lead change.

6. International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search (IEFA)

IEFA is the premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information for US and international students wishing to study abroad. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive college scholarship search and grant listings, plus international student loan programs and other information to promote study abroad.

7. List of African Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships for International Students

Scholarships for Development website, with a list of Scholarships for African students.

8. Scholarship Positions

There are a number of scholarships available to African scholars to study in Africa and abroad. Africa comprises of various prominent countries that take a room in the list of preferred international study destinations, such as as; Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, etc. Various African universities and organisations provide grants and scholarships for both foreign and domestic students with wide learning programmes, competitive schooling, remarkable civilizing practices and motivating history.

9. QS Top Universities

A selection of international scholarships for African students. The list below includes a range of current government scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships and university scholarships offered specifically for Africans. While most of those featured are graduate scholarships, there are also some opportunities for undergraduates.

Author: Staff writer

Financial aid for African students Reviewed by on . A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” - Nels A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” - Nels Rating: 0
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