Top 10 Scholarships for Students from Low-Income Countries

Education is the key to unlocking and achieving one’s full potential and success in life. Nevertheless, for students from low-income countries, the cost of higher education can be a major hindrance to realizing this goal.

Fortunately, there are many scholarships available specifically for students from low-income countries, offering them the financial and educational support they need to pursue their dreams.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the top 10 scholarships for students from low-income countries. Whether you’re looking to study at abroad or at home, these scholarships can provide you with the support you need to reach your academic and professional goals.

  1. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program enable Scholars and young people across Africa to succeed, we know there is a need to address systemic barriers in higher education, strengthen capacity, support innovative solutions across critical sectors, and connect ecosystem actors together to amplify our impact across the continent.

For you to earn a Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, interested applicants must apply through the university of their choice on or before their respective deadlines. It is recommended that you research the application guidelines of your institution of choice. The program funds both undergraduate and master’s scholarship.

  1. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. The Program operates in more than 160 countries of the world with approximately 4,000 foreign students receiving Fulbright scholarships annually.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is administered by binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies.

To apply for the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, applicants are to find information about the Program in their home country, including eligibility criteria and application guidelines. All Foreign Student Program applications are processed by the binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassy offices.

  1. The African Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship

The fellowship program awards dissertation fellowships to African doctoral students enrolled in sub-Saharan Africa universities who are conducting health-systems or sexuality related research. By providing financial and research support, the program aims at encouraging doctoral students to pursue their training in the region, and thus contribute to the quality of university education in sub-Saharan Africa.

Interested applicants are to visit the official webpage of the Fellowship and complete an online application when the application call opens.

  1. The China Scholarship Council Program

This program is a Chinese Government sponsored scholarship program awarded by Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) to international students wishing to study in Chinese universities affiliated to the CSC.

The scholarships are awarded to students through agencies like,

  • Chinese government scholarships through University
  • The Chinese embassy in other countries, which have diplomatic relations with China.

Interested students can prepare their application material and submit it directly to their university of choice affiliated with CSC.

  1. The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is a unique international framework through which Commonwealth countries offer university scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other member nations, forging lasting links across the Commonwealth and creating valuable opportunities for cultural and academic exchange.

Since its establishment in 1959, the CSFP has created life-changing educational opportunities for more than 38,000 individuals. Many have gone on to transform their communities, societies, and nations, helping to create a fairer, safer, healthier, and more connected Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Scholarships are funded in two ways:

  • By individual governments and universities, for study within those countries or institutions
  • By the CSFP endowment fund – a central fund owned by and for Commonwealth governments that supports Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships for students from all over the Commonwealth to study at universities in low and middle income countries.
  1. The Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

The Aga Khan Foundation’s International Scholarship Programme (ISP) was established by His Highness the Aga Khan. The ISP aims to support gifted, outstanding students from developing countries, who have no other means of financing their studies, to pursue full-time postgraduate studies at reputable higher education institutions of their choice.

Interested students must contact the local office for application forms, deadline dates and application requirements, as these may vary by country. Completed applications must be submitted to the agency from which the ISP application form was obtained. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

  1. The Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship Awards

The Endeavour Postgraduate Leadership Award provides financial support for international applicants to undertake a postgraduate qualification at a Masters or PhD level either by coursework or research in any field in Australia for up to 2 years for Masters and 4 years for PhD.

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship programme that provides up to AU$272,500 for study, research or professional development opportunities between Australia and the world.

  1. The Turing Global South Mobility Scheme

The Turing Scheme is the UK Government competitive grant funding scheme that provides grants to organisations to fund individuals undertaking education and training in the UK, to go on study or work placements across the world.

The purpose of the scheme is to offer mobility opportunities to UK students which enhance their skills and reinforce their learning through: Collaborating with researchers outside of the United Kingdom. Participating in intellectual exchange with researchers in host institutions. Developing new perspectives for their work, based on this exchange

  1. The Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan offers scholarships to international students who wish to study at Japanese universities as Undergraduate and graduate Students under the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program.

The program aims to foster human resources who will become bridges of friendship between the grantee’s country and Japan through study in Japan and who will contribute to the development of both countries and the wider world.

  1. Chevening Scholarship

The Chevening Scholarship is an international scholarship, funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, that lets foreign students with leadership qualities study at universities in the United Kingdom.

Chevening scholarship is considered one of the top scholarships for master’s degree courses. The selection criteria of Chevening scholarship is a holistic process where applicants have to write strong motivational letters and show personal and academic achievements.

See Also: List of Lucrative Nigerian Scholarships for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students


Each of these scholarships has its own perculiar eligibility criteria and application procedures, but they all share the goal of providing educational opportunities to students from low-income countries. For instance, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program provides fully Funded scholarships to students from sub-Saharan Africa, covering tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and travel expenses. The Fullbright Foreign Student Program, on the other hand, provides funding for graduate students from around the world to study in the United States.

To be eligible for these scholarships, students from low-income countries typically need to demonstrate academic excellence, financial need, and a commitment to giving back to their communities. In addition, some scholarships may also require students to meet specific language or technical requirements.

By taking advantage of these scholarships, students from low-income countries can gain access to the best education the world has to offer and set themselves on the path to success. If you’re a student from a low-income country and are interested in pursuing higher education, consider applying for one of these top 10 scholarships today. It is important to note that the specific scholarships, eligibility criteria, and funding levels may change over time. It is always a good idea to check with the scholarship provider or educational institution for the most up-to-date information.

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