1. How can I become a Scholar of The MasterCard Foundation?

Recipients of The MasterCard Foundation scholarships meet all of EARTH’s selection criteria. As part of the partnership agreement, we seek to award these scholarships to qualified candidates whose financial circumstances would otherwise prevent them from attending university.

Approximately one-third of the scholars will come from Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The first step to receiving a scholarship from The MasterCard Foundation is to apply to EARTH by May 25 for students in Africa, and by June 1 date for students in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Please note that thanks to the support of many foundations, governments, private companies, and individuals around the globe EARTH is able to provide financial aid to ALL of its students, with some 60 percent receiving full scholarships.  Apply Now.

2. Is there a contract or commitment that The MasterCard Foundation Scholars have to sign?

With the understanding that an investment in a student is an investment in their community, The MasterCard Foundation has requested that Scholars write a promise stating their commitment to returning to their home countries upon graduation to promote well-being and sustainable development in their communities.

A joint promise developed by Scholars from the 2012-2015 class can be read here.

3. What is being financed by this partnership?

This partnership provides essential resources that will cover the full cost for 120 Scholars over seven years (forty students entering in 2012, forty in 2013 and forty in 2014). In addition, resources are being allocated to cover increased student services, admissions program costs in Africa, communications and the administrative costs associated with managing the scholarship program.

4. How does this partnership affect EARTH’s finances?

Approximately 80 percent of our financing comes from donations and our endowment. With the 2008 global economic crisis, our endowment, like those of many other universities was significantly impacted. To compound this, a change in currency policy in Costa Rica increased our costs significantly in 2010 and 2011. While we have been focused on increasing efficiencies and reducing spending, there is only so much cost cutting that can occur without compromising our quality and/or our commitment to providing opportunities to young people from poor communities.

The MasterCard Foundation partnership will be covering the full cost per student for 120 students over seven years, plus resources to cover increased administrative costs, student services and equipment and communications. This will enable us to continue fulfilling our mission, and to strengthen and grow our program during challenging economic times.

5. With such a major partnership, does EARTH still need support?

Yes. Sixty percent of EARTH students receive full scholarships. Even with The MasterCard Foundation partnership, EARTH still needs funding to cover the costs of our remaining students. In addition, EARTH is finalizing the elaboration of a new six-year Strategic Plan, which aims to increase our global influence and impact, and will offer donors and partners meaningful and exciting opportunities to invest in the future of our Institution.