UWC scholarships create access and provide a life defining opportunity  for young people of extra-ordinary potential from under-served communities. The life prospects of the young people who are selected and awarded UWC scholarships are likely to be profoundly enhanced through the opportunities presented by studying at a UWC school or college.  The comprehensive UWC scholarship programme  and fee structure aim to ensure a broad diversity of socio-economic backgrounds within the student body as well as a wide range of perspectives, interests, lived experiences and histories that the young people bring to the UWC Colleges and schools and which they are committed to sharing with others.

A UWC education is remarkably costly, as much of it, is residential, truly international and involving extensive travel and has a rich curriculum. Nevertheless, it is a uniquely important investment.  The scholarships are awarded after a process of “needs assessment,” to ascertain the students’ financial needs in terms of a full or partial scholarship.

Through UWC’s comprehensive scholarship programme, about 70% of students selected by National Committees in 155 countries are accepted on either a full or partial needs-based scholarships towards their UWC experience.  A full scholarship for the IB Diploma Programme at UWC Colleges includes: tuition, room and board, books, the IB Diploma Programme examination registration fees and school field trips (but not project week).

All other  expenses – including medical insurance, visas, security deposits, pocket money, travel, project week expenses, SAT tests, university application fees and school supplies – are usually covered by the student unless indicated otherwise by the schools or college.

The scholarships are provided either by the UWC schools and colleges or by the UWC National Committees through the localised fundraising of their Advancement staff. Donors to UWC include philanthropists, foundations, trusts, companies, governments, non-governmental organizations and UWC alumni. Some of the UWC Colleges founded through the philanthropy of generous donors who had the vision, courage and resources to support UWC.

UWC has committed to raise the funds for an additional 100 scholarships per year for refugee students from 2017 onwards. Each scholarship is valued at USD $75,000, therefore USD $7.5 million is needed to support 100 scholars per year. The funds which are designated in their entirety to all-inclusive bursaries cover the full education programme, board and lodging, travel and visa support, co-curricular activities, educational materials and student welfare during two years of the IB Diploma Programme.

“Through the generosity of others, my children and grandchildren enjoyed the benefits of a Waterford education. It is my hope that through the provision of funding for bursaries, children will be able to experience the freedom that education brings”.

Nelson Mandela,

(Former President of South Africa, past Honorary President of UWC, parent and grandparent of Waterford Kamhlaba UWC alumni)