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MT Apply Now SCHOLARSHIPS SCHOLARSHIPS Hello Scholar,
Applications will begin on 1st September
to 15st September, 2021.
If I have seen a little further than others,
it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. - Isaac Newton
Be A Part of Our History MT Scholarships When Michael Taiwo Scholarship was advertised on October 1st , 2019, between 100 and 150 applications were expected.

2019 in Summary Support for Standard Exams
7 Benefactors
computer 1000 Applications from all six geo-political zones in
Nigeria, and other countries.
Learn More
2020 in Summary Support for Standard Exams and School Application Fees
23 Benefactors
computer 1500+ Applications from all six geo-political zones in
Nigeria, and other countries.
Learn More

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About Our MT Scholarships

When the Michael Taiwo Annual scholarship was advertised on October 1 st , 2019, between 100 and 150 applications were expected. Instead, in just a week, over 1,000 applications were received. This is even more remarkable given that no amount was spent on advertising: the announcement was shared by people on social media, WhatsApp groups and word of mouth. The applications came from all six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, so the desire for graduate studies in the US and Canada has a national spread.

Why We Started Michael Taiwo Annual Scholarships

When I reflect on my entire US/Canada graduate school application process as a Nigerian living in Nigeria, the most difficult part by far was paying for the required standardized tests such as the GRE and the TOEFL, as well as the application fees to schools. Having a high GPA from college, crafting persuasive application letters, and securing credible references (all part of the application requirements for applying to graduate schools) was difficult, but was nothing compared to living in a third world country and trying to pay online for services based in North America.

Michael Taiwo Annual Scholarship

...bridging gap to potential

The 2020 Scholarship application window opened on October 1st and closed on October 15th, 2020. Winners are already announced. 

The 2021 Scholarship application window will open on September 1st and close on September 15th, 2021.

Please visit the Scholarship page for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do you serve, and how?

Currently, we serve Nigerians in Nigeria struggling to pay for the cost of applying to graduate schools in North America. The award typically goes to recent college graduates.

We award GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS scholarships and cover up to four school application fees. This averages about $1,000 per student. Coming up with a thousand US dollars is a steep hill to climb for many students in a developing country.

We also mentor the scholarship recipients and guide them throughout the graduate school application process and beyond. We coach them on how to ace the requisite exams, help edit their application essays such as the Statement of Purpose and Personal History (or Diversity) Statement, guide their school selection process, prepare them for visa interviews, and on how to succeed in graduate school and beyond. Winners of the MT Scholarships get access to a network of world-class professionals that serve as both mentors and role models.

This is why the official name of the legal entity disbursing the MT Scholarships is The Dream Network because winning the MT Scholarships grants students with typically no connection the network needed to achieve their dreams.

How do you select award recipients?

The scholarship committee uses several factors in screening the initial application. The goal is to select a diverse, service-oriented group of so-called MT Scholars who have the best chance of thriving through the rigors of a graduate program. The process is not unlike what graduate school admissions committees use in selecting the composition of an incoming class.

We look for academically strong students who are financially incapable of covering the cost of graduate school applications. We also look for candidates who have shown initiative or drive that they can withstand the challenges of living abroad in a rigorous graduate curriculum. We strive for geographic and gender diversity: so females and those from underrepresented states are particularly encouraged to apply.

Why did you start the MT Scholarships?

When I reflect on my entire US/Canada graduate school application process as a Nigerian living in Nigeria, the most difficult part by far was paying for the required standardized tests such as the GRE and the TOEFL, as well as the application fees to schools. Having a high GPA from college, crafting persuasive application letters, and securing credible references (all part of the application requirements for applying to graduate schools) was difficult, but was nothing compared to living in a third world country and trying to pay online for services based in North America.

The reasons for this difficulty are many, but two stand out: trust and lack. Take trust. Many merchants, including test makers and universities, are loath to accept a credit card payment from Nigeria. Nigerian scams and the legend of the “Nigerian Prince” are infamous on the internet, even though the reality is that less than one-tenth of one percent of Nigerians engage in these dubious schemes. The more than 99.9% of Nigerians thus face a deficit of trust when dealing online with those outside of the country. For this reason, even those who have money are not able to spend it to move their lives forward.

Then, there is the issue of lack. More than half of the population of Nigeria lives in extreme poverty, defined as those living on less than $1.90 a day. It was just yesterday, or so it seems, that I was part of this statistic. And the overwhelming majority that are not technically in extreme poverty are barely scraping by. For many, the cost to apply to North American graduate schools would be the biggest single expense of their lives so far. When I did the math, I calculated that, from kindergarten all the way to finishing college, I spent less than $1,000 total on tuition and fees; whereas, the cost of my tests and application fees alone for graduate school were more than $1,000. In other words, I paid more in months during the application process than in over 16 years of education.

I had to rely on a friend of a friend, who also used a friend of a friend, to pay for my tests and application fees. Without this assistance, I wouldn’t have achieved my dream of a North American graduate education – the envy of the world. I am now on a mission to help many navigate these treacherous waters. You can call it paying it forward. This is first reason I started the MT Scholarships.

But there is a second, deeper reason at work that has to do with eradicating poverty. Remittances – funds transferred by immigrants to their home country – is a big source of income to the impoverished, propping up the local economies of developing nations. Without this steady injection of funds to the economy, tensions are more likely to flare, leading to more chaos in societies that are already teetering on the edge. Immigrants with advanced degrees end up with well-paying jobs, and the money they send home helps push back the dark clouds of poverty, one money transfer at a time. What’s more, immigrants that go back to their home countries after a graduate education are in a prime position to lead the academia, industry, and government of the countries they come from, helping to shape the policies that will help kill poverty. I am thus very motivated to facilitate the access of these future leaders to the best educational system in the world.

What are your plans for this program?

We started in 2019 by just paying for the GRE exams because we believe the GRE is a key factor in securing fully funded graduate admissions. In 2020, we expanded the prize to cover not only the GRE but also the TOEFL or IELTS and school application fees.

Going forward, we plan to expand the prize even further to cover some hidden fees of applying to graduate school such as the cost of obtaining and certifying applicants’ transcripts which an increasing number of schools are started to require. From the feedback we have received so far, this cost of obtaining and verifying one’s transcripts can be as high as $500. This way, we can completely help the helpless.

Mentoring is an equally – some say even more – important part of the scholarship package. In 2019, the mentoring program was geared more towards ensuring the winners ace their exams. In 2020, the mentoring program has expanded to include a more holistic approach of assisting MT Scholars over many years covering the time period of their application to graduate schools to thriving in graduate schools to landing that first job after bagging their advanced degrees.

In the future, we will formalize the mentoring program with a view to decouple it from the award. The reason is because there are bright, motivated students with a means to pay for their graduate application package who nonetheless require the type of top-notch mentoring that only MT Scholars currently enjoy. This category of students will not normally qualify for the MT Scholarship because we factor in “indigency” in our selection decision. More to come on this. If you have any questions, please contact us.

In 2019, we awarded seven scholarships. In 2020, even with the expanded prize package, we awarded 22. In absolute US Dollar terms, this translates to 10 times increase year-on-year. We hope to keep sustainably growing the scholarship.

Geographically, we hope to broaden the scholarships to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and eventually to all developing countries. Designs for this are already underway.

How do you define and measure your impact?

Editor’s Note: This answer was from when we were starting out in October 2019. We have decided to leave as-is to compare where we are to what we set out to accomplish.

Impact will be measured on three time horizons: short term, medium term, and longer term.

Short term (1 – 2 years i.e. now – October 2021): Success is creating the infrastructure needed for a lasting organization. This means formally establishing the nonprofit, building a dynamic website that is full of helpful information, automating the application process and formalizing the process of selecting the winners. We will form strategic partnerships with exam bodies, universities, nonprofits, corporate sponsors, etc., to help further our goals.

Medium term (3 – 5 years i.e. October 2021 – October 2024): Success is year-on-year increase in the number of GRE and GMAT scholarships awarded. Success is including TOEFL and school application fees as part of the scholarship package.

Longer term (5+ years, post October 2024): Success is when the beneficiaries of these scholarship complete their studies and start effecting positive change in their societies.

We believe that investment in people yield the best profit. There are already enough discouraging forces – both from without and within – that individuals face; and we want to counter those negative voices that make people achieve less than they are capable of. There’s nothing more beautiful than a fully alive human; we like to see people live fully.

News & Updates

Read All News
06
Mar

Humanity Wins!

When things work as they were meant to, it gives you incredible hope in humanity…in the fact that, maybe, just maybe, we really can change this world. Four months ago, we wrote about how, through our Michael Taiwo Scholarship program, we discovered a brilliant mathematical mind living in poverty and...
Read More
30
Jan

A Royal Recognition

  The reason we started the MT Scholarships was to help those who otherwise would have found it difficult to achieve their dreams of landing a fully funded graduate program in a world-class institution. We have been pleased with the outpouring of support for this quest. The latest has come...
Read More
08
Nov

Rage, Sadness, Gratitude and Hope: An Interview to Remember

UPDATE on November 21, 2020: The viral article below was originally published on November 8, 2020, a few days after the Michael Taiwo Scholarship team interviewed Emmanuel Nworie. As can be seen in the article, it was clear to us (MT Scholarship Team) that he needed all the help he...
Read More
05
Oct

1,000 Applications and counting: My first impressions on this year’s MT Annual Scholarships

We are three days into the 15-day application window of 2020’s Annual Michael Taiwo Graduate School Application Scholarships (MT Scholarships) and we already have over a thousand applicants – it took us the entire two-week application window last year to reach this same number. Since we still have 12 days...
Read More
21
Sep

Annual MT Scholarships – 2020 Edition: What You Need to Know

We are pleased to announce the 2nd edition of the Annual Michael Taiwo Scholarships for Graduate School Application. Please see below a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Read More
Who we serve
Our selection process
Our vision

Who do you serve, and how?

Currently, we serve Nigerians in Nigeria struggling to pay for the cost of applying to graduate schools in North America. The award typically goes to recent college graduates.

We award GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS scholarships and cover up to four school application fees. This averages about $1,000 per student. Coming up with a thousand US dollars is a steep hill to climb for many students in a developing country.

We also mentor the scholarship recipients and guide them throughout the graduate school application process and beyond. We coach them on how to ace the requisite exams, help edit their application essays such as the Statement of Purpose and Personal History (or Diversity) Statement, guide their school selection process, prepare them for visa interviews, and on how to succeed in graduate school and beyond. Winners of the MT Scholarships get access to a network of world-class professionals that serve as both mentors and role models.

This is why the official name of the legal entity disbursing the MT Scholarships is The Dream Network because winning the MT Scholarships grants students with typically no connection the network needed to achieve their dreams.

How do you select award recipients?

The scholarship committee uses several factors in screening the initial application. The goal is to select a diverse, service-oriented group of so-called MT Scholars who have the best chance of thriving through the rigors of a graduate program. The process is not unlike what graduate school admissions committees use in selecting the composition of an incoming class.

We look for academically strong students who are financially incapable of covering the cost of graduate school applications. We also look for candidates who have shown initiative or drive that they can withstand the challenges of living abroad in a rigorous graduate curriculum. We strive for geographic and gender diversity: so females and those from underrepresented states are particularly encouraged to apply.

What are your plans for this program?

We started in 2019 by just paying for the GRE exams because we believe the GRE is a key factor in securing fully funded graduate admissions. In 2020, we expanded the prize to cover not only the GRE but also the TOEFL or IELTS and school application fees.

Going forward, we plan to expand the prize even further to cover some hidden fees of applying to graduate school such as the cost of obtaining and certifying applicants’ transcripts which an increasing number of schools are started to require. From the feedback we have received so far, this cost of obtaining and verifying one’s transcripts can be as high as $500. This way, we can completely help the helpless.

Mentoring is an equally – some say even more – important part of the scholarship package. In 2019, the mentoring program was geared more towards ensuring the winners ace their exams. In 2020, the mentoring program has expanded to include a more holistic approach of assisting MT Scholars over many years covering the time period of their application to graduate schools to thriving in graduate schools to landing that first job after bagging their advanced degrees.

In the future, we will formalize the mentoring program with a view to decouple it from the award. The reason is because there are bright, motivated students with a means to pay for their graduate application package who nonetheless require the type of top-notch mentoring that only MT Scholars currently enjoy. This category of students will not normally qualify for the MT Scholarship because we factor in “indigency” in our selection decision. More to come on this. If you have any questions, please contact us.

In 2019, we awarded seven scholarships. In 2020, even with the expanded prize package, we awarded 22. In absolute US Dollar terms, this translates to 10 times increase year-on-year. We hope to keep sustainably growing the scholarship.

Geographically, we hope to broaden the scholarships to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and eventually to all developing countries. Designs for this are already underway.

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What People Say About Us

  • Thank you so much to the entire team for this prestigious opportunity of growing and I hope that one day I’ll return this favor and contribute funds for less privileged students.

    Mbanefo Chibuike Cornelius, 2019 Recipient
  • Thank you for your help and advice. I got accepted to the University of British Columbia, with funding.

    Adelakun Adenike Racheal, 2019 Recipient
  • Without this scholarship, I would have had to save for 6 to 7 years to afford the GRE and TOEFL exams and school application fees, despite finishing with a GPA of 4.92/5.00 and winning the Gold Medal in the National Mathematics Competition.

    Emmanuel Nworie, 2020 Recipient
  • The fact that the MT annual scholarship not only eases the burden of paying standardized test fees but also provides mentorship to individuals made it even more enticing.

    Usman Muhammad Ismail, 2020 Recipient
  • I secured two potential supervisors at two universities in the US to pursue my Ph.D. in Machine Learning, but the universities require test scores and application fees which I am unable to pay for. The MT Scholarship has helped in this regard. Also, I will leverage the expertise and experience of my assigned mentors.

    Promise Ekpo Osaine, 2020 Recipient
  • As an individual from a low-income family, the MT Scholarship will undoubtedly support my dream of having my postgraduate studies outside the shores of Nigeria. The scholarship will afford me the opportunity to apply to Ph.D. programs in the United States.

    Adeniji Ademola Toheeb, 2020 Recipient

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