1. Overview

This program aims to provide support for highly promising and altruistically-minded students who are hoping to start an undergraduate degree at one of the top universities in the USA or UK (see below for details) and who do not qualify as domestic students at these institutions for the purposes of admission and financial aid.

The primary application deadline is August 15th, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. There are further deadlines for candidates who do not submit their applications by this date — see below for details.

Apply here.

2. Funding criteria

We are looking to fund candidates who:

  • have demonstrated exceptional academic merit; and
  • are interested in using their careers to do as much good as possible.

We plan to offer both full and partial scholarships, depending on candidates’ financial need and the strength of their applications.

For successful applicants to this program who are looking to attend university in the USA, we will also cover the cost of 1-on-1 admissions counseling through a third-party provider. This is guaranteed for candidates who applied by the primary application deadline, and subject to availability for those who applied by one of the later deadlines; see below for further details.

For candidates who don’t apply by our primary deadline, the deadlines and application timelines will differ depending on where they are applying for funding to attend university (the USA, the UK, or both). For details, see the sections immediately below.

3. Scholarships to attend university in the USA

Candidates are eligible to apply if:

  • they are planning to apply to one or more of the following universities for an undergraduate degree starting in 2023: University of Chicago, Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, California Institute of Technology, Brown University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, Harvey Mudd College, Rice University, Vanderbilt University, Washington University in St. Louis, Cornell University, Pomona College, Williams College, University of Notre Dame, Swarthmore College, Georgetown University, Tufts University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California – Berkeley; and
  • they qualify as international students for the purposes of admission and financial aid at these institutions.
    • Our rationale for offering scholarships to those who qualify as international students is that there are far fewer scholarships available for such applicants, which can make it significantly more difficult for them to afford degrees at these institutions — or even to get admitted in the first place, for institutions that select international applicants in a need-sensitive manner (most of the universities on our list).

Candidates who are applying to Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Amherst, and Dartmouth in addition to (one or more) of the universities listed above are also eligible to apply. However, we generally don’t expect to offer scholarships to attend one of those six universities, because they both meet full financial need of admitted undergraduates and choose applicants — including international applicants — in a need-blind manner (i.e. financial need does not affect the chances of admission), which means that we see less room for our scholarship to benefit recipients. We may still consider doing so in exceptional circumstances, but only if a candidate has also applied and been admitted to one of the other universities listed above.

The application timelines for applicants seeking funding to attend one or more of these US universities are as follows:

  • By default, candidates should apply by the primary application deadline, which is August 15th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.
    • We strongly recommend that candidates who are seeking funding to attend university in the USA apply by this deadline.
    • We plan to inform successful candidates who applied by this deadline by early September.
    • For successful candidates who apply by this date, we will cover the cost of 1-on-1 admissions counseling from a third-party provider. We may offer a more limited version of this service to some or all successful candidates who applied by one of the later deadlines, but this will be subject to availability. Also, our sense is that prospective students benefit significantly from starting work with their admissions counselors early in their application processes. This applies especially to candidates who are planning to apply to universities through early action/early decision.
    • In our experience, scholarship applicants often leave their applications until the last minute because this gives them more time to write their application essays, improve their CVs, etc. We don’t recommend delaying your application for this reason; in assessing submissions, we will take into account that candidates who apply by one of the later deadlines are at a slight advantage compared to candidates who apply by the primary deadline, and adjust our evaluations accordingly.
  • Candidates who missed the primary application deadline, plan on applying to one of the above-listed universities in the USA through early decision/early action, and would like us to consider their application for a scholarship to attend that university should apply by September 30th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.
    • We plan to inform successful candidates who applied by this deadline by mid-to-late October, in order to allow them to include information about the scholarship they have been awarded in their early decision/early action applications.
    • Candidates who have already applied to one of the universities on our list through early decision/early action can still apply for a scholarship to attend one of the other relevant universities (by applying before the November 18th deadline – see next bullet point).
  • Otherwise, candidates should apply by November 18th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time
    • We plan to inform successful candidates by early to mid-December, again in order to allow them to include information about the scholarships they have been awarded in their university applications. 
    • Our impression is that for both early decision/early action and regular decision applicants, securing an outside scholarship (like ours) before applying to the universities in question can in many cases meaningfully improve their chances of admission.

Important: Note that for these universities, early decision/early action deadlines are generally between November 1st-15th, and regular decision application deadlines are between January 1st-10th (exception: November 30th for Berkeley). However, they all require applicants to submit results from standardized tests (ACT/SAT and in some cases also English proficiency tests like TOEFL) which have to be booked and taken before these deadlines. They also require applicants to submit materials that take time to prepare (essays, references, etc.).

We therefore strongly advise applicants to familiarize themselves with the relevant application requirements as soon as possible and plan ahead.

4. Scholarships to attend university in the UK

Candidates are eligible to apply if:

  • they are planning to apply to one or more of the following universities for an undergraduate degree starting in 2023: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of St Andrews, London School of Economics and Political Science, Imperial College London, Durham University, University of Warwick, University College London; and
  • they do not meet the criteria for “Home” fee status (or equivalent) in the UK (see here for more information).
    • Our rationale for offering scholarships to students with “Overseas” fee status is that they face higher fees and more limited availability of scholarships, which can make it more difficult for them to afford degrees at these institutions.

The application timelines for applicants seeking funding to attend one or more of the above-listed universities in the UK are as follows:

  • As in the case of candidates who are seeking funding to attend university in the USA, our primary application deadline is August 15th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • We plan to inform successful candidates who applied by this deadline by early September.
    • Successful candidates who applied by this deadline will be invited to take part in a presentation by a third-party provider which will provide an introduction to the UK university admissions system.
    • As in the case of applications from candidates seeking funding to attend university in the US, we will take into account that for candidates who apply by this relatively early deadline, their applications may have been stronger if they had waited for the later deadline instead.
  • For candidates who missed the primary deadline and who are certain that they only want to apply to universities in the UK, we recommend that they wait until they’ve received offers from one or more of the relevant institutions (which generally happens in January/February). The deadline for applications will be March 31st, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. 
    • We expect to notify successful candidates by mid-April 2023. (Candidates who received their university offers after March 31st will be permitted to apply after this deadline.)

Important: Note that the application deadline for Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, St Andrews, and Durham (for candidates who are also applying to Oxford or Cambridge) is October 15th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. However, the universities require applicants to submit materials that require advance preparation (references, personal statement, etc.), so we strongly advise applicants to familiarize themselves with the relevant application requirements as soon as possible and plan ahead.

Candidates are welcome to apply for both funding to attend university in the USA and funding to attend university in the UK if they are applying to eligible universities in both countries. As with other candidates, we recommend applying by the primary application deadline (August 15th).

If they missed this date, candidates who are applying to eligible US and UK universities can submit a combined application by the same deadlines that apply to candidates who are applying to US universities only (September 30th for early decision/early action, November 18th otherwise) and we will evaluate the relevant parts of their proposals on the same timelines.

5. Application process

To apply, complete the application form here.

The application form asks for straightforward information about candidates’ academic records (similar to the information they will provide for university applications) and some basic information about their families’ financial situations. We will follow up with candidates to request more detailed financial information if we decide to proceed with their applications (similar to the information requested by university financial aid offices).

In addition, candidates will need to provide responses to three brief essay questions (1,500 characters each, which corresponds to ~250 words apiece). It’s probably worth spending a bit of time thinking about your answers to these questions, but we generally think candidates shouldn’t invest more than two to three hours into actually writing and polishing their submissions.

Finalists will be invited to an interview and may be asked to complete additional assignments.

6. Further information

  • Our current plan is to consider applications on a rolling basis, so we encourage early applications.
  • We may be able to expedite decisions in cases where candidates require an earlier decision. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • This is the second iteration of this program; last year, we offered scholarships to nine applicants.
  • Scholarships will be conditional on admission to one of the relevant universities. In some cases, we may offer scholarships conditional on admission to a specific subset of the universities listed above.
  • We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply, especially self-identified women and people of color.
  • Given the anticipated volume of applications, we may not be able to notify all unsuccessful candidates.

Questions? Please contact us.