Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) Program

A Scholarship Program For Secondary School Students in Africa

Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) is an intensive academic and enrichment program; designed for African secondary school students planning to pursue tertiary education; and who wish to make meaningful impact as young leaders on the continent.

Participants will enhance their academic skills, receive guidance on university admissions and career path options; also, join a network of young leaders from across Africa. Following the seven-day program; students will pair with mentors who will advise them throughout the university application process. Also, there is no tuition cost for students to participate in YYAS.

To keep everyone safe during the global pandemic, YYAS 2021 will be an online program. Therefore, YYAS will be hosting a seven-day virtual session using various digital platforms from 25th July to 31st July 2021*. Relevant program information will be communicated directly to admitted students via email.


 Yale Young African Scholars is an official program of Yale University.

*Program dates are subject to change. Alternative dates are 1st August to 7th August 2021. However, a final decision will be made before offers of admission are sent to students.

yale young african scholar

The Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) program is a proud member of the HALI Access Network and also enjoys support from The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale and Higherlife Foundation. YYAS was modeled off its sister program, Yale Young Global Scholars, and continues to operate under its umbrella.


In order to be eligible to apply for the scholarship, applicants must:

    • Age: You must be at least 14 years old by application deadline (16 February 2021) for consideration. Please note that a typical YYAS student is between the ages of 15 and 18.
    • English: You must be able to participate in a rigorous academic curriculum, conduct in English.
    • Citizenship: You must be a citizen or permanent resident of an African country.  Yale Young African Scholars will also accept applications from refugees living in an African country.
    • School location: You must currently attend school in an African country.
    • Grade Level: You must be a current 11th grade student (or the international equivalent).
    • Graduation date:   If you attend school in the Northern Hemisphere, you must be graduating secondary school by latest May/June 2022. If you attend school in the Southern Hemisphere, you must be graduating secondary school by earliest November/December 2021; and no later than November/December 2022.  

    If you are currently in your final year or term of secondary school, have already graduated secondary school, or are a university student, then you are NOT eligible to apply.

    If you are a Yale Young African Scholars or Yale Young Global Scholars alumnus/a, you may NOT apply for YYAS. (*However, if you are a YYAS alumnus/a, you can apply to YYGS if eligible.)

    Questions? Please email us at [email protected]

Application Requirements

The following list describes the typical YYAS requirements; although the most up-to-date and accurate information is always in the application.

The following three (3) components are requirements for all applicants:

Completed application form

The application can be found online and must be filled out by the applicant. Also, students will be asked to complete one 500-word essay and two short responses; and must provide information on their extracurricular activities and the school that they currently attend.

Official transcript or grade report(s)

A student transcript is an official document provided by the school; and includes the applicant’s list of courses and grades. Students must upload their official transcript or grade report(s) for each year of secondary school. National exam scores, if available, should also be submitted but are not required. If a student has changed secondary schools at any point, they must include records both from their previous; AND their current school. Please refrain from uploading certificates or transcripts from primary school.

One (1) teacher recommendation

The recommendation must be filled out via the Online Recommendation Form that will be sent to a teacher’s email; after the student provides their contact details. An email will be sent with a link to the Form and instructions on how to fill it out. However, the recommendation must be written and submitted by a teacher who knows the student well. Recommendations from parents/guardians, siblings, relatives, family friends, and/or paid private tutors/counselors will NOT be accepted.

We place great importance on these recommendations because we understand that students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and education contexts. We appreciate teachers taking the time to write recommendations for their student(s). To ensure sincerity, we ask that teachers please refrain from sharing their recommendations with students.

Be sure to click the “SUBMIT” button on the last page for your application for consideration.

Yale Young African Scholars reviews all applications holistically, and there are no minimum grade or standardized exam score requirements. However, a high level of English proficiency will be expected.

Decision Notification

Applicants will be notified electronically of admissions decisions by mid-April.

How to Apply

Complete the Application:

  • Step 5: Click APPLY NOW to start your YYAS application. Be sure to write down your email and password to access the application at a later time. The deadline to complete and submit the application is 16 February 2021 @ 11:59pm EST.
  • Step 6: Check the “Review” page of the application to see if you are missing any required components; and re-visit any pages that require further information.
  • Step 7: Once your application is complete, click on the “Review” page. Next click on the “Submit Application” button at the bottom of the page.
  • Step 8: Check your inbox for a YYAS confirmation receipt that indicates the successful submission of your application. Confirmation emails usually arrive within 24-48 hours of submission, due to occasional delays payment processing.

Deadline: February 16, 2021


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