We’re sorry, the 2018 application period has closed. Please check back early next year for the start date of our 2019 application period.


About the WU Scholars Program


The Western Union Foundation Global Scholarship Program, also referred to as WU Scholars, is a program designed to support young people and their efforts to pursue a post-secondary education.

Selected scholarship recipients will receive USD $2,500 each to contribute toward tuition or school fees at an accredited post-secondary institution and will be selected based on criteria relating to the program's three pillars: Perseverance, Aspiration, and Community.

The Institute of International Education, Inc. (IIE), a US non-profit, administers the program on behalf of the Western Union Foundation and its contributors.


The WU Scholars program was created to help give young people a boost toward a better life. The Western Union Foundation believes education is the surest path to economic opportunity. Educational pursuits to gain knowledge and skills for in-demand, 21st century careers are helping people all over the world climb the economic ladder.

To us, a better education means better employment opportunities. And with better employment opportunities comes improved earning potential. As Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek says, "Education is powerful. It is the key to change and one key to financial dignity for all." That financial dignity is what drives a better life for individuals, families, and communities around the world.

  • Scholarships must be used at an accredited post-secondary institution seeking an undergraduate degree.
  • All applicants must be pursuing a degree/field of study in one of the following categories: science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business/entrepreneurship.
  • All applicants for scholarships must be between the ages of 18 - 26 years of age on June 1, 2018.
  • Application must be submitted in English. Translation services may be used to help non-English speakers submit. You will not be penalized for basic errors.
  • Must be able to demonstrate admittance to an accredited post-secondary institution or have applied for admittance.
  • Must provide a letter of recommendation from a teacher or professor. If a teacher or professor is unable to submit a recommendation on your behalf, you may also use someone who has supervised you in a youth/community group, volunteer position, job/employment situation, etc.
  • Scholarships must be used on programs resulting in an undergraduate degree. Specialized academic programs (study abroad term, stand-alone language acquisition course, service learning, etc.) are not permitted.
  • Scholarships may not be used for advanced degrees, such as Masters, PhD, JD, etc.
  • Scholarships may be used for tuition or school fees during the academic term immediately following scholarship winner selections (estimated in July). Funds cannot be used for room and board or for school supplies.
  • Immediate family members of controlling officers in Western Union, any of its affiliates and non-affiliated nonprofit entities, or its Agents are not eligible to participate in the scholarship program. All other employees and their family members who meet the other eligibility requirements may apply.
  • Application Period Opens: Thursday, March 8, 2018
  • Application Period Closes: Monday, April 30, 2018 at 12:00pm EST
  • Selection and Notification to All Applicants: July 2018

Meet Ayo --

She is a 2017 WU Scholar winner studying medicine at Siberian State Medical University in Russia who wants to be a world-renowned neurosurgeon. Her dream is to help people around the world, especially young girls, overcome neurological disorders and lead healthy, happy lives.

Outside of her studies, Ayo mentors young girls in her community to pursue careers in a STEM field. She hopes to help enable more women to become doctors throughout Africa and around the world.

To learn more about the WU Scholars Class of 2017, click here.


Q: Can I renew my scholarship for an additional year?

A: No, applicants are only able to receive the scholarship once in an effort to help as many people as possible. If you are not selected to receive the scholarship, you are welcome to apply in future years.

Q: Do I need to send a transaction to apply or be eligible?

A: No, you do not need to be a Western Union customer or use Western Union services to be eligible.

Q: Can I defer my scholarship to later academic terms?

A: No, you must use the scholarship for tuition or school fees during the academic term immediately following scholarship winner selections (estimated in July). Extenuating circumstances will be considered and must be communicated to IIE for review.

Q: Does the Western Union Foundation select the WU Scholars?

A: No. The Institute of International Education, Inc. (IIE), a US private not-for-profit organization, administers the program on behalf of the Western Union Foundation and its contributors.