List of top US universities to get you started on your college search

By David Gitau
An easy starting point for your college search would be universities where other Kenyans have attended.

Here is a list* to get you started. You can also get in touch with us (Hashtag Magazine) through our social media channels to get suggestions on what best fits your particular case.

Note that the numbers in parentheses indicate the approximate number of current undergraduate Kenyan students – freshmen, sophomores, juniors & seniors – as of August 2016. If a school doesn’t have a number next to it, it’s only because we’ve not compiled a conclusive figure from people attending that school.

  • Cornell University (28)
  • Yale University (20)
  • Columbia University (6)
  • Wesleyan University (4)
  • Princeton University (11)
  • Smith College (10)
  • Harvard University (14)
  • Dartmouth College(8)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT (6)
  • Drexel University
  • Northwestern University
  • Lafayette College (4)
  • University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
  • Pomona College
  • Brown University
  • Stanford University
  • Michigan State University
  • Tufts College (6)
  • Amherst College (14)
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Vanderbilt University (5)
  • Mount Holyoke University
  • Hamilton College
  • Middlebury College
  • Williams College
  • Lehigh University
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brandeis University
  • Colby College
  • Bates College
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Kenyon College
  • Barnard College
  • Carleton College
  • Connecticut College
  • Davidson College
  • Gettysburg College
  • Michigan State University
  • Oberlin College
  • Swarthmore College
  • College of Wooster

Aside from colleges and universities in the US, there are other hot destinations that many students from Kenya end up. A good example is Ashesi University in Ghana, which as has 51 Kenyans attending.

Also important to note, the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program has partnered with universities in the US, Canada, Ghana and Costa Rica to provide undergraduate scholarships to promising students. Some schools require “special” applications, while others award MasterCard scholarships after you are successfully admitted to the university you are applying to.

Universities such as Arizona State University, Duke UniversityMichigan State University, and Wellesley College in the US are part of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. Although University of California – Berkeley & Stanford University currently have MasterCard scholars, they’ll not be accepting any more MCF scholars after August 2016. These schools have already exhausted their MasterCard grants. We will provide more details on how you can become a part of this program in a later post.

Successful applicants spread out the types of schools they consider to increase their chances of getting into at least one of their selected schools. It is unwise to apply to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and MIT at the same time. These schools are very selective and you may end up not getting into any even if you have the best test scores. Be strategic – have some schools in which you’re likely to get in, and others where you need a great deal of luck (which is the case for most ivy-league colleges).

*This list has been compiled from KenSAP and EaSEP since they have the universities on their websites. We don’t have data from other organizations & independent applicants. It is not an exhaustive list!

About Author

David is an undergraduate at Princeton University. He is one of the founders of 'Kenyans Applying to Undergraduate US Universities', an outfit that hopes to educate African high school students on the process of applying to US universities and to offer personalized premium college essay editing services. David works with Samuel Mwaura (Lafayette College), Norah Borus (Stanford University), Ian Mwaura (Cornell University), Emmanuel Omari (Stanford University) and Resian Kimojino (Princeton University).

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