SHE-CAN seeks talented young women leaders from Cambodia, Liberia, and Guatemala who have few opportunities but incredible potential and passion for change.

As a SHE-CAN scholar, you will be supported in winning a full-ride scholarship to a top U.S. college. Through access to a world-class college education, mentorship, and leadership training in the U.S., we will provide you with the tools and support needed to return and make change in your home country.

2023-24 Application Cycle is Closed. 2024-2025 Application Cycle opens Mid-July

Program Eligibility: Ambitious young women aged 17-20 from low opportunity backgrounds who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated leadership skills through activities or service in their community

“The past four years at the University of Minnesota have transformed me, and I’m more inspired than ever to return home and help the people of Cambodia prosper.”

– Sreytom Tim, SHE-CAN Graduate, Cambodia

Application Criteria & How to Apply

Apply for SHE-CAN program if you are:

  • A woman between the ages of 17-20
  • Passionate about improving your country
  • High school graduate or graduating high school by October 2023 (Guatemala), December 2023 (Cambodia), or January 2024 (Liberia)
  • Living within 1 hour of capital city (Note: Guatemala location is dependent on applicants)
  • From a low-income household
  • Interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree at a U.S. college or university (SHE-CAN does not work with students seeking graduate degrees)
  • No more than two years university experience in home country
  • Already a leader in your school or community
  • A strong English speaker: Your ability to speak and write in English is critical because all U.S. universities require a high score on the TOEFL or IELTS language exam. Therefore, if your English is not strong, we recommend that you spend a year studying and apply next year
  • Academically strong: Consistently ranked high in your class with strong grades and a strong score on National Exam or WAEC/WASSCE
  • Dedicated to this program: Able to dedicate your days in January – June to SHE-CAN’s pre-college program (accepted scholars must not work full-time during this period)
  • Able to access a strong internet connection and computer daily to check emails

What you’ll need to apply:

  • High school transcripts for grades 10, 11, and 12
  • National exam score report or WAEC score report
  • English translations of transcripts or exam scores if necessary (can be self-translated)
  • Estimate of family’s monthly income
  • Score reports for the SAT, ACT, IELTS, TOEFL if you have taken them
  • No application fee – free to apply!

Selection Process & Application Timeline

June/July 2023Applications are live
Deadline for Cambodia: October 15, 2023
Deadline for Guatemala: November 1, 2023
Deadline for Liberia: November 15, 2023
Interview Process

​We will share more details on the interview process in the coming months.

January – June 2024I​ELTS & academic preparation courses and community service project for semi-finalists
June 2024Scholars officially accepted to SHE-CAN program and matched with mentors
July – October 2024Scholars & mentors complete college application requirements
November 1, 2024 Scholars submit Early Decision applications to U.S. colleges
December 15, 2024

​​College admittance decisions announced

January – July 2025Scholars complete travel requirements and prepare to come to the U.S.

August 2025Scholars arrive in U.S. for first year of college

Financial Assistance from SHE-CAN

SHE-CAN aims to support low-income young women who would not otherwise have the opportunity to study in the U.S. and get the tools needed to return home and step into leadership roles in their countries. Funding for SHE-CAN scholars is provided by:

  1. College-Funded Scholarship: Every scholar applies for and is awarded a full-ride scholarship from a U.S. college, which pays for the cost of tuition, a place to live, and meals while in school.
  2. SHE-CAN: The organization funds test preparation classes and costs not covered by your scholarship that your family can’t afford, including passport and visa fees, flight (one to U.S. and one home), textbooks, health insurance, etc.
  3. Scholar & Family: Scholars fund travel to and from test preparation classes in your country’s capital city. When you arrive in the U.S., you are expected to work on campus to fund your personal expenses (toothpaste, shampoo, etc.). While SHE-CAN funds your health insurance, the organization is unable to fund medical expenses outside of what the insurance covers, including dental and vision expenses.

Program Details

Pre-College Application Preparation

​If accepted as a candidate, you will be enrolled in SHE-CAN’s test preparation classes for the English language exam (IELTS or TOEFL) and academic entrance exam (ACT or SAT). While in classes, you will also be required to execute a community service leadership project called a “Take the Lead” project. If you perform well on the exams and complete a compelling “Take the Lead” project, you will be officially accepted as a SHE-CAN scholar.

College Application Process

If you are accepted as a SHE-CAN scholar, you will work with your team of U.S. mentors to apply Early Decision to one SHE-CAN Coalition School. Below is a list of partner schools:


​As a SHE-CAN scholar, you will be matched with a team of 4-6 U.S. mentors who help you apply for a U.S. college scholarship and prepare for your arrival. When you arrive for school, your mentors will greet you at the airport, host you in their homes, and provide guidance, emotional support and access to professional networks while you are in school. 

Training & Internships

While in the U.S., scholars receive training and support to build their leadership skills. You will work with your mentors to set short and long-term goals, which you will revisit every semester. You will also be invited to attend our Leadership Summit in California where all first-year scholars come together to learn important skills like self-advocacy, networking and project management.

SHE-CAN has extensive networks in the U.S. and scholars’ home countries. We will work with your mentors to identify summer internships for you, and we’ll advocate for you to secure an opportunity that aligns with your career goals. Graduates also receive in-country career support after graduation.

SHE-CAN Sisterhood

​SHE-CAN scholars join a sisterhood of ambitious and talented young female leaders across the globe who are committed to improving the lives of women and girls. Graduates return to their home countries and join a growing cohort of female leaders who are dedicated to working together to pull up other women into leadership positions and make a positive impact in their communities.

Returning Home

​SHE-CAN is committed to building female leadership in post-conflict countries. We believe that if more women take on leadership roles in Rwanda, Cambodia, Liberia and Guatemala the countries will thrive. For this reason, all of our scholars pledge to return to their home countries within one year of graduating to start their careers. As part of your acceptance into the SHE-CAN program, you will be required to return home and stay to work for at least 3 years. SHE-CAN has established relationships with employers in graduates’ home countries who are eager to hire returning scholars.


​Do I need to submit IELTS or TOEFL scores to apply?

​No. SHE-CAN will provide test preparation for the IELTS or TOEFL exam for accepted candidates and pay for their exam registration fees to take the exam. If you have already taken the IETLS or TOEFL exam before applying for SHE-CAN, please submit a copy of your score in your application.

​Who provides my scholarship?

​SHE-CAN does not provide scholarships.​ SHE-CAN does not award college scholarships, but we help our scholars apply for and win scholarships from U.S. colleges and universities. We have partnerships with many U.S. schools who have joined our SHE-CAN Scholarship Coalition and award scholarships to our scholars each year. 

Who should I contact if I have questions about the application?

Please contact us at with any questions about the scholar application.

Why do I need to live within one hour of the capital city?

SHE-CAN will provide you with IELTS/TOEFL training and other academic preparation courses between February to June. To participate in these classes, you must be able to reach the capital city (Note: Guatemala location TBD). In the past, we have had scholars stay with relatives that live closer to the capital city.