Walton International Scholarship Program

Creating Life-Changing Opportunities in Education Across Central America and Mexico

Education of young people shapes a nation. Soviet leaders recognized this fact and during the mid-20th century recruited many promising young scholars from third-world nations to receive free education in universities of the Eastern Bloc. The offer was eagerly accepted, and the result was that these formally educated students-their thinking now shaped by ideals of Marxism, socialism, and atheism-returned to their homelands to rise to positions of political and economic leadership.

American entrepreneur Sam Walton decried this pattern and took it upon himself to provide an alternative for these bright individuals: Come to the United States for training in economic freedom, individual responsibility, and faith. To accomplish this goal, he established programs at John Brown University and two other private liberal arts colleges in Arkansas, by which are provided 60 annual scholarships at each school for students from Central America and Mexico. Funded independently of all other university aid programs, Walton grants cover tuition, room and board, and other associated expenses. One stipulation of the scholarship agreement is that upon completion of their training, all recipients must return to their home countries for a period of time equal to that of their studies in the U.S.

Over 1,200 students from Central America and Mexico have received the scholarship, and a very high percentage have completed bachelor's degrees and returned home, where the value of an American education is unmistakable. John Brown University's graduates of the Walton Scholarship Program have attained noteworthy positions in business, engineering, politics, computer science, journalism, education, and ministry. Mr. Walton's dream is being fulfilled.

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