STEM scholarships (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) are something that students from a diverse background who are interested in certain technical fields. While having a somewhat narrow focus, a STEM scholarship can be available for students in many different fields be it education, electrical engineering, genetics and many more. Some of these programs are provided by national foundations such as the National Science Foundation while others are awarded at a more regional or local level, perhaps through individual colleges. Students who are entering any field which is related to a STEM program should absolutely consider what their financial assistance options are, looking carefully for STEM scholarships which will help them pay for their education. While there are many programs through a STEM scholarship program; available competition is normally going to be fairly high and applicants are going to be going up against other students in fields that are the same as their own.
Because STEM scholarships are often merit based combined with a relatively high demand for the financial assistance they give students should expect fairly stiff competition. In order to maximize one’s chances preparing application material which highlights an individual’s interests and activities will be very useful.
Another great program is offered by the Great Minds in STEM scholarship which gives out over 100 different awards every year. Award amounts generally vary from $500 up to $8,500 depending on various criteria. In order to be eligible for this Great Minds STEM scholarship, students will need to be able to demonstrate leadership through community involvement and academic awards. All applicants will need to be majoring in a STEM related course while maintaining a 3.0 grade point average. Applicants must be enrolled in a formal degree program by fall of the year in which the award is given and all applicants must either be of direct Hispanic descent or be heavily involved in organizations which work in the Hispanic community. The deadline for this STEM scholarship is April 30 of 2011.
An example of a locally awarded STEM scholarship comes from the High Tech Transfer Program Scholars Project offered through Chandler-Gilbert Community College. This STEM scholarship 2011 gives out at least $2,500 per semester, or $5,000 per academic year. In order to be eligible for this STEM scholarship students will need to be enrolled full time at CGCC in a field related to engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, math or computer and information fields. All applicants are expected to have no less than a 2.75 grade point average and be US citizens who are eligible for financial aid. The deadline for this program is April 4 of every year.
The Robert Noyce Scholarship Program has STEM scholarships throughout the United States and offers scholarships to teachers studying in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This program is designed to have teachers with careers in elementary to secondary educational institutions.
The Benjamin Gilman Scholarship Program is a huge international study abroad scholarship for STEM students offered through the U.S. Department of State. It is for undergraduates in the United States who want to go overseas to study in other countries. Approximately 125 awards are given out yearly giving many opportunities for students in STEM studies.
STEM scholarships represent a great way to get financial aid for school. Such programs are available in many different forms and students should absolutely check in with their individual STEM related departments to check and see if such a program is available for them. A trip to the local financial aid office will also help in this endeavor.
One of the several large STEM scholarships available comes from the Department of Defense’s SMART Scholarship program (Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation). This STEM scholarship provides at a max $41,000 and at a minimum $25,000 depending on academic performance and experience. In order to be eligible for the SMART STEM scholarship students must be residents of the United States, be at least 18 years old, be enrolled in a school, and be able to hold a security clearance. Only certain fields are covered by the program such a geological science, aeronautical science and behavioral studies. Full tuition is covered by the program, summer internships will be available and graduating students will be placed in a formal job with the Depart of Defense. All application materials must be submitted no later than December 1.
For those schools which do not have applicable STEM programs available students are encourage to look towards national foundations or even look at government programs to find the additional aid they may need. Many government departments such as Homeland Security or Defense offer STEM scholarships for women.