The need for STEM professionals has become an increasing demand by top employers and governing entities. The number of STEM scholarships available to top performing students is blossoming.
Scholarships in the science, technology, engineering and math fields are abundant. From small funds in the range of $500 to those that offer a full ride to a specific college, there are a bevy of grants, scholarships and other funding to apply for, so you aren’t buried in debt upon graduation. This highly respected field is looking for the top students in high school, college and graduate degree programs to begin work in STEM-related industries around the world.
There are some types of STEM scholarships that have fewer requirements than others. Some target specific sections of the community, such as women, minorities, LGBTQ, while others may focus only on the achievements of the student in the STEM field.
Scholarships that are laced with many requirements often are the more lucrative awards. STEM scholarships are designed to bring awareness to this growing field and to promote students who may get overlooked in this area while still excelling in one or a few STEM subjects.
Always check with the scholarship foundation or originator to ensure eligibility requirements among other details.
The Concentrations of STEM
There are four areas for STEM scholarships.
- Science – The study and research of how the biological world works with a focus on answering the why and how questions. These include subjects such as physics, chemistry, geoscience, astronomy, life sciences, social sciences and environmental studies.
- Technology – This constantly expanding and changing field needs fresh ideas and top students with a passion for creating or researching the next best thing. Areas of interest under technology include information technology, computer science, IT architecture, database administration and security, programming and systems analysis.
- Engineering – There are generally considered to be six major branches within engineering. These are chemical, civil, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical and management. Within these are hundreds of subcategories so students can be very specific in their studies and research.
- Math – Math has traditionally been used as a foundation for logic and problem solving across majors. Today, it is an essential component to technology as well as science advancements and engineering concentrations. The subcategories of math include applied and theoretical mathematics as well as calculus, finance, probability and statistics.
What You Need to Apply for STEM Scholarships
When applying for STEM scholarships, have all of your information in order. This can include:
- Valid state or driver’s identification card.
- Passport or other international identification if coming from outside of the United States to attend a college or university.
- Transcripts going back to freshmen year of high school.
- Awards and honors from school programs, employers, civic institutions, charities or any other organization that you worked or volunteered with.
- Letters of recommendation from instructors, employers, volunteer counselors or other mentors.
- ACT, SAT or other standardized test scores that were recently completed.
Tips on Applying for STEM Scholarships
This is your opportunity to shine. Don’t hold back on any accomplishments you’ve had or your ongoing passion for the science, technology, engineering or math fields. From local contests or group activities within these subjects, any extra activities you have been involved in can make your STEM scholarship apps that much stronger.
The more organizations you submit your scholarship application to, the better your chances of paying for your college classes. A wealth of financial aid can also pay for all the incidentals, such as books and supplies, that come with pursuing a higher education.
Writing a Winning Scholarship Letter
The work you put into completing your essay or scholarship introduction letter can lead to a life-changing college career that can be paid in full by funds from interested STEM organizations. Consider how you became interested in STEM or your specific area of research, programming, invention or lab work.
Turn adversity into opportunity and highlight what makes you a good candidate as well as a unique individual in the STEM pool of undergraduates or doctoral candidates. Dig deep and relate any difficult situations you overcame, doubt about your capabilities and how you persevered to arrive at your current high-performing situation.
Southern Automotive Women’s Forum Scholarship
Any student who is enrolled or has plans to enroll in an accredited undergraduate institution in the Southern region of the United States. These include:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
The main caveat is that applicants must be women who are going after a degree in STEM or in the automotive field. The amount of the awards offered by the Southern Automotive Women’s Forum varies.
NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Project
Students who are part of an underrepresented group, either women, minorities, disabled or other group, and within the first three years of graduate study can apply for this lucrative STEM scholarship. Applicants need to have a 3.0 and maintained that through any college coursework. The award tops out at $18,000 with a January 1, 2020, deadline.
U.S. Navy STEM Scholarship
It is a specific area of interest and a hefty award. Student who are pursuing a degree in a STEM college program that is somehow related to the NAVSEA workforce need a minimum GPA of 3.0 for consideration.
The college that the applicant is attending must be considered a Hispanic Serving Institution that has an accredited engineering program from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention, Inc. Academic Scholarship
For female students who are already enrolled and pursuing STEM careers, this scholarship can help them pay off mounting tuition debt. The amount of the awards varies depending on the student’s accomplishments.
The exception to studies is social sciences, but any STEM-related subject is applicable for those considering applying for this scholarship.
ASME Scholarship Program
Members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers can be considered for this widely varying college tuition scholarship. The goals of the ASME scholarship program are to;
- Encourage the continuing participation and leadership in the members of ASME.
- Assist top-performing mechanical engineering students to get their diploma.
- Expand the engineering workforce, which is consistent with ASME’s objectives.
- Continue to be a part of the advancement of the art, science and practice of mechanical engineering and technology as well as other related engineering fields.
Generation Google Scholarship
Are you the top of your class in computer science? The Generation Google Scholarship offers $10,000 to select students.
The scholarship is awarded based on the student’s extracurricular activities. They need to show leadership skills, have a strong academic background and impact on diversity.
High school seniors need to have participated in Google’s prestigious Computer Science Summer Institute. Undergraduates and graduate students can attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat.
American Society for Engineering Education
This is one of the more premiere and lucrative STEM scholarships available to eligible students who are committed to completing a degree and giving their all to a program. Students who are pursuing a degree in specific areas of STEM can apply. These include:
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Cognitive, Neural and Behavioral Sciences
- Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
This award covers the full tuition and any accrued education related fees that the student may have attached to their coursework. It also covers health insurance and summer research internships, access to mentors as well as a generous stipend while you are eligible. If you win, then you need to be available to be involved in summer internships at the Department of Defense Facilities.
AIAA Shaping the Future of Aerospace
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics supports the future of the aerospace field with undergraduate scholarships for college sophomores, juniors and seniors. Applicants can reapply each year up until graduation.
A Graduate Awards Program is aimed at graduate students who have a research record in the air and space fields. All applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.33 or higher. The amount of the award ranges between $500 and $5,000.
To be considered, applicants must be a current member of AIAA and in good standing with the organization. Candidates need to have completed one entire academic semester of full-time post-secondary classwork and continue to be enrolled in an accredited college. They need to be pursuing a degree in the sciences and engineering field with the technical competencies of AIAA in line.
BHW Group STEM Scholarship
Based in Austin, Texas, this scholarship promotes women pursuing careers in STEM fields. Women who are working toward an undergraduate or master’s degree in STEM programs can apply for this $3,000 scholarship.
High school seniors who have sent out applications to accredited schools may also apply and use this at a school where they are accepted. International students who are attending a U.S.-based school may apply as well.
To apply, write a brief essay of 500 to 800 words on the current topic about a STEM-related topic. The 2020 topic asked students to discuss the qualities of their favorite app.
Davidson Institute STEM Scholarship
Serious STEM students have probably already heard of this prestigious award that is often called one of the top 10 largest in the world. This comprehensive non-profit organization in Reno, Nev., has doled out more than $6.7 million dollars to almost 300 college students who were 18 years and older.
Applicants can apply to one of a few categories that was created for this scholarship, which varies from $10,000 to $50,000. These include:
- Outside the Box
Emerson Industrial Automation
This residential and commercial automation solutions company created Engineering College Scholarship opportunities for students who have completed the sophomore year of their undergraduate degree. Students who are enrolled in a graduate program at the time that they apply for this $5,000 scholarship can also be considered.
The merit-based award is given to the student’s school and $1,000 is allotted for the engineering department of the scholarship winner’s school.
InterTech Foundation STEM Scholarship
Students with a cumulative high school or college GPA of 3.3 or higher and an intent to study computer science should apply. Winners must be currently enrolled in an accredited college program within the United States or have recently been accepted into a university.
National Society of High School Scholars Foundation
Designed to operate as an honors society, the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation attempts to connect talented students with funding sources that are focused on their interest.
Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher who exhibit strong leadership skills and a commitment to community service can apply to this award with varying amounts.
The organization looks for high school seniors or rising college freshmen who are in underrepresented groups and pursuing careers in STEM subjects.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.