The high cost of a college education means a degree is out of reach for many Americans unless they receive financial aid and scholarships. While the process of finding and applying for the right scholarships requires extensive of research, effort and time, the payoff is worth if it decreases student loan debt and increases employability. In the STEM fields, here are 21 scholarships available today.
Skyrocketing costs of higher education have turned a college degree into something of a luxury for increasingly more Americans. Nevertheless, the benefits of attending college are growing at a rate that outpaces tuition costs, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project
in October 2012.
Fortunately, there is help for those who need it. Scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid for higher education are readily available to students willing to do the research to find them and meet the requirements.
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Scholarship awards, in particular, play a vital role in easing the financial burden for students. There are both need- and merit-based scholarships, and they are offered by schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, religious groups and professional organizations. Scholarship providers set their own rules for eligibility of applicants, meaning that finding scholarships with relevant eligibility criteria is essential for receiving awards.
The following are 21 scholarships for students pursuing a college or university education in a STEM field. While these broadly accessible scholarships have certain eligibility rules related to demographics, they do not have regional requirements. Also, note that this is a small selection of scholarship funding; there are literally thousands of scholarships available today.
ASHRAE Undergraduate Engineering Scholarships
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers' various scholarships are available to full-time undergraduate engineering or pre-engineering students pursuing an engineering or engineering technology degree in a course of study that traditionally has been a preparatory curriculum for the HVAC&R profession.
American Welding Society's John C. Lincoln Memorial Scholarship
The John C. Lincoln Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student pursuing a minimum four-year bachelor's degree in welding engineering or welding engineering technology. Priority is given to individuals residing or attending school in Ohio or Arizona, though the award is presented to individuals nationwide.
Columbia Crew Memorial Undergraduate Scholarships
The Texas Space Grant Consortium and the Aviation & Space Foundation of Texas, in partnership with NASA, established this scholarship program in memory of the Space Shuttle Columbia
's astronauts. These scholarships recognize certain undergraduate students and encourage their consideration of graduate studies in STEM fields that will ultimately lead to careers in space-related fields.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Those who have already obtained their undergraduate degrees may be interested in the NSF's GRFP, which awards three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.
ASM Materials Education Foundation Scholarships
The ASM Materials Education Foundation and ASM chapters nationwide award 37 scholarships each year. Various merit-based and need-based scholarships are awarded to undergraduates who are student members of ASM International, majoring in materials science, engineering or related fields and meet all other criteria for an individual scholarship.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Scholarship
The IEEE offers a variety of scholarships, grants and fellowships for student members, including the Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Scholarship, which is awarded to a first-year graduate student obtaining his or her master's degree in electrical engineering at a U.S. engineering school of recognized standing.
Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship offers students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in STEM disciplines full scholarships and employment at the agency upon degree completion.
NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program
NASA's Aeronautics Scholarship Program is focused on aeronautical research and related degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels as a means of fostering new generations of highly skilled scientists and engineers in aeronautics.
Society of Manufacturing Engineers Scholarships
For students seeking a future in manufacturing engineering, manufacturing engineering technology and closely related fields, the SME Education Foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors, current undergraduates and master's or doctoral degree students at two- and four-year colleges.
Institute of Industrial Engineers Scholarships
The IIE offers multiple scholarships each year to undergraduate and graduate students who are members of IIE and majoring in industrial engineering and related areas. Awards are based on nominations.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation Scholarships
To advance engineering education in areas such as curriculum reform and gender equality, the ASME awards multiple scholarships each year to undergraduate and graduate students who are members of ASME, majoring in mechanical engineering and meeting all other requirements.
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Scholarships
SNAME offers multiple scholarships each year to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in naval architecture, marine engineering, ocean engineering and other related fields in the marine industry.
Society of Plastics Engineers Scholarship Program
The SPE Foundation offers multiple scholarships each year to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in fields that prepare them for a career in the plastics/polymer industry.
Society of Women Engineers Scholarships
The SWE awards scholarships each year to female undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled in accredited programs and wish to pursue a career in engineering, engineering technology or computer science.
The HP Scholar program by Hewlett-Packard offers scholarship opportunities to African American, Latino or American Indian students pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering or electrical engineering at a partner school. The grants are renewable each year for students, and HP Scholars offers paid summer internships at HP during the three summers between their engineering studies.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships
The SHPE Foundation's scholarship program awards merit- and need-based scholarships to Latinos who are seniors in high school, undergraduate students or graduate students with an interest and aptitude for a career in a STEM field.
AEMP Foundation Scholarships
As a means of introducing students to the professional world of heavy equipment management and maintenance, the
Association of Equipment Management Professionals' AEMP Foundation awards numerous two-year scholarships to students training to become heavy equipment technicians.
Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Scholarships
The TMS Foundation sponsors and funds a number of scholarships that are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students who are studying, among other fields, metallurgical engineering, materials science/engineering or minerals processing/extraction.
ACIL Academic Scholarships
The ACIL Scholarship Alliance, a division of the Independent Laboratories Institute, offers academic scholarships annually to students in their junior year or higher in a four-year, undergraduate-degree-granting institution or graduate program. Candidates must be majoring in any of the physical sciences practiced by ACIL members: physics, chemistry, engineering, geology, biology or environmental science.
National Space Club Keynote Scholarship
The National Space Club offers this major scholarship each year to encourage study in STEM-related fields. The scholarship, which includes the opportunity to serve as the keynote speaker at the Goddard Memorial Dinner, is awarded to a student in at least the senior year of an accredited U.S. high school through graduate university who shows the greatest interest and aptitude, with a preference for those with space-related interests.
Project Management Institute Scholarships
The PMI's Educational Foundation's Scholarships and Awards Program
supports development of project management professionals by providing a number of opportunities to students at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels who are studying project management, an increasingly important practice for those in engineering and other STEM-related fields.
(UPDATED/NEW) ThomasNet North American Manufacturing Scholarships
Applicants have until July 1 2013 to apply and must be graduating U.S. high school seniors or Canadian secondary students who plan to major in engineering, supply chain management/business operations, or learn a skilled trade. Interested students and educators can find out more about the scholarship by visiting www.thomasnetscholarship.com