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Students majoring in Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics, or STEM, may be surprised to find just how many scholarships opportunities are available to them. Students who intend to major or those students who are currently majoring in a STEM field are at an increased advantage of finding some tuition help if they are members of an underrepresented STEM group like women in STEM or minority groups in STEM. Funding agencies, including schools, non-profits, and government agencies, have realized that there is a dearth of women STEM majors and STEM majors from minority backgrounds. As a result, increased money has been pumped into recruiting and funding underrepresented students who show strong promise. Below are some funding opportunities for STEM majors:
The Boren Scholarships offers a special initiative to entice STEM undergraduate majors to study abroad over the summer. Students must study abroad for at least eight weeks over the summer and in exchange, the program provides up to $8,000 in funding. This funding is especially useful as it aims to enhance the foreign language study of STEM majors. Students can opt to find a program that focuses solely on language instruction or one that teaches language in conjunction with other coursework. Additionally, students can apply for funding to complete a STEM internship abroad. More information about eligibility criteria can be found at the Boren Awards website, which is located at: https://www.borenawards.org/boren_scholarship/stem.html.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, or the NSF GRFP, provides up to three years of funding for graduate students. Only students intending to major in a research-based graduate degree in STEM are eligible. Students who meet the criteria for underrepresented populations within the STEM field (women, students with disabilities, veterans, and minority students) are especially encouraged to apply for the grant. Each year, this award provides funding for approximately 2,000 students. In order to be eligible for this award, students be a U.S. citizen, have not yet received an award from NSF GRFP, not employed by NSF, and not have completed more than two years of graduate coursework yet. Applications are chosen based on academic merit and for the societal impact of their work. More information can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15597/nsf15597.htm.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship Program provides two $10,000 scholarships and four $5,000 scholarships annually to students in a STEM field. This scholarship is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Students must have above a 3.0 grade point average in order to be considered. This program requires completion of an application, which can be found on their website, and official transcripts. In addition, recommendations, resume, and a copy or posters of projects may be included if desired. Additionally, the website offers students helpful checklists to ensure that their application is complete (there are separate checklists depending on the student’s level in school). More information can be found at: http://www.pierce-antibodies.com/PierceScholarship/.
STEM students should also consider checking with their financial aid office to see whether there are STEM related scholarships available through either their university or academic department. In addition, students may want to consider checking out STEM scholarships at the state level.
Author: Jeff Gitlen