Zina Kumok Image Written By: Zina Kumok | Edited By: Kevin Ladd | Updated: July 16, 2024

STEM Scholarships

Black female college student in a science lab

Jobs in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields (STEM) are expected to grow 11% between 2020 and 2030. And many students are capitalizing on that growth by majoring in related fields. Even though STEM jobs tend to pay more than jobs in other industries, students still want to minimize how much they have to borrow in student loans. Those who don’t qualify for enough internal grants and scholarships can apply for STEM scholarships from third-party organizations and companies.

Continue reading the article below the scholarship list.

25 STEM Scholarships with Approaching Deadlines

What is a STEM scholarship?

STEM scholarships are designed for students interested in studying computer science, engineering, healthcare science and more. These scholarships may be sponsored by companies in the STEM field or organizations promoting STEM careers.

Both undergraduate and graduate students can apply for STEM scholarships, though scholarships are more common for undergraduate students.

Some STEM scholarships may only be given on a one-time basis, while others are guaranteed for a certain number of years. If a STEM scholarship renews for multiple years, you must generally maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) or keep a STEM-related major.

How to apply for a STEM Scholarship

Applying for a STEM scholarship is like applying for any other kind of scholarship. Make sure to read through the instructions carefully and submit everything by the scholarship deadline.

The essay portion may ask questions related to your interest in STEM. This is where you can highlight your passion. If you have to provide a recommendation letter, choose a teacher who can speak to your knowledge of STEM. This doesn’t have to be the teacher of a class where you earn the best grades - just someone you respect and have a good relationship with.

Ideally, this teacher should also know about your enthusiasm for STEM. If you’re allowed to choose a non-teacher, you could even pick the sponsor for your robotics club or the supervisor at last summer’s internship.

Remember to give the person you are asking a few weeks notice so they have enough time to write a high-quality letter. If you wait until the last minute, they might refuse or draft something generic.

Many scholarships, including STEM scholarships, require that students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible.

STEM scholarship frequently asked questions

With myriad STEM scholarships available, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Here’s what you should know about STEM scholarships before you apply:

Where can I find STEM scholarships?

Whether you’re applying to college or are already enrolled, you can find STEM scholarships. These may be available through the general financial aid department or via a specific department. For example, if you’re majoring in engineering, the engineering department may have its own list of scholarships.

Ask your academic advisor if they have any suggestions. You can also contact the financial aid department and ask them how to maximize your awards. You can also find a list of STEM scholarships at the Scholarships.com directory, which can also help narrow down potential awards based on year in school, state and more.

Are there STEM scholarships for graduate students, including PhD students?

Most scholarships you are going to find will be intended for students who are either incoming college students or are already enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. It’s considerably more difficult to find scholarships for graduate or PhD students. However, of the graduate scholarships that are available, a sizeable percentage of them are going to be for those with STEM or STEAM majors.

So take heart, there are still awards available - as long as you keep looking. For example, the (ISC)² Graduate Scholarship program is available for students in a graduate or PhD program. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA. Awards range between $1,000 and $5,000. Up to 20 winners may be selected each year.

If you’re currently in a graduate or PhD program, ask academic advisors and other staff members if they know of any scholarship opportunities. When you’re a grad student, it’s much more common to find fellowship and assistantship opportunities that can cover part or all of your tuition. These usually have a work component so they are not the same as a scholarship. However, they’re still a good way to graduate with as little in student loans as possible.

Are there special STEM scholarships for veterans?

Both current and former service members have access to a variety of scholarships. If you’re a veteran who is also interested in STEM, then you may be able to find special awards.

Veterans who are paying for school with the Post 9/11 GI Bill may be eligible for the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship. You can receive up to $30,000 or nine months of training if you’re eligible.

Both undergraduate and graduate students may qualify. Also, dependents of veterans who are receiving the Fry Bill may also be eligible for this scholarship.

What are the best STEM scholarships?

Having a STEM background can make it easier to find a job after graduation, but it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have a hard time paying back your student loans. Thankfully, there are several generous scholarship programs for STEM students to reduce your debt burden.

For example, the Progress Software Mary Székely Scholarship is a $10,000 scholarship that can be renewed for up to four years. Like many STEM scholarships, this one is only available to women who are planning to major in one of the following areas:

Only Massachusetts residents are eligible for this award. You must also have a 3.2 high school GPA.

What kind of GPA do I need to apply for a STEM scholarship?

Even though STEM scholarships can be extremely competitive, many students may meet the minimum requirements. For example, the HBCU Week x AstraZeneca Scholarship is worth $25,000. Only students who are attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) are eligible. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to qualify.

Scholarships that accept both high school and college students may have higher GPA requirements for high school students than for college students. This depends on the particular scholarship and its requirements.

Are international students eligible for STEM scholarships?

Getting a scholarship as an international student is often harder than it is for a student from the U.S. International students may find it easier to receive a tuition waiver instead of a direct scholarship. Normally, international students pay higher tuition rates than domestic students. A tuition waiver will let them pay the normal rate, which can save them thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

State schools may be more likely to offer tuition waivers to international students than private schools will tend to be.

Are there STEM scholarships for specific groups of students?

Many organizations, companies and schools know that the STEM fields tend to be disproportionately white and male. That’s why there are often special scholarships to encourage diversity within the STEM industry.

For example, the Society of Women Engineers offers dozens of different scholarships for female students who are incoming freshmen or already enrolled in college. The good news? Students only have to complete one application to be considered for all scholarships they may be eligible for.

There are also scholarships for students from different ethnic or racial backgrounds. The Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship program provides awards for African-American students who are majoring in a STEM field. Five winners receive $5,000, which can be renewed for up to three years or until you have earned a bachelor’s degree. Forty-five $2,500 one-time awards are also given.

Only current high school seniors who identify as African-American are eligible. Also, you must attend a four-year accredited school. You need to have a 3.0 GPA and have demonstrated financial need.

You must also be majoring in one of the following fields:

There are other scholarships for minorities in STEM. For example, the SVCF Latinos in Technology Scholarship, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, is given to Latino students who are interested in STEM. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and demonstrated financial need.

Only third and fourth-year college students are eligible; students must also be attending school full-time. The scholarship is worth $5,000 and can be renewed for up to three years. There are also professional development opportunities associated with this scholarship.

Applicants must also be attending a school or be a high school graduate of a school in one of the following California counties:

How much is a STEM scholarship worth?

The average cost of a STEM degree depends on the specific major, whether you’re attending a public or private college and the length of the program. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to need to take out tens of thousands or even more than $100,000 in student loans to afford a STEM degree.

Fortunately, STEM students are eligible for generous scholarships. For example, the Science Ambassador Scholarship provides a free ride for a woman interested in a STEM degree. The winner will receive a scholarship for four years of university. To apply, you must create a three-minute video about a scientific topic that you’re uniquely interested in and passionate about.

Not all STEM scholarships are this generous. However, if you’re lucky and persistent, you may receive enough aid to cover most of your college costs.

Do STEM scholarships have a need-based component?

In general, there are two main types of scholarships: merit awards and need-based awards. Merit scholarships do not look at a student's finances, only their academic, artistic, athletic or other achievements. In general, there are two main types of scholarships: merit awards and need-based awards. Merit awards do not look at a student's finances, only their academic, artistic, athletic or other achievements.

Need-based awards often also consider those factors, but will include a student’s financial need as a requirement. The definition of financial need may vary depending on the scholarship. Some may have a specific household income limit, whereas others will use information from the FAFSA.

Unless a scholarship specifically states what it means by "financial need", and you explicitly don’t meet those qualifications, it doesn’t hurt to apply.

For example, the Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship is given to 200 students every year, and each award is worth $10,000. Also, the scholarships may come with a Lockheed Martin internship, which is another useful item to add to your resume.

Not only do students need to have a 2.5 GPA or higher, they must also have demonstrated financial need to qualify for this award. Also, they have to be majoring in one of the following fields:

Do part-time students qualify for STEM scholarships?

When you attend college, you’ll be labeled as a part-time, full-time or less than part-time student. This designation depends on how many credit hours you’re taking.

In general, it’s much easier to find scholarships when you’re a full-time student, which often means taking at least 12 credit hours.

For example, the Generation Google Scholarship is only available for full-time students. This scholarship offers a $10,000 USD or $5,000 CAD award. Students must have demonstrated financial need and must be studying computer science, computer engineering or a similar field.

That’s not to say that part-time students can’t find financial aid though. It may just require more active searching on their end.