A Guide to Finding and Applying to STEM Scholarships (2023)

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries continue to grow quickly, but also struggle to find enough talent.Approximately 2.4 million STEM jobs went unfulfilled in 2018, according to the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

To start filling these opportunities, prospective undergraduate students have an expanding list of courses and majors to choose from. But after those decisions, they must also consider how they will finance their education.

Use the guide below for tips on how to organize scholarship applications, write a personal statement, and get access to more than 25 STEM-focused scholarship opportunities.

5 Steps to Help Manage Scholarship Applications

For students applying to multiple scholarships, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by differing deadlines and requirements. These five organizational steps could help applicants manage those logistics.

1. Gather the essentials

Most applications share some basic submission requirements. At the beginning of your search, make sure you have:

❑ An updated resume or CV
❑ A copy of your most recent transcripts
❑ Contact information and permission from references

You might need to adjust or edit some of these depending on the specific opportunity. For example, some applications might require you to request official transcripts from your school.

2. Organize and track details

Managing multiple applications simultaneously means keeping different deadlines, requirements and contact information clear. Create a spreadsheet or use a notebook to document the basics of each application and your progress. Consider including the following sections:

❑ Application name and a link to the source
❑ Point of contact
❑ Final submission deadline
❑ Required materials
❑ Next steps to complete
❑ Date you submitted, once applicable

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Make a system that works best for you and helps you stay on top of your progress and what is left to complete.

3. Write flexibly

Some required materials, like personal statements or cover letters, can take longer because they require more customization. To save time, especially when making multiple submissions, write a base version of these documents that can be modified to fit each application.
For example, a section of your cover letter might highlight what you learned as a volunteer. The base version can include basic information about the experience:

“My summer volunteering at a local coding camp for elementary school students helped me practice [ _____ ] and [ _____ ].”

And the customized versions can include select skills that are most relevant to the application in progress.

“My summer volunteering at a local coding camp for elementary school students helped me practicepatienceandproblem-solving from new angles.”

4. Double-, then triple-check your work

Once you collect your materials, go back through the original scholarship application to confirm you’ve met all the requirements. Is every document accounted for? Does your personal statement satisfy each part of the prompt? Are your recommendation letters submitted?

When you are sure you have a complete and accurate application, it is time to submit it.

5. Make a copy of all submissions

Make and save a copy of each submitted application. This will help you keep a record of your answers and can be useful in case any discrepancies arise later. For example, if there are technical issues during submission or the reviewers have a point of clarification, you will be able to easily reference your original documents.

Writing a Personal Statement for Scholarship Applications

Many scholarship competitions will ask applicants to submit a personal statement.Purdue’s Online Writing Lab(OWL) explains that these usually fall into one of two categories: a general, comprehensive essay with a lot of freedom or a response to a specific prompt or question.

What makes a good personal statement? There is not a universal rubric and the nature of a personal statement means no two will look exactly the same. However, outstanding essays can share some qualities.

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  • Honesty.While finding examples online can be helpful for brainstorming, you should never plagiarize. Additionally, you do not need to embellish your history to write a good personal statement.
  • Relevance.The story you choose to share or the angle you take to respond to a prompt should relate to the theme of the application and scholarship.
  • Insightfulness.Consider what isn’t already covered in the other parts of your application. A personal statement is an opportunity to get creative and share qualities beyond traditional metrics such as GPA and test scores.
  • Quality Writing.High-quality personal statements should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. Ask a friend or educator to proofread your work.

Additional Resources to Help Write Personal Statements

  • 12 Outstanding Personal Statement Examples, College Essay Guy
    Examples of creative personal statements and descriptions of the different components that make them successful.
  • First-Year Essay Prompts, Common App
    The 2021-2022 personal statement prompts from the Common App first-year application system.
  • Grammarly
    A browser extension that checks for spelling and grammar. It also includes more in-depth feedback about word choice and overall theme.
  • The Personal Statement, Purdue OWL
    Questions to ask yourself before beginning the personal statement, and general writing advice.
  • Personal Statement Tool, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
    An in-depth guide and essay construction tool from the application management organization for universities in the United Kingdom.

26 STEM Scholarships

Mastersindatascience.org collected more than 25 STEM scholarships for students, including scholarships geared to underrepresented groups in STEM. Check out the opportunities below to see what you qualify for.

Jump to section:

Undergraduate STEM Scholarships

STEM Scholarships for Women

STEM Scholarships for Students of Color

The scholarships below are annual opportunities, so check back again if a deadline has already passed.

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STEM Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

AFCEA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Major Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically May
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens and full-time sophomores or juniors in a four-year college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They must major in a field that meets the mission of AFCEA (cybersecurity, homeland security-related disciplines).

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Scholarships
Up to $13,000
Description:The scholarship portal for ASME includes opportunities for students at varying levels who are interested in or pursuing mechanical engineering.

Employment BOOST College Scholarships
Deadlines:April 1, July 1, Oct. 1, and Jan. 1
Eligibility:Applicants must be enrolled in a U.S.-based high school or college with a GPA of 3.6 or higher. Students must major or plan on majoring in business or STEM.

Google+ Scholarships
Up to $10,000
Description:Scholarships from Google aimed at supporting those interested in pursuing careers in technology.

InterTech STEM Scholarships
Deadlines:Typically April
Eligibility:Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 who intend to study computer science at an accredited U.S. college or university.

LabRoots Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically September
Eligibility:For undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in a STEM discipline at a recognized university.

Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship
$10,000, renewable up to three times
Deadlines:Typically April
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S citizens with a demonstrated financial need who are planning on or studying engineering, computer science or physics at an accredited U.S. four-year college or university.

National Space Club and Foundation Keynote Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically December
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens who plan to attend an accredited U.S. college or university to study a STEM field, with a particular interest in space.

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program
$20,000, renewable up to four years
Deadlines:Typically March
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled full time at an accredited four-year undergraduate institution with a GPA of 3.3 or higher and a certified “exceptional financial need.” Scholarship recipients are committed to two NIH service obligations.

NSHSS Foundation STEM Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically October
Eligibility:Applicants must be high school seniors or recently graduated seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a demonstrated desire to major in or pursue a STEM degree.

PixelPlex Bi-Annual STEM Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically in summer and winter
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled or accepted to a U.S. college or university in a field related to STEM, economics or business.

The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Undergraduate Scholarships
Up to $6,000
Deadlines:Typically June
Eligibility:Applicants must be actively involved members of SNAME pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in naval architecture, marine engineering, ocean engineering or other fields directly related to the marine industry.

STEM Scholarships for Women

(Video) How to apply for British Council Scholarship for Women in STEM

BHW Group Women in STEM Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically April
Eligibility:Applicants must be women pursuing an undergraduate or master’s degree in STEM.

Entertainment Software Foundation Association Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically March
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and a woman or minority enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four-year college or university. They must be pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences.

Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically April
Eligibility:Applicants must identify as women actively enrolled in an accredited U.S., Canadian or Mexican college or university as a freshman, sophomore or junior. They must be majoring in or planning on majoring in computer science, software engineering, or a closely related technical field.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships
Deadlines:May for freshman, February for sophomores or above
Eligibility:Applicants must identify as female and study subjects related to careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science at the community, undergraduate or graduate level.

Visionary Integration Professionals Women in Technology Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically April
Eligibility:Applicants must be women enrolled at, or accepted to, a two- or four-year U.S. college or university. They should be pursuing a career in computer science, information technology (IT), management information systems or related discipline.

STEM Scholarships for Students of Color

ACS Scholars Program
Deadlines:Typically March
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino or American Indian and full-time students at a high school or accredited college, university or community college. They should be pursuing a chemistry-related degree.

AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically June
Eligibility:Applicants must be enrolled students working toward a degree in a STEM field and from a group underrepresented in their field of study. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

American Meteorological Society Minority Scholarships
Deadlines:Typically February
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold permanent resident status and members of a minority group. They should have a GPA of at least 3.0 and plan to pursue a career in the atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.

EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Up to $45,000 over two years
Deadlines:Typically January
Eligibility:Applicants must be rising juniors at minority serving institutions as defined by the Department of Education and be majoring in a STEM field that directly supports NOAA’s mission. They must have a GPA of at least 3.2. Recipients will participate in two paid summer internship programs with NOAA.

National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering Scholars Program
Varies by partner institution
Description:Recipients are selected by each NACME-partner institution. Interested applicants shouldcontact the NACME representative at their schoolfor deadlines and requirements. All applicants must major in engineering or computer science and have a GPA of 2.8 or higher.

National Society of Black Engineers Scholarships
Deadlines:Typically June
Eligibility:Applicants must be active NSBE members with a verified GPA in their member profile.

Novartis Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically March
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents enrolled full-time as a sophomore, junior or senior at aThurgood Marshall College Fund member schoolwith a GPA of at least 3.0.

Palantir Future Fellowship
Deadlines:Typically March
Eligibility:Applicants must be actively enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program and majoring in computer science, software engineering or a closely related technical field. They should identify as a member of a racial or ethnic community underrepresented in STEM. There are also additional knowledge requirements related to data structures. Recipients will participate in a fully remote six-week summer program.

(Video) A Guide to External Scholarships

Science Application International Corporation Scholarship
Deadlines:Typically March
Eligibility:Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled full-time seniors at aThurgood Marshall College Fund member schoolwith a GPA of at least 3.0. They must have a demonstrated financial need and study software engineering, data science, digital engineering or cybersecurity.


How do you answer the question how will this scholarship help you? ›

1. How will this scholarship help you? You should answer this scholarship essay prompt by explaining how the award money will help you in at least one of the following ways: financially, professionally, and/or academically.

Why do you need this scholarship sample answers? ›

Example One – Academic Goals:

I believe I deserve this scholarship because it will help me achieve my future plans and long-term goals. By furthering my education in biology, I can work towards my career goals in the medical field.

Why I deserve this scholarship essay examples? ›

I believe I deserve to be selected for one of your program's scholarships because I am a hard-working student and I will commit myself to effectively take advantage of the opportunity that the scholarships will provide me. Besides this, I constantly try to improve my community by doing volunteer work.

How do you write a good personal statement for a scholarship? ›

While there is no one correct way to write a personal statement, here are some tips that are universally applicable:
  1. Start on your personal statement early. ...
  2. Be clear. ...
  3. Get personal. ...
  4. Make it authentic. ...
  5. Be careful with humor and clichés. ...
  6. Be reflective. ...
  7. Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.
29 Jul 2022

How do you answer a scholarship interview question confidently? ›

SCHOLARSHIP Interview Questions And Answers! (How to prepare for a ...

How do you write a 500 word scholarship essay? ›

How to Write a 500 Word Essay
  1. Start with an outline.
  2. Applying the outline to an example.
  3. Deciding on how many examples to use.
  4. Don't worry about the word count in your first draft.
  5. Don't forget to proofread!
26 Apr 2022

How do you start a scholarship essay? ›

The best choice is to write an attention-grabbing sentence. It should be something persuading or intriguing that will make a person continue reading your essay with great interest. Avoid long explanations or introductions. Instead, this sentence should be short and clear.

What is a good reason to apply for scholarships? ›

Having a scholarship allows the student to consider a more selective program, reduces the risk of dropping out, and often offers opportunities to expand their academic experience through internships or study abroad programs. Many universities offer their awarded students extensive financial support.

What should I say in a scholarship essay? ›

  • Plan ahead. Don't procrastinate! ...
  • Talk about your accomplishments. Be clear and to the point. ...
  • State your need. What is your financial situation? ...
  • Keep it simple. Don't use unnecessary words (i.e., don't use three words when one will do) ...
  • Make it easy on your reader.

What qualities make you a good candidate for a scholarship essay? ›

Here are 7 qualities that scholarship providers are drawn to.
  • Passion. We bet you saw this one coming. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Composure. ...
  • Enthusiasm. ...
  • Ability to be a Team Player. ...
  • Analytical Skills. ...
  • Foresight.

How do you sell yourself in a scholarship essay? ›

What they want to know about you
  1. Your current degree, as it applies to your overall career goals. ...
  2. Your short-term and long-term professional goals. ...
  3. Past experiences that sparked your passions. ...
  4. Something about you that relates to their organization. ...
  5. Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants.
28 Sept 2022

How long should a personal essay for a scholarship be? ›

In general, scholarship essays are meant to be about 500 words or one page in length. Many scholarship essays will provide some kind of minimum requirement for the word or page count of your essay. But if you can't find one then you are generally fine to stick to 500 words or one page.

How do you start a catchy personal statement? ›

Start with why you chose it, then try and summarise this in one or two sentences. Be original and refer to personal experiences as a way to draw attention. Avoid overused opening sentences, quotes and clichés like 'when I was young…' They want to know about you now, not your childhood or Shakespeare!

How do I pass a scholarship interview? ›

Acing Scholarship Interviews
  1. Have Someone Interview You. Practice interviews are a good way to hone your skills before you face the scholarship review board itself. ...
  2. Be On Time. This can not be stressed enough. ...
  3. Be Conscious of Your Behavior. ...
  4. Dress Appropriately. ...
  5. Know Yourself. ...
  6. Ask a Few Questions.

How do I ace a scholarship interview? ›

To keep your interview running smoothly:
  1. Be punctual. ...
  2. Dress appropriately. ...
  3. Make a good first impression. ...
  4. Be brief and honest with your answers. ...
  5. Have some questions ready for the interviewers. ...
  6. Be prepared to reiterate the basic information you supplied on your application. ...
  7. Don't be negative.

How do you rock a scholarship interview? ›

Dress the Part

Also, if you want the scholarship, dress as you would for a professional interview. Do not wear jeans or anything in poor condition. Stick to business casual clothing such as dresses, slacks, collared shirts and skirts. The more professional you look, the more seriously your interviewer will take you!

Should you start a scholarship essay with a quote? ›

Your introduction should sound natural. Avoid starting your essay with quotes; those are somebody else's words, not your own. Instead, use your own words and let your personality shine in the essay. Avoid obvious statements such as “I am interested in this scholarship.”

How many paragraphs should a scholarship essay be? ›

Your essay should consist of three or more paragraphs. Each paragraph should have at least three sentences. Include a thesis statement in your introduction paragraph.

Should you title a scholarship essay? ›

Should you begin your essay with a title? In my experience reading scholarship essays, a title is very optional. If it is an especially clever or necessary title, then sure, go for it!

How will this scholarship help you achieve your goals? ›

This scholarship will help by lowering the costs of college and the amount of hours I'll need to work throughout my studies. This way, I'll be able to continue with my academic achievements. It will also give me time to find an internship.

Why should you receive a scholarship essay? ›

A great scholarship essay can help you showcase your abilities. It can also help the scholarship committee members to understand the real person behind the application. Scholarship essays are a great chance for you to convince the scholarship committee members that you indeed deserve financial aid.

What should you not say in a scholarship essay? ›

Don't use words like “finally”, “in sum” or “in conclusion”. Don't repeat or sum up in any way. Don't start too many sentences with the word “I”. Don't tell the reader explicitly, “I am a unique and interesting person.” Instead, let the reader glean this from your unique and interesting essay.

How a scholarship will impact your life? ›

A scholarship allows students to focus on academics, increasing their chances of staying in school and graduating on time. Students who receive scholarships have fewer financial concerns, more time to study, and a greater chance of success.

How can I increase my chances of getting a scholarship? ›

  1. Raise Your GPA for More Scholarships. Many scholarships have requirements surrounding GPA levels. ...
  2. Raise Your ACT / SAT Score. ...
  3. Raise Your Class Rank. ...
  4. File the FAFSA. ...
  5. Participate in Community Service. ...
  6. Brush Up on Your Essay Skills.
10 Dec 2021

What is your greatest strength answer samples for scholarship? ›

Example: I'd say that my greatest strength is my tenacity. When I do something, I want to do it right, so I'm willing to put in the time and effort to see it through. Once, for a school project, we had to build a model of an atom and we chose to build the element hafnium.

What makes you stand out from other scholarship candidates? ›

Talk about your past, talk about your family and talk about your future plans, just make sure to relate it all to the statements they have made in the scholarship information sheet. Be as specific as you can. You need to be confident in who you are and how you can help promote their cause better than anyone else.

What should you avoid in a personal statement? ›

7 Things to Avoid in Your Personal Statement
  • Whining. Don't whine in your essay! ...
  • Someone else is the hero. ...
  • Reads like a resume. ...
  • Lack of focus. ...
  • Leaves out personal growth. ...
  • Overcomplicated language. ...
  • Incorrect grammar or spelling.

Should you put your name on your personal statement? ›

In the absence of any guidelines provided by the graduate school, your heading should include the name of the document you are submitting (e.g., “Personal Statement”), the school and department for whom you are writing it (e.g., “Ohio University College of Education”), and your name.

› ... › Paying for College ›

Writing a scholarship essay isn't like writing an essay for a high school class, experts warn. Young girl working from her home office. (Getty Images). Stud...
Personal statements (also known as college essays) are a major part of both college applications and scholarship applications. Unfortunately for some, writing a...
18 tips for writing a winning essay for scholarship applications; 10 things to leave out of your scholarship essays; An outline to help you format your essay; 3...

What should a 500 word personal statement include? ›

Tips on writing a 500-word personal statement essay
  • Brainstorm themes or stories you want to focus on. ...
  • It should be personal. ...
  • Answer the prompt. ...
  • Show don't tell. ...
  • Just start writing.

How do you write a strong personal statement? ›

10 Tips for Writing a Strong Personal Statement
  1. Read the instructions carefully. ...
  2. Focus on yourself. ...
  3. Demonstrate your genuine interest and enthusiasm. ...
  4. Start early. ...
  5. Explain any discrepancies in your application in your personal statement. ...
  6. Review good sentence and paragraph structure. ...
  7. Use the active voice.

How do you write an amazing personal statement? ›

Here are some tips on how to write a truly outstanding piece.
  1. Make a draft without a character counter. ...
  2. Take your time. ...
  3. Find the perfect words and expressions. ...
  4. Concentrate on your strengths. ...
  5. Find the perfect opening sentence. ...
  6. Make it your own work, voice and ideas. ...
  7. Be honest. ...
  8. Get someone to proofread your statement.

What phrases to avoid in a personal statement? ›

Here are some words you should remove if they feature in your personal statement.
  • Passionate. Possibly the most overused word when it comes to personal statements. ...
  • Team player. You're a team player and can also work well individually? ...
  • Watching TV. ...
  • Extensive. ...
  • Also. ...
  • Jokes and puns. ...
  • Expert. ...
  • Overly long words.
17 Nov 2021

What topics should you avoid in a personal statement? ›

5 Personal Statement Topics to Avoid
  • The one-time community service project you did. ...
  • Too much detail about your school awards and prizes. ...
  • Anything too cynical or negative. ...
  • What a party animal you are. ...
  • Traumatic personal experiences.
8 Mar 2018

What should you avoid in a personal statement? ›

7 Things to Avoid in Your Personal Statement
  • Whining. Don't whine in your essay! ...
  • Someone else is the hero. ...
  • Reads like a resume. ...
  • Lack of focus. ...
  • Leaves out personal growth. ...
  • Overcomplicated language. ...
  • Incorrect grammar or spelling.

Can I copy someone else's personal statement? ›

IMPORTANT: When writing your personal statement, it's vital you remember not to copy from anyone else's personal statement (not even just a sentence!). Not only is wrong and unfair, but any plagiarism will be detected by the UCAS Similarity Detection Service.

Do you include hobbies in a personal statement? ›

If you have hobbies or volunteering experiences related to the subject, include them here. Why will you be great? Your personal and practical skills combined will create a unique picture of who you are and why you'll be a successful student, so definitely include both.

What is the shortest a personal statement can be? ›

Normally, the length of a personal statement will be dictated by the application—500 words or 800 words are typical limits, as are one-page or two-page limits.

What is the most important part of a personal statement? ›

The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.

Is 400 words enough for a personal statement? ›

Dr Adrian Bell, Admissions Tutor, Engineering, UMIST Page 2 2 Your Personal Statement should be between 350 and 500 words in length and contain a number of paragraphs that link together in a logical, well-written style.

Do you put your name on a personal statement? ›

In the absence of any guidelines provided by the graduate school, your heading should include the name of the document you are submitting (e.g., “Personal Statement”), the school and department for whom you are writing it (e.g., “Ohio University College of Education”), and your name.

When should I start writing my personal statement? ›

When it comes to writing your personal statement the truth is that it is never too early to start thinking about what you're going to say. Even if you haven't decided which course you want to apply for having a list of work experience, extra-curricular activities, and subjects you've enjoyed will give you a head start.


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