Dive Into These Ocean-Related Scholarships

These opportunities are ideal for those interested in marine biology and other sea-related fields.

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If saltwater is your specialty, most likely you already know about World Oceans Day, which happens every year on June 8—and is just around the corner! There's so much that has yet to be discovered about marine life, which means there are also plenty of career opportunities available if you've always been interested in the world under the sea. The Scholarship Coach wants to help you celebrate World Oceans Day by offering some college scholarship opportunities that can give you a jump start on swimming with the fishes.

Every year, the education department of the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society presents the Dolores E. Fisher Award to a young woman interested in studying oceans, in honor of record-breaking diver Fisher's extraordinary achievements and passion for oceans. Applicants must be 35 or younger and are judged based on their demonstration of strong ocean-related career goals. If you win the $1,000 award, you'll also be invited to spend some behind-the-scenes time at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Fla. Though this year's award cycle ended in April, be on the lookout beginning in January 2013 for your opportunity to apply.

[Learn how financial aid packages may become clearer in 2013.]

If you're working on a graduate degree in oceanography, marine biology, or maritime archaeology, you'll want to check out the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Foster was a marine biologist known for her science-based conservation of coastal aquatic life; U.S. Congress authorized the program after Foster's death to honor her life's work and contribution to the country. Up to four scholarships are awarded each year and provide a $30,000 stipend for each winner, in addition to a $12,000 education stipend and $10,000 for a four- to six-week research collaboration at a NOAA facility. Applications are due every February, so check back next year for your chance to apply.

The Marine Technology Society, which "promotes awareness, understanding, advancement and application of marine technology," offers thousands of dollars in scholarships every year to students studying marine science, engineering, or technology. Student members of the Marine Technology Society, as well as nonmembers, are encouraged to apply to one of several scholarships offered; you must be enrolled in or accepted into a full-time college curriculum in any of the above fields. This year's deadline has passed, but we encourage you to check out this opportunity next year, as there are many scholarships available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

[Search these places for graduate school scholarships.]

Finally, scholarship opportunities abound at universities with degree programs in marine biology, so make sure to do more scholarship research once you narrow down your school choices.

Michelle Showalter joined Scholarship America in 2007 and is an alumna of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.