STEM Scholarships Abound for Aspiring Scientists

Incoming STEM students can apply to dedicated scholarships to help finance college.

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Experts argue that we need better STEM literacy overall, not just more graduates with degrees in STEM fields.

You've probably heard the acronym STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – over and over again during the last decade. This blog has covered the topic on a handful of occasions, as careers in the STEM fields are hotter than ever right now.

Selecting a major in one of the STEM fields often leads to a lucrative job straight out of college. And even though you may be looking forward to big money after college graduation, chances are you could also use some extra cash for tuition in the fall. If you have a love for science, technology, engineering or math, and you're thinking of majoring in a related field, you have access to fantastic scholarship opportunities.

[American business are seeking STEM-capable workers.]

Most scholarship deadlines have passed for the 2013-14 academic year, but there's still time to meet the July 31 deadline for the Thermo Scientific Pierce Scholarship Program. If you've got your heart set on becoming a scientist, you don't want to miss out on this $10,000 scholarship.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is offering two $10,000 scholarships and four $5,000 scholarships for the 2013-14 school year to help provide educational support for the future generation of scientists. Eligibility requirements are available on the organization's website.

This next scholarship is for women with an interest in mobile computing or STEM fields. The BlackBerry Scholars Program is a global, full-tuition, four-year scholarship program designed to increase the number of women studying and influencing the future of mobile computing, including science, technology, engineering and math.

Women entering their first year of study in the 2013-14 academic year should apply by the June 26 deadline. Up to 10 awards will be granted, and you can view the eligibility criteria online.

[Find answers to some of the biggest myths of STEM education.]

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, one of the largest student loan providers and guarantors in the U.S., offers U.S. residents up to 750 undergraduate and graduate STEM scholarships. Receiving one of these $2,500 awards could put a nice dent in your tuition costs.

Other eligibility requirements include: having a minimum GPA of 2.75; demonstrating financial need; and being enrolled full-time with a declared major in a STEM field of study at a public or private two-year college, four-year college, university or vocational-technical school.

Are you a resident of Orange County, Calif. or Salt Lake City County, Utah and considering a major in one of the STEM fields? If so, we have the perfect scholarship for you.

The Edwards Lifesciences Scholarship Program offers $2,500 renewable undergraduate scholarships for full-time STEM study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university of your choice. If you're one of the 10 winners, you can use your scholarship for tuition, fees, books and supplies.

Awards may be renewed for up to three additional years or until completion of your bachelor's degree. All you have to do is maintain a 3.0 GPA and continue to major in a STEM field of study.

[See which top-ranked universities are granting the most STEM degrees.]

Finally, if you're entering your junior or senior year of college and are studying an industrial automation-related discipline – such as robots designed to complete manufacturing tasks – you may be eligible to apply for one of two $5,000 ASCO Numatics Scholarships. Designed for U.S. upperclassmen or graduate students, the merit-based scholarships are awarded based on potential to lead and make a significant contribution to the engineering, instrumentation, systems and automation professions.

Additionally, ASCO Numatics awards $1,000 grants to the engineering departments of the colleges where winners are enrolled. And by receiving one of these scholarships, you may become eligible for an ASCO Numatics internship.

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