When heading to college, you’re already taking on a big challenge by going into one of the STEM fields. STEM, of course, means science, technology, engineering, and math. These are the most difficult college majors that require the hardest work but end up producing some of the highest-paying jobs around. These jobs also may require graduate-level studies, which means many years in college.
Naturally, that many years will mean that you’ll need a lot of money to get through school. While loans can be repaid, scholarships are the best way of receiving funding for college. There are many STEM scholarships around, but some truly stand out as the best. Here are five of the top STEM scholarships available for students that should be applied to for any student.
Breakthrough Junior Challenge Scholarship
Very few scholarships offer the amount of money that can be made from the Breakthrough Junior Challenge Scholarship. Each year, the winner (and there is only one winner) receives $250,000 while another $50,000 goes toward the student’s teacher. You don’t have to be in the final two years of high school to be eligible, either, as this scholarship is for children as young as 13 years old.
Instead of providing the same written application that you’d be submitting to many other scholarships, the BJCS requires a video to be submitted starting each April with deadlines coming in June. The winner is then announced in September. The BJCS was founded in 2015 by Julia and Yuri Milner, who also created the popular Giving Pledge.
Generation Google Scholarship
While maybe not as lucrative as the BJCS, the Generation Google Scholarship (which is for the United States and Canada only) still does award $10,000 each year to each winner, with around 3,000 scholarships handed out so far. Applicants must be enrolled in college at the time of submission and be studying in a STEM field to receive the scholarship.
The best part is that the application process is incredibly easy, with an essay of fewer than 500 words describing your financial status and what you’ll do with the scholarship. The process moves rather quickly, too. Those that are heavily in need financially and have a strong academic record have a good chance of receiving the scholarship.
Davidson Fellows Scholarship
The Davidson Institute awards three scholarships each year of $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 to those 18 and under in STEM categories as well as literature, music, and philosophy. Even teams of two are able to apply for the Fellows Scholarship. With each category comes different requirements, though there is no minimum age for the scholarship. What you will need, though, is a visual model that includes photographs, PowerPoints, and more.
You don’t have to be the most educated to receive the Fellows Scholarship, but you should be able to demonstrate knowledge that would be considered graduate level in college. Even if you don’t win, you may be featured at the Davidson Institute as an honorable mention, though there is not a cash prize, it looks great on other scholarship applications.
Collegiate Inventors Competition
There is over $100,000 in prize money awarded each year during the annual Collegiate Inventors Competition, which includes a $15,000 top prize for graduate students and $10,000 for undergraduates. This is a great opportunity for any student that wants to show off their invention and receive money for educational purposes.
Held at the United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters, the Collegiate Inventors Competition, and not only do the winners receive their scholarship money but also get their patent acceleration certificate. Recent winners include those that invented a way to reduce pesticide pollution and a way to help people with sepsis.
United States Department of Defense SMART Scholarship
The USDoD has awarded thousands of scholarships over the years for those that are in one of 21 majors in STEM fields. The SMART Scholarship provides full tuition as well as a stipend of anywhere between $25,000 and $38,000 depending on the degree level. You won’t have to go job searching after finishing school, either.
That’s because the Department of Defense offers a guaranteed job after completing your degree. From working in degrees toward chemistry to oceanography, there is a solid range of fields to pick from. As long as you’re willing to work for the DoD, this is a perfect opportunity.