For high school students, now is the time to think about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields as a concentration of study in college. Technology is one of the fastest growing career sectors, offering students jobs in fields like software engineering, gaming, design, and more. 

While there are a rising number of students from underrepresented groups entering STEM fields in college, a fraction of those go on to graduate. According to data from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, only 16 percent of Black, Latino, and Native American students go on to receive bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields, even though a third enter college with an interest in these fields of study.

Over the past couple of years, the importance of STEM-related programs has been a major point of national debate.  According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, the creation of STEM related jobs outpaced non STEM jobs three times over. It is projected that over 2 million STEM jobs could go unfilled. 

Amongst STEM-related majors, Blacks, Women and Hispanics are severely underrepresented. Just over 2 percent of African Americans have STEM degrees. This means that a large percentage of African Americans and other underrepresented groups won’t be qualified for some of the highest paying jobs out in one of the fastest growing fields. 

This has created an incentive among advocates and big tech companies to help increase diversity and inclusion in the STEM field. Many of these efforts are reflected in programming and the vast amount of STEM scholarship opportunities. 

In general, figuring out how to pay for college is an overwhelming task, but if you’re studying STEM, these scholarships may help relieve some of the financial strain caused by college tuition. 

  1. AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship
    Award amount: $500
    This scholarship is open to currently enrolled students from an underrepresented group working toward a degree in a field of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. Underrepresented groups may be defined by the following: gender, race, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, nationality and other non-visible differences.
  2. Generation Google Scholarship
    Award amount: $10,000
    Generation Google Scholarship is for aspiring computer science students. This opportunity is eligible for high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students. High school seniors have to participate in Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI). Undergraduate and graduate students will be invited to Google’s Scholars’ Retreat.
  3. AFCEA Educational Foundation
    Award amount: $2,500-$5,000
    AFCEA offers scholarships to current undergraduate and graduate students majoring in STEM fields that meet the mission of AFCEA including cybersecurity, intelligence, and homeland security-related disciplines.
  4. American Dream Award
    Award amount: $5,000-$15,000
    Scholarship America offers awards to undergraduate students entering their sophomore year or higher pursuing a degree in STEM. Offering renewable awards that increase in amount each year, this scholarship program ensures talented students can afford to complete the degree programs they’ve started.
  5. Davidson Institute for Talent Development
    Award amount: $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000
    The Davidson Institute offers scholarships to extraordinary young people, 18 and under. Application categories are Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and more.