S.T.E.M. Grants, Scholarships, and Loans for Girls
S.T.E.M. Grants for Girls - 7 Things You Should Know
It's a dream for many young ladies to extend their education beyond the walls of a high school classroom. Affording the next step in education can sometimes prove difficult. An academic full-ride is a dream for most students and their parents.
Did you know that of all the engineers in the U.S., only 11.5% of them are women? Business leaders are desperately seeking young women interested in this field. There's a huge gap and an even larger initiative to strike the interest in young women to consider a career in engineering. Guess what, if you choose a STEM based career, you have a great chance of attracting a grant. If you are in an underserved or underrepresented community, you have a great chance at earning a STEM grant. This is for you, the young girl with big dreams of working in a field where less than 15% are women! You can and you will do it.
First, it's important for you to understand the basics:
What is S.T.E.M?
S.T.E.M stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. These are all areas which need extensive development in our country to position us to remain competitive on a global scale. It's especially critical for young women to join the fight.
What is a grant?
A grant is a payment, that's non-repayable and given by a particular organization. Usually grants are extended with an initiative in mind. Organizations seek to support a worthy cause to ensure the advancement of their industry.
Often, you will see an organization give schools grant money to advance a particular program. Many organizations are extending grant money with the specific focus on arming elementary and secondary educators with the tools and training to teach science, technology, engineering, and math starting at a young age. A culture that's bread to love utilizing such skills will likely translate into viable careers, global independence, and sustainable global competitiveness.
Now that you have a basic understanding as to S.T.E.M and grants, the following are 7 things you need to know about S.T.E.M grants for girls.
The odds are in your favor
As discussed before, there are less than 15% of women working in engineering, a highly sought after STEM based career. What does this mean for you? There's plenty of room for you. The road will not be easy, let's be clear. However, you have resources available specifically for you.
You are a student first
It's important to demonstrate interest in STEM education, thus better positioning you to earn a grant. Remember to make the grades while you are in such programs. While there's room for more girls, there are a limited number of grants available. Organizations funding grants will seek out the most promising talent to help further their education to have a successful career in time. You must demonstrate your dedication to the programs and this is first evident by performing well in your academics
Often times, you will be able to find a local camp specifically designated for students interested in STEM education and career paths. Such camps will likely place you in contact with relevant professionals to help improve your opportunity toward gaining a grant. The summer camps are likely funded by an organization in support of STEM education. This is where you want and need to be.
Join the club
Aside from summer camps, get involved in any school or community based clubs specific to STEM education. Again, you can't get enough of networking and the importance of who you know. If you are in a Marine Biology club near the beach or ocean, get to know club officers, researchers, aquarium staff, ect. . Many of the clubs will compete on a local, regional, state, and national level, demonstrating their STEM knowledge. The winners of competitions will often receive a monetary scholarship or grant, especially at the secondary level.
Proactively contact companies
There are several companies willing to give thousands in grant money. Remember, this is a write-off and it's a part of their duty to be socially responsible. It will only benefit the organization to help with the development of the future leaders. Seek out companies with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. Find out who their grant officer is and begin make soft contacts, such as writing a letter. This process must begin early to improve your chances.
When contacting companies, make sure you identify your involvement in STEM clubs and community activity. Attain recommendation letters from relevant adults who can attest to your success and how you deserve a grant to continue your education. Help them understand how you are helping to bridge the gap. Demonstrate your dedication to the process by noting your grades and overall G.P.A and how your involvement has impacted your school. You can't wait to be discovered in a competitive market. Remember, only 11.5% of women are engineers. There are several young girls like you with a peaked interest.
Keep in mind, some companies will not accept unsolicited inquires about grants. Therefore, it's ever more important to expose yourself to camps and school or community based clubs.
The underrepresented are abundant
Remember, a grant is a non-repayable form of money. Grants are usually designated for those individuals underrepresented or underserved. There are millions of young girls who fit this description. While the initiative is in full force, the funds may not be extensive. Some grants are intended to only fund a small portion of a project. A small grant can be as little as $1,000.00. In a four-year program, this is definitely not enough money. Therefore, you must be aggressive and seek out several companies willing to support your desire to continue your STEM education.
Grants may expire
Once you secure a grant, you may need to reapply each year. This will require you to remain diligent in your efforts. Your strategy will change once you enter college. At this point, you will need to begin seeking out internships and real world experience to add value to your overall STEM based profile. This will definitely better position you to reclaim your grant each year if necessary.
Remember, the goal is to earn the degree to help advance your career in a male dominated environment. STEM needs more women!
The opportunity to earn a STEM grant starts early. You must place yourself in the most favorable position to gain the exposure you need to attract the grant givers. Remember, attend camps, join clubs, and be an excellent student. The odds are in your favor, especially if you are in an underserved or underrepresented population. The development of such female students is a huge initiative. Always remember the funds are not as abundant as one may think. Whether you are thinking of studying marine biology at a college by the beach or want to learn how to manufacture organic clothing in environmental studies class, there are sources of financial help available for you right now.
Work hard to make the impression to get all you need and deserve!
Another often overlooked source of funding for minor college expenses is Gift Certificates. It's always great to get cash contributions, but gift certificates are the next best thing. Family and friends can buy you gift certificates without feeling awkward about giving you cash. Plus, gift certificates can be given anytime, not just for birthdays or special occasions. There are gift certificates for just about anything, and you could swap them with other college friends for things you need. You might have a 10 dollar Starbucks gift card and trade it with somebody how has a gift card or partial gift card balance at Macy's or Amazon. You can do a gift card balance check online before you trade or sell your card. This funding source can be a real help especially around the holidays since you can even re-gift those cards!