S.T.E.M. Grants, Scholarships, and Loans for Girls
S.T.E.M. Scholarships for Girls - 7 Things You Should Know
As young girls continue to have many living examples of independence and success as a result of progressive women preceding them, the dream to advance their education is more prevalent than ever before. However, with the growing interest to go to college, the cost to attend college is also increasing.
There is a great need for scholarships to help support the efforts of young ladies in underserved populations. Many organizations are willing to offer scholarship, but with very clear conditions. Here's something to think about. Did you know, women account for over half of the entire population, yet there are less than 15% of women who work within the engineering field. When you take a close look at other male dominant fields such as science, technology, and mathematics, you will find very few women making an impact. You have all the opportunity in the world to earn a scholarship, especially if you consider a STEM based education and career path. Before we continue, a clear understanding needs to be established.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have been deemed the most critical areas of opportunity to afford our country the chance to remain competitive on a global scale. Right now, our country is very dependent on other nations for natural resources and other key development and manufacturing needs. This is due to a lack of interest and trained professionals to deliver the level of production required to sustain our country. We need more qualified individuals, especially women, interested in pursuing education and careers in STEM based programs.
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is an award granted to a deserving individual. This could very well be you. The award is given based on excellent academic achievement or other factors as designated by the scholarship application.
Keep in mind; scholarships are few and far between. This is a very competitive market in a highly desired educational and career space. Considering less than 15% of women make up the engineering pool, employers will seek out several qualified young women to help advance their initiatives to close the gender gap. You must ensure you are working now to meet all the requirements at the most elite level. Your goal must be to maximize your scholarship dollar.
The work starts now
High school is where the work begins to earn a STEM based scholarship. Make sure you are taking challenging classes relevant to your desired career path. Ensure your academic performance is stellar. A STEM career path will require individuals with the ability to take on situations that require critical thinking and excellent problem solving skills. Work now to master the skills that will position you to learn quickly and implement accurate at the next level.
If there's not a club on campus to support STEM education, charter a chapter. This is a great leadership opportunity and will definitely help you stand out.
Begin to collect recommendation letters from your instructors and administrators. There's nothing like someone else willing to endorse your efforts. This is the greatest compliment for a high school student and typically a requirement when applying for scholarships.
Proactively seek out scholarships
Do not wait to begin your scholarship process. Start your hunt as early as possible. Begin to do your research online to identify companies that support STEM education and career. They will be your initial resource to win a scholarship. Do whatever is required of you.
How do you get noticed? Start emailing now with letters of interest. Ask for summer internships and or volunteer opportunities. Again, camps are a great way to get noticed. Many of the companies willing to fund your education will host camps at relevant companies.
Applying for a scholarship is a very competitive process. It's very critical that you do not wait around and attempt to conduct yourself in a last minute fashion. You will miss out on opportunities when you wait around. Start now and be aggressively proactive.
Diversify your scholarship portfolio
While there's a focus on attracting young girls to STEM based education and careers, the scholarship money can range greatly. What does this mean for you? You may be the lucky recipient of a STEM scholarship. Perhaps you are only awarded $1,000. The cost of a 4-year program is $80,000. How do you fill the gap? Start early in your scholarship hunt. It's important to apply for several scholarships to seek out several awards to ensure your entire education is funded. Also position yourself to receive other academic or merit based awards. This will require excellence in the classroom and community involvement. The more you are exposed to programs supporting STEM education; you will increase your chance of networking with the right people and being considered for a scholarship. Clubs, camps, and summer volunteer opportunities will also place you in a favorable position.
As stated before, women are heavily underrepresented in the engineering field, as are ethnic groups. For example, Latinos proudly represent 16% of the total population. However, only 6.2% are engineers. A Hispanic woman interested in STEM will have a great opportunity in winning a very rich scholarship. This is a perfect example as to how a young girl can diversify her scholarship portfolio. Utilize all the characteristics that make you the unique and valuable person you are. After conducting a small amount of research, there were 12 STEM scholarships available to Hispanic and other minority groups. This is in addition to any other scholarship available that matches your individual profile.
Work hard for your money
Scholarships will be awarded and each year, you will need to do what's necessary to maintain your scholarship. Pay close attention to the renewal requirements and deadlines to ensure you are able to receive a scholarship every year, especially if the initial award is not for the full amount, as this is very unlikely. Requirements such as academic performance, service in the community, internship work, and more are often necessary of specialized scholarships.
You are a young woman and the world needs you. STEM education and careers are severely lacking talented young women. Our country deserves to remain competitive on a global scale and this requires educated and skilled young women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematic fields.