Best Engineering Scholarships in 2020

Written by: Kristyn Pilgrim
Updated: 8/10/20

Engineering is one of the most in-demand career fields out there. If you want to pursue a degree in engineering, you are in good company, but you are also likely looking for ways to fund this degree. 

Because engineering is so in demand, there is a multitude of scholarship programs available for those pursuing a related degree. In this article, we outline a few programs to highlight some of the best scholarships currently available.

SMART Scholarship Program

The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) program was established to help the Department of Defense by sponsoring talented scholars in return for service. Through this program, students pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. can have their tuition and expenses paid for and receive stipends, health insurance, and summer internships. 

After earning their degree, SMART scholars agree to work in a civilian position with their sponsoring facility (which might be a lab or agency of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or another DoD organization) for a length of time equal to the number of years they received academic support.

Engineering disciplines that qualify for this program include:

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering

To be eligible, you must be a citizen of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. You must also be in good academic standing with at least a 3.0 GPA and request at least 1.5 years of degree funding before graduation. The maximum funding is for five years.

Not only can this program offer you a full ride, but the experience that comes with the summer internship and the guaranteed DoD job upon graduation will make you highly competitive and attractive to future employers.

Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship Program

The Amazon Future Engineer scholarship program is designed to help high school seniors who have completed an AP computer science course continue their education at a four-year college or university majoring in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, or another computer-related field of study. 

The award comes with $10,000 per year of undergraduate study and a paid summer internship at Amazon after your freshman year. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Selection is based on academic performance, leadership, and community participation, as well as unusual personal or family circumstances, financial need, and diversity.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) administers multiple scholarship programs targeting those who identify as women or female and are pursuing an ABET-accredited bachelor’s or graduate degree in engineering, engineering technology, and computer science in the United States. 

There are hundreds of scholarships that can be applied for through their website. In 2019, they disbursed more than $810,000 for nearly 260 new and renewed scholarships – that’s an average of over $3,000 per scholarship.

The incoming freshmen scholarship application period runs from March to May, and the application for sophomores and higher is open from December through February. Applications must include a faculty and personal reference, as well as transcripts and completed application forms. 

NACME Scholarships

The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) is the largest provider of college scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing engineering degrees. Their mission is to champion diversity in STEM by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering and computer science.

By partnering with like-minded entities to provide scholarships, resources, and opportunities for high-achieving, underrepresented minority college students, as well as supporting their academic endeavors and professional development, NACME hopes to produce well-qualified candidates that meet the demands for more diversity in STEM fields.

Approximately $3 million in scholarships are awarded annually to about 1,000 students, which averages to about $3,000 in scholarship funding per student who receives an award. In addition to scholarship funding, many awards also come with internship opportunities.

These awards are for students attending a NACME partner institution. There are over 35 institutions nationwide, including the University of Washington, Purdue, Cornell, Texas A&M, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

Despite the name, you don’t have to be planning on becoming an astronaut to apply for these awards. Astronaut scholarships are for students in their junior and senior years of college studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degree.

This program began in 1986 when each of the Mercury 7 astronauts sponsored a $1,000 scholarship. They then began to fundraise to support future scholarships. Since then, the program has grown and now awards over 50 scholarships annually in amounts of up to $10,000 per student. 

But the program offers much more than funding. As an Astronaut Scholar, you become part of a group that includes astronauts, alumni, and leaders across academia, technical research, and corporate leadership. These relationships can help you advance your career and get started after graduation.

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen enrolled in one of over 40 participating universities. You must be nominated by a faculty member and have conducted a considerable amount of work outside of the classroom in your chosen field.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Scholarships

For undergraduate students who are ASCE members in good standing, several scholarships are available. Membership in ASCE is free, and anyone enrolled full or part time at a college or university can become a student member by calling the society’s customer service desk at 1-800-548-ASCE (2723).

ASCE administers eight undergraduate scholarships, typically ranging in amounts from $2,500 to $5,000 per recipient. Applications require an application form, personal essay, recommendation letters, transcripts, and resume.

The application period typically ends in February, and award letters are sent out in May. Graduate students in engineering may apply for one of six fellowships offered by ASCE, as well. 

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Scholarships

For those pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, ASME administers dozens of scholarships for ASME members in good standing. Student membership is free for freshmen and only $25 each year after that, and you sign up easily online.

A single application gives you access to all of the ASME scholarships, which range in amounts of $1,000 to $13,000. The application period runs from December to March, with applicants notified by July. 

Priority might be given to students who demonstrate strong ASME leadership roles or participate in ASME activities, display outstanding humanitarian extracurricular leadership, or have a high level of financial need.

Graduate student members of ASME may apply for graduate teaching fellowships. Fellowship awards are in the amount of $5,000 per year for a maximum of two years for Ph.D. candidates who have a master’s degree or who pass a qualifying exam. They must also take on a lecture teaching commitment at their school. 

AISES Intel Growing the Legacy Scholarship Program

For undergraduate students who are enrolled citizens or descendants of an enrolled citizen of a federal- or state-recognized American Indian tribe, Alaska Native village, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or an indigenous person of Canada, these scholarships can provide $5,000 in funding per academic year, plus other benefits.

To apply, you must be a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Becoming a member is easy and can be done online. You must also have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be a U.S. citizen enrolled full time in one of the eligible degree fields:

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Material Science
  • Physics

This program provides not only financial support but also mentorships, paid internship opportunities, and an offer of employment from Intel upon graduation. Graduate students may also apply for awards of $10,000 per year. The application period runs from December through May, with notification sent out in June.

Stay Informed About Scholarship Opportunities

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