Last updated: February 28, 2023
Innovation and entrepreneurship have long been called the backbone of the American economy with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fueling national progress. Over the past decade, a growing focus has been placed on STEM in education and training future experts in these fields. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates, employment in STEM industries is projected to grow by another 13.5 percent through 2026. In turn, this would introduce over half a million new jobs in STEM-related fields, but without experts to fill these roles, we could continue to face a skills gap.
This sense of urgency for the U.S. to develop a stronger workforce of STEM experts starts at the primary and secondary levels of education and is only possible when opportunities for students exist. STEM-educated professionals determine our nation’s capacity to innovate, so many organizations, companies and private benefactors offer STEM scholarships to help support students pursuing their degree.
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In a speech at the fifth White House Science Fair, former president, Barack Obama, addressed the importance of STEM in education, its impacts on our ability to grow as a nation and creating more student accessibility.
“[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world...”
— Barack Obama, former president of the U.S. on STEM education
Obama’s remarks are a reminder to us all that through STEM, innovation is possible and we must work to create opportunities that allow students to reach their educational goals. Explore our STEM scholarship guide below to learn more about merit-based opportunities and use our interactive scholarship tool to sort through scholarships based on award amount and concentration.
Science: Science is about discovering and describing the world we live in often with a focus on answering the “how” and “why” questions. Various different kinds of sciences can fall under this umbrella of STEM. Students can focus on anything from physics, chemistry, life sciences, geoscience, astronomy, social sciences and environmental studies to name a few.
Technology: With a growing focus and dependency on technology, this category has become one of the fastest growing and most popular concentrations within STEM. A large part of the technology umbrella includes computer sciences such as information technology, programming, web development, software development, IT architecture, database administration and security and systems analysis.
Engineering: This category is generally divided into six major branches: mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, management, and geotechnical with hundreds of subcategories based on major.
Math: Math prepares students for many careers in academia or business. As an essential component to science, technology and engineering concentrations, math includes the subcategories of applied and theoretical mathematics, statistics, calculus, finance and probability.
A source for searching federally-sponsored opportunities for undergraduate students and undergraduate programs in STEM areas.
Pairs college students in STEM disciplines with a mentor to guide them through their courses and prepare for a career transition.
Hosts video lectures in physics, astronomy, chemistry, math and engineering.
Offers free online math courses from MIT, Caltech, Tsinghua and other leading math and science institutions.
Lists audio and video lectures from MIT faculty on a variety of STEM subjects from aeronautics to mechanical engineering.
Offers free online courses in computer science from a variety of Ivy League schools.
There are hundreds of scholarships for STEM students, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.
Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.
While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.
You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.
Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.
If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.