Engineering Student Grants

Need Financial Help Acquiring Your Engineering Degree?

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, commonly referred to as the STEM subjects, offer some of the most lucrative grant and scholarship opportunities for students in the United States. Through the second half of the last century, the American student body began to fall behind their international peers in academic competitiveness, especially in the critical STEM fields. Over the last couple of decades the Federal government has pressed for a new emphasis on the sciences, and in particular engineering, leading to an increase in the availability of financial aid for students pursuing degrees in STEM related fields.

Grants for engineering students come from a variety of sources, including the Federal Government, Colleges and Universities, and Corporations and Professional Associations. Many of these grant programs target women and minorities as a way of diversifying a field that has been historically dominated by white males.

Engineering majors will find it easier to find suitable grant programs by determining early in their academic careers which field of engineering they wish to study. By focusing on the specific engineering fields in which they are interested, students can bypass those grant programs which are unsuitable, and concentrate on engineering grants for collegepursuing those that best suit their needs and status. The most common engineering specialties include:

Federal and State Grants

Federal and state governments have responded to the increased need for professionals in the STEM fields, and particularly in engineering, by offering grants for students pursuing degrees in these disciplines. The goal is to encourage students, especially minorities and women, to pursue careers in these high demand fields. When building their college funds, Engineering majors should first look to the available Federal and State sponsored programs that support students pursuing degrees in the STEM fields.

The following grants are available to students pursuing degrees in any of the high demand STEM fields, including engineering.

In addition to the grant programs supported by the Federal government, many states across the country provide significant financial aid for their resident students. These state sponsored programs vary greatly between the states, and students should contact their state’s Department of Higher Education for information on grants, scholarships and loan forgiveness programs that may be applicable to them. Many state supported financial aid programs are general in nature, though some states do make special provision for students pursuing degrees in a STEM related subject.

Some examples of state supported grants applicable to engineering majors include:

Engineering majors should also investigate state sponsored general education grants that can be used to help meet the tuition costs associated with any degree program, including those devoted to any of the engineering related fields.

Engineering Grants from Colleges and Universities

Engineering majors may find that their college of attendance offers grant opportunities for deserving students. Campus-based grants are limited in nature, and vary greatly from school to school. Students interested in pursuing a career in any aspect of the engineering field will already be looking at colleges and universities that have state of the art departments and programs in their desired discipline, whether it be environmental engineering, mechanical engineering or computer sciences. When choosing a college, students should also take the time to investigate the campus-based financial aid opportunities that may be available to them.

The following few examples should illustrate the diversity of engineering colleges and programs around the country, and the financial aid opportunities that they offer.

Professional Organizations

Engineering majors will find that one of the most lucrative sources for college grants is the private sector. Many corporations and professional associations support grants and scholarships for students pursuing degrees in a variety of engineering fields. The purpose of these financial aid programs is to encourage talented students to pursue degrees and careers in all aspects of engineering. Because women and minorities have been historically under-represented in many engineering sub-disciplines, many of these private sector grants will place a greater emphasis on minority applicants.

The following grants and fellowships are indicative of the types of programs offered by professional associations.

The field of Engineering is a large umbrella that covers a diverse array of disciplines. Students looking for grants or scholarships to help them complete their studies, should focus on those programs, colleges, and associations that are most closely aligned with their own field of interest. Students should also give due attention to general financial aid programs that can be applied to all STEM fields, including engineering.