Scholarships for Computer Science
Be a Geek - It Pays!
Pursuing a degree in computer science gives you access to an extraordinarily large amount of financial aid. Government has an interest in maintaining national superiority in technology, private industry wants to ensure a steady supply of trained personnel, and schools pass scholarship endowment funding from successful donors on to their computer science students.
The following information should be considered only a brief overview of likely sources rather than a comprehensive collection, but it will suggest scholarship sources for computer science students that may be able to help you.
U. S. Office of Personnel Management
The U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) handles the CyberCorps Scholarship For Service (SFS) program, which resulted from a partnership between the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security. Selected four-year schools participate in SFS, and the goal is to lure computer science students into the field of information assurance, or cybersecurity.
To be eligible, you must be:
- Within two years of a bachelors or masters degree, attending full-time
- Within three years of graduating with both those degrees
- In a five-year program, to finish with both degrees, or
- A doctoral student in a formal cybersecurity program focusing on research.
Terms are financially advantageous: in addition to a living allowance of $20,000-$30,000, you may also receive funding for tuition, fees, and other expenses like health insurance.
Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, administered by the foundation of the same name, lists computer science with an emphasis on developing artificial intelligence as an accepted discipline. The Goldwater scholarships go to full-time juniors and seniors who have a GPA equivalent to at least a B and are ranked in the upper 25% of the class.
You cannot apply for the award directly. Instead, your school’s faculty representative must shepherd your nomination through the institutional review committee and relay the finalists’ applications to the Goldwater Foundation, which will decide on the winners (as many as 300 every year). The scholarships pay a maximum of $7,500 per year toward educational expenses.
Scholarships From Private Organizations
Microsoft offers undergraduate scholarships in four categories: General Scholarships, Women’s Scholarships, Minority Scholarships, and Scholarships for Students with Disabilities. Oddly, Microsoft’s own web page has mostly nonfunctional links, but many individual universities post versions of the informational material Microsoft passes out.
The scholarship flyer Microsoft distributes to those universities does not specify a particular category of award for the following information, which applies to the program as a whole. The awards go to computer science students who show passion for the software industry and a desire to make a difference. To apply to the program, your GPA must be at least 3.0 and you must be enrolled in a four-year degree program in a school located in Mexico, Canada, or the United States.
The scholarships target populations underrepresented in the software industry, so most of the awards are distributed to women, minorities, and the disabled. Recipients of Microsoft’s computer science scholarships must apply for paid summer internships at the Microsoft’s headquarters. You must finish any internship you receive, and you should plan to spend at least 12 weeks in Redmond.
Microsoft’s employees have banded together to underwrite the Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships for computer science students of African descent. Criteria for selection are otherwise similar, except the GPA requirement is 3.3 and you must demonstrate financial need.
Scholarships From Colleges
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa’s Department of Computer Science currently provides five departmental scholarships, and brief summaries of three follow:
- The Arthur Collins Scholarship is handed out based on academic achievement and good character, including leadership. There are five annual awards of $1,000 each. You may be offered a chance at an internship or co-op with Rockwell Collins, and you should be willing to accept.
- The Frank A. Park Scholarship, also in the amount of $1,000, can go to either a graduate student or an undergraduate, and requires a strong academic record. There is geographic priority ranking, first to students from Woodbury County, Iowa, or Rock Island County, Illinois, and then to Iowa students in general.
- The John Deere Scholarship gives $2,000 each to two students. Both graduate students and undergraduates are eligible, your GPA must be at least 3.0, and you must be eligible to work in the U. S.
The University of Michigan – Dearborn
The College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn has posted a page filled with notes on CECS scholarships, and here are four of those that are suitable for computer science majors:
- Both the Chrysler Scholarships and the Ford Motor Company Scholarships are designed to attract new students by paying between $1,000 and $2,000 toward tuition for freshmen and new transfer students.
- The Frederick P. and Violet Sharpe Endowed Scholarships support students who transfer in from Henry Ford Community College. Preference goes to those who were citizens of the British Commonwealth, or whose parents can be so described.
- The General Dynamics Scholarships vary between $1,000 and $1,500 per year, and can be applied to tuition.
University of Maryland
The University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science offers twelve scholarships, and here are three of those listed:
- The John D. Gannon Scholarship awards a maximum of $5,000 to an undergraduate who has displayed excellence in ability and performance, and has the potential to succeed in teaching and research.
- The Guy Wassertzug/InfoStructures, Inc. Computer Science Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 goes to a student who actively promotes women’s influence in the field of computer science.
- The Raj Khera and Tripti Sinha Scholarship in Computer Science awards $2,000 based on both financial need and academic history.