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.

Government Scholarships

U. S. Office of Personnel Managementcomputer science scholarships for college

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:

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

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 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:

University of Maryland

The University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science offers twelve scholarships, and here are three of those listed: