I’m often asked about trends in the world of private outside scholarships, meaning those scholarships not specifically attached to a specific college or university. One particular trend I’ve seen in scholarships from private companies, organizations, individuals, and foundations over the past decade has been an increase in opportunities for minority students who are pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math careers, also known as STEM fields. As industries strive for more diversity in their workforce at every level, companies are investing in the future of their industries by supporting promising minority students through scholarships to reduce financial obstacles on the way to STEM-related degrees. Here are just a few of these scholarship opportunities to consider.
Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Founded in 1999 by Bill and Melinda Gates, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program is a $1.6 billion program established to assist Black American, Asian Pacific Islander, Hispanic American, Native American, and Inuit Alaskan students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in Computer Science, Education, Engineering, Library Science, Mathematics, and Public Health & Science. GMS scholarships cover unmet need and self-help aid, and awards are renewable for students who maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Generation Google Scholarship
The Generation Google Scholarship is another example of opportunity for a diverse array of students who are pursuing STEM-related careers. Undergraduate and graduate students who identify as Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or Native American can apply to receive up to $10,000 if they’re pursuing a Computer Science degree or related field.
Related: How to Find Scholarships in Hidden Places
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Scholarships
The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) has numerous scholarship opportunities for minority students. Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply for theses scholarships, which go up to $5,000. Check out their website to learn specific information about the various awards the association offers.
Chinese American Construction Professionals Scholarships
The Chinese American Construction Professionals (CACP) offers several scholarships for students pursuing Engineering as it relates to construction, design, and architecture. CACP aims to support future young professionals. Awards of up to $3,000 are available for undergraduate juniors and seniors as well as graduate students.
National GEM Consortium Fellowships
Incredible opportunities exist for underrepresented students through the National GEM Consortium. Their fellowships are designed to assist students pursuing MS and PhD programs in the fields of biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, Earth sciences, engineering, physics, and mathematics. GEM fellowship awards may include full tuition, fees, and living expenses as well as paid internships.
Additional scholarship resources
If you’re looking for even more scholarships to help pay for college, depending on your ethnicity, you could also investigate these sources:
- Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
- United Negro College Fund
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- American Indian Graduate Center Scholars
Related: Scholarship FAQ: Expert Advice to Start Your Search
There are many scholarships out there for students at every level of education—and more scholarships are created every year. Any student who strategically stacks private scholarship opportunities from companies, organizations, individuals, and foundations on top of college-specific awards from educational institutions can dramatically change the overall financial picture for themselves and their family.
Find even more great scholarship opportunities to pay for college using our Scholarship Search tool.