Math Sciences Students: Sources and Types of College Grants
The STEM subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, have been designated as critical need fields of study. The nationwide shortage of qualified professionals in all of these fields has led to a massive push for student recruitment in the STEM disciplines. Mathematics, the cornerstone of all the sciences, is suffering a particularly great shortage of incoming students. In an effort to combat this deficit, and to increase and diversify the present and future student body, grants and scholarships have been created to attract top students to these much need fields.
Some of the most popular grants for mathematics students come from the following sources:
- Federal and state governments
- Colleges and universities
- Professional associations
- Private Industry
Math Grants for Minorities and Women
Traditionally, the field of mathematics has been under-populated by both ethnic minority and female students. The study of any science has long been the province of the white male majority, but with the changing times comes a change in attitude. Women, long excluded from the study of science and mathematics are now being encourage to enter these highly competitive fields. Likewise, ethnic minorities are being courted in an effort to diversify the national student body, as well as the county's workforce.
The nationwide drive for diversification has led to a burgeoning growth in the number of grants for minority students, and female students, pursuing college degrees in the field of mathematics. Minority specific mathematics grants are available from many different sources, both public and private. Professional associations, ethnic and gender advocacy groups and the Federal government all provide ample grant opportunities for minority students pursuing a degree in mathematics. Some of the most notable examples include:
- The Gates Millennium Scholars Program offers a wide array of grants and scholarships for minorities and women enrolled in an accredited college pursing their degree in one of the STEM subjects. Emphasis is placed on financial need, and awards range from partial to full tuition scholarships and grants.
- The Siemens Foundation provides more than 7 million dollars in annual grant and scholarship money for students pursuing their studies in one of the STEM disciplines. Emphasis is placed on diversification, and women and minorities are encouraged to apply for the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement and the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.
Government Student Math Grants
Some of the most popular grants providing financial support for students pursuing mathematics at the college level come from both the Federal and state governments. These grants are designed to encourage students to pursue mathematics degrees with an eye toward joining the commercial workforce, or taking positions teaching math at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
These high profile mathematics grants include the following:
- The National SMART Grant provides financial assistance to undergraduate math majors in their junior and senior years of college. Applicants must demonstrate the required level of financial need, and must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify.
- The National Science Foundation maintains a regularly updated list of ongoing graduate and doctoral student grants, many of which could apply to mathematics students. These Federally funded programs provide grants for graduate research, international research projects, and dissertation studies.
- The Federal TEACH Grant provides education funding, up to $4,000 annually, for student teachers who agree to take a position teaching one of the STEM subject in a low-income school following graduation. The TEACH Grant applies to equally to mathematics teachers as well as science teachers. Commitment to teach in this program, in return for grant money, is for a minimum of 4 years.
Students searching for mathematics grants will also want to investigate what their local state government may have to offer. Contact your state's Department of Higher Education for detailed information on grant programs targeting college level mathematics majors.
Grants from Colleges and Universities
One of the most fertile resources for mathematics grants is your chosen college or university. Whether studying at the undergraduate or graduate level, students can find a wide array of grant opportunities through their college's financial aid department. Speak with the head of the maths department, and your schools financial aid adviser to find out what grants may be available. Minorities and women should take special note of university sponsored grants designed to diversify a school's student body.
Professional Organizations and Associations Offer Math Grants
Mathematics and science related professional associations are prime sources for both grant and scholarship funds. These associations exist in almost all profession fields of expertise, and are tasked with promoting the welfare and advancement of it's members and it's attendant profession. A large part of this remit includes providing encouragement and support for students pursuing degrees and careers in the associations chosen field. As you search for math grants to help you cover the cost of your education, look to these professional associations for lucrative funding opportunities.
Some choice examples will give you an idea of what to look for in your search for grant money for your mathematics studies.
- The Mathematical Association of America keeps a data base of active grant programs available to student members. Working scholars, professional mathematicians and other association members may qualify.
- The Association for Women in Mathematics not only provides a list of scholarship and grant sources, but provides a number of annual travel grants for members and student members.
- The Connecticut Association of Latinos in Higher Education, in partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers grants for Latino-Americans students pursuing degrees in the STEM disciplines. Both undergraduate and graduate mathematics majors may apply.
Private Business and Industry
Private industry relies on the expertise of mathematicians in nearly all sectors of the business world. Corporations involved in medical research, pharmaceutical development, technology and engineering are actively seeking to recruit talented math majors to help make their businesses more productive and more competitive. As you search for grant funding for your education, look to businesses and corporations that have a need for high level mathematicians to make their business more efficient.