Survey Your Options for Good Civil Engineering Scholarships
Civil engineering is considered the original engineering specialty, the skill that built international landmarks like the great Roman port at Ostia and the ceremonial pyramids of Teotihuacan. Professional civil engineers build structures, both public and private, focusing on infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and buildings. As a civil engineer, you'll design great works and shepherd them through the construction process.
In recent years, academia and government have sought to diversify to keep pace with global trends, build self-sustaining networks of innovators, increase collaboration and productivity, and generally promote a more contemporary and unified workforce. To these ends, you will discover abundant scholarship resources aimed at minorities and women, both of which groups are still under-represented in every facet of engineering. Popular Sources for Civil Engineering Scholarships are:
- Federal and state governments
- Colleges and universities
- Private and professional sources
Government Sources for Civil Engineering Money
Federal and state governments are devoted to increasing workforce diversity and even more committed to helping students train for careers in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Those fields are considered the keys to the continued industrial leadership of America as a nation, and their importance to the country's success cannot be overstated.
You'll find a great deal of financial encouragement available to you in pursuing civil engineering. Some good examples of the many scholarships you can find appear below.
One of the most publicized government grants is the National SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grant, a federally sponsored academic aid program designed for junior and senior undergraduates studying a STEM subject, including civil engineering. Candidates must attend school at least half-time, be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, and keep a 3.0 GPA in order to apply. The maximum annual award is $4,000.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, founded by act of Congress in 1986, supports students pursuing degrees in mathematics, science, or engineering. To be eligible, you must be nominated by a Goldwater Faculty Representative who approves your fitness to compete for the award. Over 300 awards are handed out annually from this foundation to juniors and seniors described as "outstanding," based on academic merit. You can receive as much as $7,500 each year as a Goldwater Scholar, so consult the current information bulletin to find details on how to apply.
Here are examples of scholarships offered to engineering students by state and county governments:
- Virginia students enrolled in a civil engineering course of study may qualify for a scholarship-for-service program with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The Engineer Scholarship Program offers qualified candidates a $3,500 cash stipend each semester for every year they are willing to spend the summer working with the VDOT.
- The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD) offers scholarships to engineering students from the Central Valley who attend a West Hills Community College.
College and University Sources for Civil Engineering Scholarships
Your college or university's School of Engineering usually offers multiple types of scholarships to its students. You should find it easy to narrow down that list to the opportunities that meet your specific needs. If you conduct a diligent search within the college of study and within your own civil engineering department, you should locate several awards you have a reasonable chance to win.
As examples, you may review the lists of scholarships provided by the civil engineering departments at Clemson University , Purdue University , University of Minnesota, and the University of Kentucky. And that is a very small sample of the major engineering schools that offer such aid.
Private and Professional Scholarship Sources
Don’t overlook the scholarships that are sponsored by professional engineering associations. Those organizations are populated by engineers who well remember the financial constraints of the student, and want to make a contribution toward furthering the education of future colleagues. Many of them dedicate large amounts of money to their scholarship endeavors, which are made available to their student members.
As an example, consult the list of nine scholarships and five fellowships underwritten by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Private business and industry, especially in the engineering sector, can be an excellent source of financial aid for civil engineering students. Here are two examples:
- Kelly Engineering Resources sponsors the annual Future Engineers Scholarship Program. This $5,000 award goes to a sophomore or junior student in an accredited school of engineering who submits the winning essay describing personal career goals.
- Engineering firm Bentley sponsors the Bentley Student Design Competition, handing out a number of awards to high school and college students.