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How and Where to Find the Best Engineering Scholarships

The engineering field is large and diverse, encompassing a few dozen specific niche disciplines. As one of the all important STEM, it is considered a critical need field and there are many scholarship opportunities designed to attract and encourage engineering students.

Some of the most popular engineering degrees include:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Plastics Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Construction Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geo-spatial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

When you combine the diversified nature of engineering with it's status as a critical need STEM subject, you end up with an array of scholarship opportunities designed to help hard working students pay for college.

engineering scholarships

General Engineering Scholarship Programs and Sources

General engineering scholarships can come from a variety of sources. The Federal government, corporations and professional organizations, as well as colleges and universities are offering substantial scholarships for qualified engineering students. As on of the critical STEM fields, a nationwide push is being made to attract and encourage suitable students to the various engineering disciplines.

Women and minorities in particular, will find an abundance of engineering scholarships specifically geared towards them. Minority students have long been under-represented in the engineering field, and many scholarships have been developed to help diversify both the engineering classroom and workforce. Businesses, professional organizations and universities have designed scholarships to offer incentive and encouragement to minorities and women who have previously been excluded from these historically male dominated fields.

Big demands are being made on business and industry to grow and diversify, and the time to take advantage of these scholarship opportunities is now.

Best Sources for Engineering Scholarships:

  • Federal and State government
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private business and industry
  • Professional associations and societies

Federal Scholarships

The Federal government has designated engineering as a critical need discipline, and provides a large number of financial aid opportunities to college-bound students looking to pursue their education, and ultimate career, in one of the engineering fields. Whether sponsored directly by the Federal government, or through specific government agencies, eligible engineering students can take advantage of a number of lucrative scholarship and grant opportunities.

When searching for government scholarships and grants, look for programs designed for both general STEM subjects as well as those specifically targeting your particular field of interest. Some examples of the scholarships offered by the government and it's agencies include:

  • The Federal SMART Grant. While not a scholarship as such, the SMART grant program is designed to benefit students pursuing an education in science or mathematics. The overall intent of this program extends to engineering as well, and eligible students should take full advantage the substantial financial aid that is being offered.
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. This Federally funded program provides scholarship awards to academically outstanding students pursuing a course of study in mathematics, science or engineering.
  • NASA offers the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program is open to students pursuing an educational and career path in any of the STEM disciplines, including engineering.

Many Federal agencies offer scholarship, grant and internship programs dedicated to students interested in many of the niche engineering fields. The Department of Agriculture, NOAA, the Federal Aviation Administration and more offer a variety of financial aid opportunities to engineering students at all degree levels. To take advantage of these opportunities, follow your field of interest to the appropriate government agency and find what they have to offer.

Private Business and Industry Scholarship Awards Sources

Big business and industry must diversify ranks to remain competitive in a global business world. Recognizing the need to attract and encourage new blood in the business world has led to a large number of corporate sponsored scholarships and grants for students in the engineering field. Many of these programs target minorities and women, over and above the general student body. These scholarships can be very lucrative, and in many cases offer students an entry into an engineering career.

Some of the more substantial engineering scholarships sponsored by the private sector include:

  • The Google Anita Borg Scholarship is devoted to helping female from around the world students achieve their goal of obtaining a higher education an the fields of science, engineering and technology. Scholarship awards range from $1000 to $10,000 and are awarded based on academic performance.
  • The Gates Millennium Scholarship Program is one of the most well funded and far reaching scholarship programs in the United States. Sponsored by the Bill & Amanda Gates Foundation, this program awards 1000 scholarships annually to qualifying students who are pursuing an education in on of the STEM related fields. Eligible candidates must be nominated for the scholarship, they must have at least a 3.3 GPA and must be financially eligible to receive the Pell Grant.

These are only a couple of the many business sector scholarship opportunities open to engineering students. When searching for a scholarship to match your needs, goals and abilities look to corporations that are prominent in your field of interest. Research affiliated industries and associations to see what scholarship programs may be available to you.

engineering scholarship

Professional Associations

Almost every industry has associations and societies which work for the betterment and advancement of their profession. Working professionals, as well as students, join these associations to network with other people , keep up to date of all the latest developments and promote expansion and innovation in their field. Engineering organizations are abundant, and provide a number of scholarship programs for student members. Once again, many of these programs give particular attention to the advancement of women and minorities in the engineering field.

A few examples of scholarship programs sponsored by these kinds professional engineering associations include:

  • The Society for Women Engineers offers scholarships to eligible women pursuing a degree in engineering technology and computer sciences. The SWE awards more than 175 scholarships annually, valued at more than $500,000.
  • The Society of Automotive Engineers, raises funds to encourage and support engineering education from elementary school through to college. SAE International sponsors a number of annual scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students studying for a degree in applied automotive engineering.
  • National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering sponsors the NACME Scholars Program. This program is dedicated to providing financial aid to minority students pursuing a degree in engineering. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need as well as academic achievement.

Here at we encourage you to follow up on your interest in engineering scholarships by checking out our sections on aerospace engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and petroleum engineering. These sections offer more specifics on scholarships related to these particular engineering fields, and how those scholarships might benefit you.