The EASY Button: Scholarships for Math Majors and Math Teachers
Mathematics is a complex and highly demanding field of study, with a wide range of academic and professional applications. Currently there is a national shortage of students pursuing degrees in this critical need field, and that has led to a growth in the availability of scholarship opportunities for students studying math at the collegiate level. Both the corporate and academic worlds are in need of degree holding math majors, and the career field is wide open for math teachers, statisticians, accountants, code breakers, fractal theorists and other mathematical experts. Students searching for scholarship funds that will help them pursue their degree in the mathematical sciences, will find a large number of lucrative programs designed specifically to attract and encourage math majors. Women and minorities in particular find an abundance of scholarship opportunities dedicated to expanding and diversifying this critical need discipline.
Math Scholarships for Undergraduate and Graduate Math Students
As one of the the vital STEM subjects, Mathematics has been designated as a critical need discipline by the federal government. There is currently a national push to attract and encourage students at the undergraduate and graduate levels to take up studies in this highly competitive and complex field. Women, minorities and students from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly sought after to take their place in the academic fold. Government, industry and academia are all in need of successful math graduates, and that need is reflected in the abundance of scholarship programs designed to benefit math majors.
Scholarships for math majors can be found from a number of diverse sources. The Federal governments offers a number of scholarship programs, both directly and through their many branches and agencies. Business and industry are also prime sources for scholarship aid, as they rely heavily on the talents and expertise of qualified math graduates. Begin your search for mathematics scholarships by looking to those fields of industry, and government agencies, who most rely on the expertise of mathematicians. Also look to those professional associations closely allied with the application of mathematics in the marketplace, such as accountancy, pharmaceutical research and statisticians.
A few examples of high profile scholarships for math majors will help set you on the right track for finding a program that meets your individual needs:
- The Department of Homeland Security aggressively pursues top technical talent at the nation's schools. To those ends the DHS offers a battery of scholarships, some for undergraduates (scholarships) and others for graduate students (fellowships), whose majors are closely related to the agency's needs. Graduate fellowships can offer full-tuition scholarships plus $2,300 monthly stipends. Undergraduate scholarships are also available as full-tuition awards, with the addition of a $1,000 monthly stipend.
- The U. S. Department of Defense has established the SMART Scholarship. This program is designed to encourage and support students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The goal of the SMART program is to increase the number of civilian scientists working in DoD laboratories. These full tuition scholarships range from $25,000 to $41,000 depending on discipline and university of attendance.
- The Intel Science Talent Search is a prime example of scholarship opportunities offered by the private sector. Scholarship finalists compete for a chance at $100,000 in financial aid. The Intel Science Talent Search also bestows a level of prestige on it's participants, and non-winning finalists often find themselves eligible for scholarship programs sponsored by individual universities looking to attract top math and science students to their campuses.
Math Scholarships for Teachers
If there is a critical shortage of degree seeking math students in the United States, the shortage of mathematics teachers is just as profound. Academia is in desperate need of qualified secondary and post-secondary math teachers to join the ranks of educators preparing the way for the next generation of American success stories. Again, minorities and women are highly sought after in this area, and scholarship opportunities abound for students pursuing the noble profession of teachers of mathematics.
Students considering pursuing a career as math teachers will find a large number of scholarship for service programs, as well as loan forgiveness programs designed to help them achieve their educational and career goals. Federal and state governments are prime sources for these much need financial aid programs, and a few examples will give you an idea of what may be available to you.
- Western Governors University, an accredited online college, has received sizable funding from the U.S. Department of Labor in order to supply scholarship assistance to students pursuing a teaching career. Awards are $7500, and recipients must agree to take up teaching posts in rural and under-served communities.
- The New York State Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarships are designed for undergraduate and graduate level student teachers. Qualified applicants receive scholarship money in return for 5 years of math and/or science teaching in a New York State school. Annual awards are between $4,500 and $5,000 depending upon current funding levels.
- Furman University offers the Teacher Education Scholarship, designed for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers as educators. Annual awards are $2000, and are renewable for students maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Many such programs are offered at universities and colleges around the country. In addition, many state governments support regional scholarships and loan forgiveness programs designed to increase the pool of qualified teachers within their communities. Check with the Department of Higher Education in your home state for details of programs that may be applicable to your educational and career goals.