Why Mechanical Engineering Scholarships are So Good
Mechanical Engineers continue to be in high demand throughout American industry. Students pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering enjoy a wide range of career opportunities, from traditional jobs in the automotive and airline industries, to exciting positions in cutting edge fields like robotics and nanotechnology. For students with an aptitude for mechanics, and an interest in machinery and engines, a degree in mechanical engineering can be the gateway to a bright future.
Popular Scholarship Sources for Mechanical Engineering Students
The current push to expand and improve the country's industrial output, and to return to the days innovation and invention, has led to an outpouring of financial aid for students pursuing degrees and careers in vital disciplines like Mechanical Engineering. Scholarships are abundant, and particular attention is being given to encouraging and supporting women and minority students in an effort to expand and diversify the professional engineering field.
Popular sources for Mechanical Engineering scholarships include:
- The Federal government
- Colleges and universities
- Private and professional organizations
Mechanical Engineering Scholarships from Government Sources
Scholarships for Mechanical Engineering students can be found through a number of government agencies. While direct scholarships from the Federal government are rare, departments and agencies that depend on the skill and expertise of engineers routinely sponsor scholarships and grants as a way of encouraging, supporting and ultimately retaining new talent. Look to those Federal agencies that have close ties to the professional engineering community, and that routinely employ mechanical engineers.
A couple of notable examples will give you a better idea of what government agencies to investigate when looking for scholarship money for your mechanical engineering studies.
- NASA is always in need of professional mechanical engineers, and routinely offers scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing their studies in the field. NASA's Aeronautics Scholarship Program offers over a dozen annual scholarships with awards ranging from $10,000 to $35,000. Awards may take the form of general scholarships, paid internships or fellowships for graduate students.
- The United States Department of Defense, and the American Society for Engineering Education have partnered to sponsor the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship. This program targets students in all engineering fields whose skills are applicable to the needs of the U.S. Department of Defense. Average fellowships awards are $30,000.
Colleges and Universities for Mechanical Engineering Scholarships
Most universities and colleges with engineering departments provide some level of financial aid for their enrolled students. Beyond the general merit-based and need-based awards, students will find a number of dedicated scholarship opportunities targeting mechanical engineering students. Available programs will vary from college to college, and you should speak with your schools financial aid adviser for details on scholarship programs that may be open to you. Also speak with the head of the university's School of Engineering to learn about scholarships for which you can apply.
Some examples will give you a better idea of what may be available from your college or university.
- West Virginia University sponsors a number of scholarships through it's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. Among them the Hansen Incorporated Scholarship and the Amelia Earhart Scholarship Award for Women.
- Clemson University sponsors the Clemson/Sonoco Scholars Program. This annual scholarship is awarded to qualifying undergraduate students enrolled an Clemson's engineering department. Five scholarships are awarded annually at $2000 each.
- Oklahoma State University and the Society of American Engineers sponsors an annual scholarship for students enrolled in OSU's engineering department. The SAE International Scholarship is open to mechanical engineering students in the top 10% of their class. Awards a $1000 and are renewable.
Private and Professional Sources
The greatest source for Mechanical Engineering scholarships is the private sector. Professional associations, corporations and manufacturers all have a vested interest in supporting the next generation of mechanical engineers. They know that today's students are the innovators of tomorrow, and it will be the next generation of mechanical engineers that will drive future waves of industrial and commercial progress.
Consider the following examples of scholarship programs supported by the private sector:
- The American Society of Mechanic Engineers Foundation supports the educational goals of mechanical engineering students at every level of education. The organization offers multiple annual scholarships, including Auxiliary Scholarships, the First Clarke Scholarship, and various Graduate Teaching Fellowships for PhD students.
- The National Society of Black Engineers, in partnerships with many national corporations, sponsors a large number of scholarships aimed at encouraging and supporting African-American students in the engineering field. Chief among these programs is the GE Lloyd Trotter African American Forum Scholarship. The awards is $2500, and eligible applicants must maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA
- ASCO Numatics sponsors the annual Industrial Automation Engineering College Scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students. Two $5000 scholarships are awarded annually.
- Kelly Engineering Resources sponsors the annual Future Engineers Scholarship Program. This $5,000 cash award is given to an outstanding undergraduate engineering student based on academic merit and a required essay.
- The Society of Women Engineers works hand in hand with a number of large corporations to provide scholarship opportunities to young women entering the engineering field. Partnering corporations include Lockheed Martin, DuPont, and General Electric. Scholarship awards range from $1000 to $6000.
As you can see professional associations and corporations drive a great deal of the available scholarships for mechanical engineering students. But whether you secure a scholarship from a corporation or the government, a university or an advocacy association, you can be secure in the knowledge that a degree in mechanical engineering will set you on a solid and lucrative career path.
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