As the demand for trained computer science professionals explodes, financial aid institutions are making more and more scholarships available for study in that field. Of course students should apply to as many sources of financial aid as they can, but they should pay particular attention to scholarships that award more money and carry a high level of prestige. There are many computer science scholarships available, but there are five in particular that stand out as the best.
Though not strictly a computer science award, this highly prestigious (and profitable) science project competition should be at the top of any prospective science major’s list. Every year over 1,500 high school students enter this search with original science projects every. The committee chooses the 40 finalists that impress them the most. All finalists are flown to Washington, D.C. where they have the chance to meet with leaders in the scientific field and the President or Vice President of the United States. All finalists are given scholarships of at least $7,500, but the top ten are given substantial awards. The winner of the competition is awarded a $100,000 four-year scholarship. Second place gets $75,000; third place gets $50,000, and so on down to $20,000 for eighth through tenth place.
For students who are pursuing a degree in a variety of science fields, including computer science, this scholarship is particularly lucrative. They award $15,000 to deserving students with an emphasis on those who are transferring from a community college to a four-year university.
Like the Intel Science Talent Search, ThinkQuest looks to reward practical applications of computer science. Through the Oracle Education Foundation they sponsor a website building competition. They provide a scholarship of $5,000 for the winning student and the great thing is that you don’t have to be a high school senior. You can enter as long as you are under 19 years old. So if you are 12 and already thinking about putting together a college fund, you can start now.
Xerox is making thousands of dollars available for minority students with a strong academic record pursuing a degree in just about all technical fields, including computer science. The awards for computer science range from $1,000 to $10,000, not a small number for a cash strapped college student.
Recognizing the need to encourage women pursuing degrees in technical fields, financial aid opportunities like the SWE scholarship have been instituted. They award scholarships of $10,000 to women studying computer engineering, as well as other technical fields.
These are only five of the best computer science scholarships being offered. You can find many more, some of which may suit your talents and interests even better. There are scholarships being offered to students of all races, abilities, religions, and places of origin. Even if you don’t win one of these prestigious scholarships, there are many more to apply to. Like any field, the key to maximizing your student aid is applying for as many as you can.