Rose Velazquez | Feb 16, 2023

Women in STEM face a number of challenges, one of them being the high cost of education. Thankfully, a number of organizations have stepped up to offer financial assistance for women pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering in mathematics.

And there’s a good reason for it. A National Science Foundation report showed women are underrepresented among people who hold degrees in the fields of physical and earth sciences, mathematics, computer science and engineering. And data from the Pew Research Center revealed women have also been underrepresented among those working in physical sciences, computing and engineering.

Organizations invested in supporting women in STEM have been ponying up big bucks to support their education. The key to securing one of these scholarships is demonstrating a passion for STEM in your essay. Applicants can accomplish this by sharing specific examples of past experiences that propelled them to choose a career path in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Highlighting STEM-related job shadowing or intern experiences or community service can also give applicants an edge. Overall, the objective is to paint a well-rounded and tangible picture of your goals in relation to your chosen field of study.

Before you make an application, though, you need to find the right scholarship to apply to. That’s where this list comes in. Here’s a look at seven women in STEM scholarships and what it takes to land them.

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7 Scholarships for Women in STEM

1. Science AMbassador Scholarship

Who Can Apply

High school seniors and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the Science Ambassador Scholarship  funded by Cards Against Humanity, a Chicago-based game company. Applications open in the fall.

How to Apply

Your investment into making a three-minute video can turn into a four-year, tuition-free college ride with this scholarship program.

Make an accurate, creative and clear educational video where you explain a STEM topic like a classroom lecturer that aims to teach your viewers about the topic. Novel and memorable approaches will score points with the judges, and you won’t get dinged if your video production quality is lackluster.

If you want to win, focus on effective communication and scientific accuracy, according to Maria Ranahan, director of the Science Ambassador Scholarship program. Each of these points are essential for applicants to demonstrate.

Carefully read the application requirements, she stressed. The judges won’t review your video if it’s longer than three minutes, or if it’s listed as private on YouTube, Ranahan warned.

You’ll find past winners online — watch their videos get a feel for what it takes to win. Scholarship winner Gabrielle Chang gave a quick rundown on how cybersecurity attacks occur using cross-site scripting (XSS).

Other scholarship winners, like Sala Ba covered conservation of angular momentum, while Eva Smerekanych stepped into the fourth dimension with her video. Laura Chen, another scholarship winner, peered into the properties of slug slime.

Scholarship Prize

Each year, approximately 1,200 to 1,700 women apply for the Science Ambassador Scholarship, Ranahan said. But only one four-year full-ride tuition scholarship is given out, along with one-time tuition stipends of $1,000 to $2,500 for the runners-up.

Apply Now


2. Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship

Who Can Apply

Undergraduates in their second year or higher, as well as master’s degree graduate students, in computer science, computer engineering or a related technical field at a North American university are eligible to apply to the Adobe Research Women-In-Technology Scholarship

How to Apply

Judges review applications looking at your academic record, personal essay and three letters of reference. In the essay, they’ll want to know what spurred your interest in the STEM field you’ll be studying and what aspirations you have after you receive your degree. 

“Our goal is to understand the whole person, including challenges they’ve faced in their field of study and how they’ve overcome them. We also look at how applicants have assumed leadership roles in their technical community, university or broader community,” Mira Dontcheva, creator of the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship program and a principal scientist and research manager at Adobe Research, said.

Strong letters of recommendations from your mentors or advisers hold the greatest edge in winning the scholarship, Dontcheva revealed. That’s because they help the judging committee understand an applicant’s accomplishments in their field of study, she added.

Scholarship Prize

In 2022, the company awarded 16 Adobe Research Women-In-Technology Scholarships, which covers tuition and fees, and other education-related expenses like books, materials, campus housing and food plans.

Apply Now

Further ReadingHere’s What Has to Change for Women to Thrive in STEM


3. Hyundai Women in STEM Scholarship

Who Can Apply

The Hyundai Women in STEM scholarship is open to high school seniors and undergraduate students in the United States. 

How to Apply

As part of the application process, write a 500-word essay on how your present and future achievements in your STEM field will help to improve the lives of others. Judges will give 50 percent weight to the thoughtfulness of your essay, 30 percent weight to the relevance of the question asked, 15 percent for the quality of the composition and 5 percent for grammatical accuracy.

Scholarship Prize

The $10,000 scholarship covers tuition and fees. Over 6,000 applicants applied for the 2021 Hyundai Woman in STEM scholarships, but only five winners were selected.

“This is a very competitive scholarship and there are many deserving applicants with substantial accomplishments. The winners have not only excelled in their higher education endeavors, but they have a track record of helping their community through STEM,” Monique Kumpis, senior group manager brand marketing and advertising for Hyundai Motor America in Fountain Valley, California, said.

Apply Now


4. Amazon Future Engineer

Who Can Apply

The Amazon Future Engineer scholarship program is open to U.S. high school seniors who have completed a computer science, engineering or robotics dual-degree course. If someone is interested in applying for the scholarship program, but has not done an eligible dual-degree course, they can take an Amazon assessment to qualify.

Although women in STEM are not specifically targeted for the scholarship, gender and racially diverse applicants are eligible to apply and more than half of the 2021 scholarship recipients were women, according to a spokesperson for Amazon.

How to Apply

Applications open in the fall. Applicants need to demonstrate financial need and have plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, robotics or another related field.

3 Tips From Amazon to Ace the Application

  • Start Early. Seek your teacher’s recommendation report early so they will have time to finish it before the scholarship deadline.
  • Show your computer science passion. Share computer science activities you’ve participated in from hackathons to receiving a prize for coding. Explain where you want to go with your computer science degree.
  • Research Amazon. One essay question asks about Amazon’s leadership principles, while another wants you to share how you’d solve a big problem with software.

Scholarship Prize

A $40,000 scholarship spread over four years is awarded to 100 recipients each year under the Amazon Future Engineer scholarship program. Scholarship winners also receive a guaranteed paid internship at Amazon after their freshman year.

Apply Now


5. Women in STEM Scholarship

Who Can Apply

The BHW Group’s Women in STEM scholarship is available to any woman pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a STEM field. The application period starts in January.

How to Apply

You’ll need to write an essay between 500 to 800 words, either formal or informal, and select one of two topics. Tell BHW about your favorite app and why you like it or about the time when an app played a significant role in improving your day.

Scholarship Prize

The $3,000 award is paid directly to the scholarship recipient’s school.

Apply Now


6. MPower Financing Women in STEM Scholarship

Who Can Apply

International students or students who are protected under DACA who have been accepted into a STEM degree program at one of the hundreds of universities MPower Financing partners with can apply for the MPower MPower Financing Women in STEM Scholarship

Eligible fields of study include any branch of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, physical sciences, agricultural science, computer science, data science, engineering, or applied or theoretical mathematics. The program is open to students studying for their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees.

How to Apply

The application includes a 500-word essay discussing the applicant’s STEM-related accomplishments and career aspirations, as well as how their STEM degree will support their goals. Criteria for selecting winners include “potential to make significant contributions in a STEM field that will benefit people and/or the planet” along with a “track record and/or potential as a role model and advocate for women and girls in STEM.”

Scholarship Prize

MPower awards a grand prize of $6,000 as well as $2,000 for runner-up and $1,000 for honorable mention.

Apply Now


7. Joseph F. Mulach, Jr. and Louisa A. Mulach Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply

The Joseph F. Mulach, Jr. and Louisa A. Mulach Scholarship Fund is available to current undergraduate or graduate students in biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, physics or genetic research at one of the following schools:

  • Carlow University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Chatham University
  • Seton Hill University
  • University of Pittsburgh

Funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation, the scholarship is open to all who meet the criteria, but preference is given to women. The application period lasts from January through March.

A high percentage of the scholarship awards have been given to women since 2002 when the fund was formed, said Kitty Julian, a spokesperson for The Pittsburgh Foundation, which manages over 300 scholarship funds.

How to Apply

The application process involves submitting an academic reference letter, unofficial transcripts and an essay.

“In general, essays are what set applicants apart, because they provide a space for students to express who they truly are and the impact that scholarship funds will have on their lives,” Julian said. “Students should take full advantage of the essay prompts by offering details about themselves which can make them stand out from the competition.”

Pearson also provided perspective on what scholarship committees are looking for when evaluating your women in STEM scholarship applications.

“Scholarship committees want to select winners that will take the funding and make something of it. In other words, they want to know that the recipient has future plans and the grit and passion to follow through with them. This will be especially true when focusing on scholarships related to STEM,” Pearson said.

Scholarship Prize

The scholarship yields an average yearly award of $2,000. The Pittsburgh Foundation encourages recipients to reapply for the scholarship.

Apply Now


Society of Women Engineer Scholarships

Tight on time to hunt for women in STEM scholarships? Then you may want to check out the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) scholarships page.

SWE offers more than 100 individual scholarships on its site. You only need to fill out one application to automatically be placed in a pool for all of the scholarships you may be eligible for. The potential awards include the $17,000 Lillian Moller Gilbreth Memorial Scholarship and the $3,000 B.J. Harrod Memorial Scholarship.

SWE’s scholarship application is open to women and applicants who identify as women and are undergraduate or community college students planning to study engineering, technology or computing at an ABET-accredited program in the upcoming academic year. Masters and PhD candidates face similar requirements.

SWE judges evaluate applicants on three main criteria: academic preparation, leadership/activities and of course an interest in STEM, an SWE spokesperson said. 

“The academic preparation comes across through the transcript and resume, while activities and work experiences are inputs from the applicant. The interest in engineering should be apparent through the personal statement. The letters of recommendation generally supplement all categories,” said the SWE spokesperson.


Resources for Finding Women in STEM Scholarships

Tracking down scholarship opportunities can be time-consuming, but university or high school departments and advisers can provide resources to steer your search in the right direction.  

“When looking for STEM scholarships, the best place to look first is your own university departments. While many colleges award scholarships along with admission, there are also many scholarships specifically for upperclassmen. The only way to learn about these is to ask your department,” said Jocelyn Paonita Pearson, founder of The Scholarship System

You can also look to STEM-related associations or organizations for women as sources of scholarship funding for women pursuing degrees in STEM fields. Examples include the Association for Women in Science, International Technology Engineering Association, American Chemical Society and Zonta International.

Professional associations and organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, IEEE Computer Society, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Information Systems Security Association also award scholarship money.

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