In today’s digitally-driven era, finding and enrolling in online courses, certification programs, and degree programs is easier. Although some programs might be more cost-effective than traditional on-campus programs, many online degree programs still require a substantial financial investment.
However, rather than feel overwhelmed with borrowing more student loans, taking a second mortgage on the house, or feeling like earning a higher education in a tech field is simply out of reach, why not apply for scholarships?
Believe it or not, there are many scholarships out there offered by institutions, non-profits, enterprises, states, and other municipal organizations. The key is knowing where to look and taking the time to do so.
This article will provide a complete guide on where to find the best tech scholarships, eligibility requirements, and more.
How to Begin Your Tech Scholarship Research
There are many different scholarship programs specific to the region or area in which you live, your particular field of interest, ethnicity, gender, and more.
Before you begin to research scholarship options, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Some scholarships have strict eligibility requirements, such as requiring students to work at the rewarding organization after they graduate or during periodic breaks, or to maintain a specific GPA throughout enrollment. So be sure to read the fine print before applying!
- Scholarships can be dispersed in a lump sum to be used towards any and all educational expenses whereas others will only cover specific expenses, such as tuition and/or fees.
- Take note of the scholarship application deadlines, the rewarding organization’s decision processing time, and the application deadline for your institution.
- Be prepared to do your homework and research! Applying for scholarships is work and will require your time and effort.
- Determine what scholarships will be the best fit for you and your needs.
Undergraduate Tech Scholarships
So, where do you go to find tech scholarships? Let’s start with the list of undergraduate tech scholarships:
1. Foundation for Information Technology Education (FITE)
The FITE program is affiliated with the Association of Information Technology Professionals. The Association of Information Technology is an organization dedicated to supporting IT professionals. It also provides some scholarship programs designed for student members.
Click the link above to peruse the various scholarship options—and eligibility requirements and award amounts — for each scholarship program for this organization.
Award Amount: Varies
- Must be enrolled in an undergraduate Information Technology or related program on a full-time basis
- Must have at least a 3.0 GPA
- Must have completed at least one semester
2. Robert Half Technology/AITP Scholarships
Robert Half Technology is another organization that supports IT professionals and organizations. Robert Half Technology offers the AITP Scholarship designed for students enrolled in an Information Technology or related program.
Although all students who meet this criterion are encouraged to apply, special consideration will be given to students who actively participate in community service, leadership, and strong academic motivation.
Award Amount: $2,500 for two qualified students enrolled in an Information Technology program
- Applicants must be student members of the Association of Information Technology Professionals
- Must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA
Many organizations recognize and see the value in the growth of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency fields. To help support the next generation of crypto users and the development of the crypto revolution, many organizations offer scholarship programs to help fund higher education. The CryptoPotato scholarship is one such program.
Award Amount: $700 (2 scholarship recipients)
- Undergraduate students enrolled on an economics or computer science course in an accredited college or university in the United States.
- Write and submit an essay (1200 words max) on the future of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology in the modern economy and describe how a real decentralization business model can be beneficial and lucrative for business owners.
The Blockchain Council is a relatively new organization dedicated to the entire Blockchain community, including students and aspiring cryptocurrency professionals. The Blockchain Council also offers a scholarship program.
Click the link above and enter your email address and some basic information to see what scholarship programs are available and which to apply for.
Award Amount: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: Vary
Graduate Tech Scholarships
Many careers in tech fields require more advanced graduate degrees. Although it can be more difficult for students to find scholarships for graduate degrees, many of the same undergraduate scholarship options also offer graduate scholarships.
Here are some tech scholarships for graduate programs:
1. (ISC)2 Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship
The Center for Cyber Safety and Education and (ISC)2 offers undergraduate and graduate scholarships. The good news about this particular program is that there is some flexibility. Students may attend a program on campus or online, full-time or part-time, and in the U.S. or internationally.
Award Amount: $1,000 to $5,000 (up to 20 scholarships awarded to graduate applicants)
- Reward MUST be applied to tuition, fees, and books (and will only be dispersed upon confirmed enrollment)
- Must pursue a Master’s degree or doctoral studies with a focus on cybersecurity
- GPA must be at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale
2. AREMA Graduate Scholarships
The AREMA Educational Foundation provides scholarships to engineering students.
Award Amount: $10,000
- Interest in engineering and/or technology
- Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Available for an interview by the AREMA Scholarship Committee
Where to Find Tech Scholarships for Women
According to a report published by Deloitte at the end of 2021, global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022, which is several points higher than in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
With the global effort to further close the gender gap, more and more women are entering various tech fields. As a result, there are now more scholarship programs than ever, specifically for women in tech.
1. KnowBe4 Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship and Internship
KnowBe4 focuses on creating awareness around the importance of security in organizations. The KnowBe4 scholarship program offers women who are interested in or actively pursuing higher education or a career in cybersecurity up to $10,000 in scholarship awards to be used for education expenses.
The KnowBe4 program also requires scholarship winners to participate in a three-month paid internship at KnowBe4 during the summer.
Award Amount: $10,000
- Must identify as a female pursuing, or plan to pursue, a degree with a focus on cybersecurity, information assurance, or related program or field.
- Must be an undergraduate or graduate student in the fall of 2022. Doctoral students are not eligible.
- GPA must be at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Must be attending an institution in the U.S.
- Participate in a short video interview with KnowBe4
2. AAUW Return to Learning Scholarship
The Lombard Area Branch of AAUW’s “Return to Learning” scholarship is designed to provide a portion of financial aid to women who want to pursue an undergraduate or master’s degree or a certification program.
This scholarship is best for women who have had a substantial gap in applying for or continuing higher education, particularly in STEM, and who are interested in earning an advanced degree or completing a higher education program.
Award Amount: $2,500 (one award)
- Special consideration is given to women who demonstrate strong academics, financial need, and an interest in a STEM field of study
3. Women Techmakers Scholars Program
The Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship program offers several scholarships funded by Google (in memory of Anita Borg). These scholarships are designed for women studying computer science or another tech-related field at an undergraduate or graduate level.
Award Amount: $1,500 – $10,000
- Must have at least one year remaining in program
- Must submit an essay
- Must participate in an interview
- Must participate in a retreat at a local Google office (in the event award is given)
Scholarships for Minorities and Veterans
Many organizations have developed scholarship programs specifically for minority races and veterans who want to re-enter the workforce after serving in the military to support a more diverse and inclusive society and workforce.
Here are some scholarships designed for minorities and veterans:
1. Cisco Veteran Cyber Scholarship Program
This is a different type of scholarship program. Rather than offering a set monetary amount to be put toward a higher education program, this program provides an opportunity to earn a certification from CISCO.
Earning a CISCO certification helps students and even mid-career-level professionals be considered for more advanced opportunities.
2. AFCEA War Veterans Scholarships
The AFCEA scholarship program is for undergraduates only interested in STEM career fields and applies to active-duty members of the U.S. military or honorably discharged members of the U.S. military.
Award Amount: $2,500
- Must be an active duty member of the U.S. military, or an honorably discharged U.S. military veteran
- Applicants must be currently pursuing careers in an eligible STEM major at an accredited university.
3. African American Network of the Carolinas
The African American Network Carolinas chapter offers scholarships to college-bound students from North and South Carolina. They are interested in attending a four-year college or university located in North or South Carolina.
Award Amount: Varies
- Must demonstrate an interest in engineering or computer science, or another tech-related field
- Must be a graduating senior at a North or South Carolina high school and must attend a four-year college or university located in North or South Carolina.
Where to Begin the Tech Scholarship Search
It’s important to note that most scholarships will not cover the entire amount of your tuition. Therefore, it’s important to consider other financial aid options, such as federal government aid and federal or private student loans.
If you work full-time for a company, see if your company offers a tuition reimbursement program as an employee benefit.
However, it can be extremely overwhelming to look for scholarships as a high school student. Where do you even begin? In addition to working with a career counselor, you can also research information at your state grant office.
There are also many free online scholarship search tools, which include the following:
- Fastweb – Fastweb provides a simple tool to search for scholarships, internships, universities, part-time jobs, and more. It’s a great resource for students as it allows them to search for scholarships by category.
- Scholarships.com – The scholarship search feature offered by scholarships.com is another great search resource for students. Students will be required to create an account, set up a personal profile, and then search for scholarships that fit their needs and credentials.
- Sallie Mae – Sallie Mae is an organization that provides students with various higher education financing options, including loans, scholarships, and other helpful resources, such as a college planning calculator.
- ScholarshipOwl.com – Similar to Fastweb and Scholarships.com, ScholarshipOwl allows students and applicants to set up personal profiles, search for scholarships that are related to their attributes and areas of interest.
ScholarshipOwl also offers a service that searches for and matches applicants with scholarship options that meet their specific needs, among a number of other valuable and helpful resources.
Five Things to Consider When Applying for Tech Scholarships
Regardless of your age, enrollment status, or the particular program you are interested in, there are scholarship options available for everyone—you just have to know where to look.
Before you begin diving into performing your scholarship research, here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:
- Apply for scholarships early and as often as possible. Many scholarships are offered throughout the year, so keep searching!
- Most scholarships can be used at any accredited institution, so you can begin applying for scholarships well before you have made up your mind about the college you want to attend.
- Never limit yourself to just ONE scholarship program. Apply for as many as you can that are applicable to you. This only increases your chances of receiving a reward, so what do you have to lose?
- Don’t disregard a scholarship because it doesn’t seem like it will reward enough (such as only $500, $700, or $1,000). Remember, every little bit helps, and it all adds up to money you don’t have to repay.
- Don’t disregard a scholarship because it requires effort. Get ready to write essays or submit letters of recommendation. Again, putting in the time and effort now could save you thousands of dollars.
With the demand for tech professionals higher than ever before, tech-related scholarship programs will continue to increase. Be on the lookout for new programs as they become available, so you don’t miss an opportunity to apply!