Software Engineering Scholarships Programs Fully Funded, software development has become the backbone of our daily lives, from driving cars to controlling robots. In addition to technological advances, the software field continues to evolve rapidly. As a result, companies are constantly looking for new ways to innovate.
As demand increases for computer programmers, more colleges and universities are offering programs designed to train students for careers in this growing field. While most schools don’t provide specific engineering courses, they often include introductory programming classes.
Who is a Software Engineer
Software engineers play an integral role in building products and services used daily. As such, they are in high demand and pay exceptionally well. Some software engineers even make six figures.
While earning a degree in computer science has traditionally been considered necessary to land a job as a software engineer, recent developments indicate that technology companies are beginning to favor candidates who have taken a course in a related field.
This trend may reduce the number of students attending traditional colleges and universities interested in becoming software engineers. However, the same trends that are leading to increased employment opportunities for software engineers are driving higher enrollment at schools offering programs in computer science and information systems. Many top tech companies provide tuition assistance to those taking college classes, encouraging students to pursue these fields.
However, due to the shortage of qualified applicants in these areas, most scholarship programs focus on those studying computer science and information systems rather than those looking at other engineering disciplines. Students considering pursuing a computer science or information system program may lack access to funding available to students studying traditional engineering degrees.
Software Engineering Scholarships Overview
Fortunately, several organizations provide funds geared explicitly toward providing aid to qualifying individuals pursuing education programs in various technical fields, including computer science and information systems-related fields. These organizations include the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Microsoft Corporation.
The NSF offers grants supporting research conducted under its primary discipline areas of mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, computing, transportation, and economics. NASA provides fellowships allowing eligible applicants to receive financial support for graduate school, professional development training, or research expenses, among other things. Microsoft supports undergraduate students who wish to enter the company’s internship program.
For prospective computer science or information systems students, eligibility requirements vary between scholarships. For example, the NSF requires applicants to hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year institution. The NSF states that applicants should have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better and show evidence of involvement in community service activities.
Microsoft allows applicants to apply without meeting minimum standards, provided they plan to enroll in one of the company’s internships. Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter describing their interests in the company and what they hope to learn from the internship. They must also complete an application form and upload two letters of recommendation.
To qualify for a fellowship supported by NASA, applicants must first obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. To demonstrate commitment to space exploration, they must select either a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) major or a non-STEM major based on their interest in a specific area of aerospace engineering.
Students pursuing a master’s degree in computer science should meet specific criteria set forth by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). According to ACM guidelines, applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, demonstrated leadership ability, possess solid problem-solving skills, and participate in various extracurricular programming projects.
Software Engineering Scholarships Programs Available
A wide range of software engineering scholarship programs exists to assist participants in attaining higher education—from large national organizations to smaller grant programs offered directly by educational institutions and private foundations.
Here are just a handful of scholarships available exclusively to students pursuing education in computer science and information system fields.
American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)
ASTD sponsors a scholarship fund for software engineering students interested in developing their careers in the nonprofit sector. Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time in an accredited academic institution and intend to pursue a career in human resources management, public relations, fundraising, marketing, communications, or related fields. Students may not already be employed in these positions at the time of application.
Association for Computing Machinery (ACMP)
The ACMP awards scholarships to computer science students, including those with disabilities. Scholarships include:
- ACMP Student Fellowship Award – $5,000 per year for up to three years;
- ACMP Student Research Grant – $2,500 per year for up to five years;
- ACM/IEEE Computer Science Student Paper Competition – $1,000 per year for each paper presented at the annual conference;
- ACM Graduate Student Travel Awards – $3,000 per year for travel expenses associated with attending conferences.
Association for Women in Science (AWIS)
AWIS offers several scholarships to women who wish to pursue graduate studies in computer science. Scholarship recipients receive tuition assistance as well as stipends for living expenses.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The NSF provides funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The foundation also supports research grants for faculty members.
National Security Agency (NSA)
NSA offers fellowships that provide financial support to students pursuing degrees in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, operations research, statistics, and other disciplines. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
United States Department of Defense (DoD)
- Army Research Office (ARO) Fellowships – $10,000 per year for two years;
- Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Fellowships – Up to $20,000 per year for four years;
- Navy Postdoctoral Program (Navy PDP) – $15,000 per year for three years;
- Naval Research Lab (NRL) Fellowships- $25,000 per year for one year;
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fellowships -$7,500 annually for two years.
University of California (UC) System
UC offers several software engineering scholarships to students majoring in computer science. Scholarship recipients may apply for the following programs:
- UC Berkeley Undergraduate Summer Research Experience (BSURE) – $6,000 per summer;
- UC Irvine Undergraduate Summer Research Experience- $8,000 per summer;
- The UC San Diego Undergraduate Summer Research Experience – $5,000 per summer;
- UC Santa Barbara Undergraduate Summer Research Experience– $5,000 per semester.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
UIUC offers several scholarships to students studying computer sciences. Scholarships include:
- College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Scholarships – $5,000 annually for four years;
- College of Engineering Graduate Research Scholarships – $2,000 annually for four summers.
- The College of Computing Undergraduate Research Scholarships- $5,000 a semester for four semesters.
University of Michigan (UM)
UM offers several scholarships to students interested in pursuing careers in computer science. Scholarship recipients are eligible to apply for the following programs offered by the university:
- Computer Science and Technology Education Fellowship – $1,000 per semester for up to five semesters;
- Computational Mathematics and Data Analysis Fellowship – $1,200 per semester for up to six semesters;
- Cybersecurity Fellowship – $1,600 per semester for up to eight semesters;
- Information Systems Leadership Fellowship – $3,000 per semester for four semesters;
- Software Engineering Fellowship – $1,800 per semester for up to 10 semesters;
- Theoretical Foundations of Computer Science Fellowship – $1,400 per semester for up to 12 semesters;
- High-Performance Computing Fellowship – $1,250 per semester for 28 semesters
- Machine Learning Fellowship – $1,750 per semester for 32 semesters;
- Network Security Fellowship – $1,350 per semester for 34 semesters;
- Robotics Fellowship – $1,550 per semester for 38 semesters;
- Scientific Visualization Fellowship – $1,650 per semester for 40 semesters;
- Web Services Fellowship – $1,850 per semester for 42 semesters.
University of Washington (UW)
UW offers several scholarships to students pursuing computer science degrees or related fields. Some of these awards include:
- Computer Science Student Summer Fellowships – $4,000 per summer;
- Computer Science Student Internships – $10,000 per internship;
In conclusion, computer science often seems like a challenging career choice because it requires such high levels of technical expertise, but if you have the right stuff, you can always find ways to build skills. Start by finding a software engineering scholarship program to apply to, and if you’re accepted, enroll in their first semester.
Not only will it put you on the path toward becoming a software engineer earlier than most others, but it also has the potential to pay off big time.