More and more colleges and universities are offering degrees in cognitive science. The study of the human mind and its processes, this major is highly interdisciplinary and crosses several fields of study, from biology to computer science and back again.

In addition to the more obvious applications of cognitive science in studies and developments in artificial intelligence, cognitive science also plays a large role in several other areas. For example, engineers and researchers developing Google’s self-driving car have spent a great deal of time and effort studying the way people drive, the patterns we notice and repeat, our reactions, etc. By better understanding a human driver, they can better design a self-driving car that is both safe and efficient.

With more projects like this in the works every single day, there’s no question that more cognitive scientists will be in high demand in the coming years. As a result, there are now a number of cognitive science scholarships available to students interested in studying the human mind and answering questions about how we think, feel, and act.

Where to Find Cognitive Science Scholarships

If you are interested in pursuing an education in cognitive science, but you are worried that you won’t be able to afford the cost of an undergraduate or graduate degree in your field, you have a lot of options available to you. First of all, take a look at the United States Defense Education Program’s SMART Scholarship.

In this case, SMART stands for Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation. Its goal is to, “Increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories,” (http://smart.asee.org/). Students who are accepted will not only receive a full scholarship for their studies but will also be guaranteed employment with the Department of Defense upon graduation.

If you are a woman in hopes of breaking into this highly male-dominated field, you may qualify for one of the awards or scholarships available through WiCS (Women in Cognitive Science) or AWIS (the Association of Women in Science).

You may also want to search general college scholarship databases – such as ScholarshipChart.com for cognitive science scholarships that apply to your specialization, your school, and to you as a student. The more scholarships you can find and apply for, the better chance you’ll have of winning one (or more) and getting funding for your education.

Applying for Cognitive Science Scholarships

As you search for cognitive science scholarships, don’t waste your time on scholarships that you do not qualify for. If you do not fall within the parameters laid out in the instructions for the scholarship, move on to the next scholarship on your list. This way you’ll save time and you’ll be able to focus on the scholarships that you are more likely to win.

When you have a good list of a few scholarships that you qualify for, you can begin setting your schedule for applications. Get your calendar out and mark down when each scholarship application is due. Then mark a date at least two weeks before that as your personal goal deadline to have everything finished. This will give you a little bit of breathing room if something goes wrong.

Re-read all of the information included with your scholarship application and make sure that you have everything necessary to complete it. Working backwards from your scholarship deadline, set milestones and goals along the way to spread the work out over the weeks or months between now and when you have to have your scholarship application completed.

For example, your final draft of your essay should be completed by or before your goal deadline to have everything finished. You should have a personal deadline to talk with your teacher or counselor about a reference letter (if applicable) well in advance of this to give them plenty of time to complete it. Likewise, give yourself plenty of time to get your transcript from your high school and any other required information.

You can stay on top of your scholarship applications by keeping them organized in a binder or in file folders. Keep copies of everything you’ll be sending with your scholarship, and, if you’re mailing your application in, be sure to select a shipping option that allows you to track it along its way.

Cognitive science is a growing field with a lot of exciting and interesting things happening in it. You can join this world and learn about behavioral science, psychology, biology, chemistry, artificial intelligence, and much, much more if you pursue an academic career in this field. And you can make your college career a great deal more affordable with the help of the cognitive science scholarships listed in this article, along with many others available to students like you.

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