If you are a budding scientist, engineer, computer programmer, or mathematician, you have a lot of opportunities available to you, thanks to STEM scholarships. As you may already know, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and these fields of study are in high demand right now.

With technology progressing at mind-blowing rates and new innovations happening every day in science and medicine, we need more researchers, developers, scientists, and engineers than ever before. Because this need is so clear to both our government and private sector corporations, there are also a lot of really great ways to fund your education in STEM subjects.

Where to Look for STEM Scholarships

If you are interested in pursuing an academic and professional career in a STEM discipline, but you don’t know if you can afford the tuition for an outstanding program, you’re not alone. Fortunately there are a lot of STEM scholarships available to students just like you.

If you know where to look for these funding opportunities, you’ll be on your way. To begin with, check out the database of scholarships and grants at ScholarshipChart.com. Here you can search for scholarships based on keywords.

Instead of sifting through thousands of STEM scholarships that don’t apply to you, you can narrows your search down to something like, “STEM scholarships, women” or “STEM scholarships, biology”.

How to Apply for STEM Scholarships – Start With FAFSA

Of course, finding a few STEM scholarships that you qualify for is only the beginning of the process. Whether you want to fund your entire college career or you’re just trying to graduate with a reasonable amount of student loan debt, follow these tips when applying for scholarships.

First and foremost, you’ll need to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form will include tax and income information for you (and your parents if you’re an independent student), and it will go to both the federal government and the schools you’re applying to. With the information provided in your FAFSA, both the government and your intended school(s) will be able to determine how much and what kind of financial aid you qualify for.

Filling out and filing a FAFSA is always a good place to start. It will give you a good idea of how much aid you can expect from your school and from need-based funding opportunities like Pell grants.

Choosing Scholarships to Apply For

Once you’ve filled out your FAFSA, it’s time to start picking and choosing which scholarships you want to apply for. Now, the more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you are to get funding, but you don’t want to just apply for every STEM scholarship you find.

Why not? First, there are thousands of STEM scholarships out there, but not all of them apply to you and/or your field of study. Some scholarships are only available for certain schools or for certain majors. Some are only applicable to students of Asian or Islander descent. Some are only available to women, and the list goes on.

As you choose the scholarships you’re going to apply for, you should select them based on several criteria. Ask yourself these questions when deciding whether or not to continue with the application process:

  • Do I meet the requirements for this scholarship?
  • Does this scholarship apply to my school and my major?
  • Can I complete the application process in time for the deadline?

As you make your selections, keep timing in mind. How much time can you schedule for scholarship applications before deadlines start coming due? And, as you fill in that schedule, don’t forget to choose a couple of smaller, lesser-known scholarships with less competition in addition to the larger, more lucrative scholarships.

Read All Instructions and Stick to Your Schedule

Once you’ve made your choices, read through all of the requirements for each of the scholarships you’re applying for again. If you do not meet any of the requirements for any of the STEM scholarships you’ve chosen, move on and choose another scholarship. You do not want to jeopardize your chances of getting funding by pursuing a scholarship that you won’t even be considered for.

After that, set your schedule and stick to it. Leave plenty of time to let your professors write great letters of recommendation, and don’t leave your essay to the last minute. Work consistently, and you’ll get each application done before deadline. Good luck!

Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com

ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarshipsgrants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.