Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Financial Aid Opportunities Grow For Students Pursuing Degrees in Science and Technology
Due to the fact that American students have recently scored poorly in the science and math sections of standardized tests, President Obama recently unveiled initiatives to improve educational programs in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. These efforts have been extended to the higher education sector, inspiring many organizations, institutions and state governments to promote education on STEM subjects.
Fortunately for students, many of these initiatives include financial incentives to help them complete campus-based or online degree programs in these fields. Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced his support of a $100 million program to help students pursuing STEM-related degrees or certificates.
The STEM Challenge Scholarship program is intended to foster regional partnerships between colleges, school districts and employers in order to create and distribute financial aid awards in order to attract students to degree programs and careers in related industries.
Governor Perry said the scholarship program is intended to "encourage higher education institutions to design STEM programs that meet local employer needs, while providing Texas students the opportunity to pursue the education they need as they fulfill their potential." He also proposed a plan to expand the state's UTeach program, which provides tuition assistance to college students pursuing teaching careers in math and science.
Currently, the state provides $80 million to universities to help them increase their graduation rates, particularly in STEM fields. Prospective employers in these industries are launching similar initiatives to entire students to pursue STEM-related careers. For example, Tech Collective, a Rhode Island-based information technology (IT) and bioscience association, recently partnered with three other organizations to launch scholarship programs for students working toward degrees in IT-related subjects.
A total of five scholarships worth $7,000 are available through three different awards. The Lighthouse Computer Services/Tech Collective scholarship will provide two $1,000 awards to high school or college students who are working pursuing careers in the IT industry and have some affiliation with the U.S. military.