When determining how to pay for a computer science degree, some people overlook scholarships as a way of offsetting college costs. In this guide, prospective students can find a comprehensive list of computer science scholarships, details about creating a standout scholarship application, ideas for alternative ways to pay for school, and links to additional funding resources.
There are a variety of scholarships available to computer science students, including grants, fellowships and assistantships. Explore dozens of applicable computer science scholarships below.
The scholarship process can be intimidating and detailed. In the following steps below, find ideas to help make the scholarship process easier and increase student’s opportunities at receiving financial aid to pay for college.
It’s important for computer science students to look at their preferred field of study. What area of computer science are they interested in? Is there anything specific? If so, this can help narrow down scholarship choices.
After students decide on a program, they should look at college-specific scholarships, which may be less competitive than general scholarships. This financial aid resource is a good place to also search college aid options.
Potential students should speak with their guidance counselor, visit a career center, or contact state or local agencies. This is a great time for students to understand what is available to them in the computer science field from outside sources.
Computer science students may have a hard time applying for every opportunity available to them. Therefore, they should first determine which scholarships best suit their needs as well as which scholarships best match up with their experience. An excellent way to approach this is by creating an organizational chart or list of the scholarships they plan on applying for, including deadlines, requirements and any other information pertinent to the application process.
Transcripts and letters of recommendation are typically required as part of scholarship applications. Students should give references and schools as much time as possible to gather the materials for the scholarship application.
On the scholarship application, students should evaluate their background in relation to the computer science field. For example, has the student been involved in a math club, received scientific awards or earned academic honors? Providing this information give applicants a competitive edge in getting scholarships.
Personal statements and essays are a major component of scholarship applications. To get them done, students should create deadlines for themselves to complete first drafts, revise them and finalize them. These deadlines should build in time for mentors or other trusted sources to review students’ work and offer feedback.
Personal statements are an essential part of a students’ application. It is the best way for the reviewers to get to know the student and see why she or he is the best fir for a scholarship. Personal statements should typically outline a student’s experience in computer science, explain why that student is a good fit for the specific scholarship, and make a case that the student should receive funding.
When it comes to paying for college, computer science students should consider every funding method. While scholarships and financial aid may be the most attractive options for offsetting college costs, there are also other ways for students to finance their education.
People save for big events in life. College is a pretty big event, so students shouldn’t be afraid to use their savings to pay for a degree program. As soon as people know they want to pursue a college education, they should begin a college savings account. Whether it buys books for a semester or pays for the entire tuition, any savings is helpful in the long run.
Students looking for additional savings help can ask friends and family for assistance by crowdsourcing funds via websites such as Go Fund Me.
Student loans are another option. While loans are the most-utilized form of college financial aid, students must keep in mind that loans come with interest rates. However, many student loans do not start tacking on interest until after graduation, and other student loans have no interest at all. One organization that offers interest-free student loans is The Bill Raskob Foundation.
With the continued increase of people wanting to pursue a degree or return to school, many companies have begun offering tuition reimbursement programs. These programs cover anything from a small percentage of the program to the entire cost. Tech companies such as Microsoft and Google offer reimbursement programs in the computer science industry, along with many others.
Aside from standard degrees in education, there are also shorter programs and certificates available for students to further their education. These programs generally offer cost savings and should be considered. Certificates from academies such as the National Computer Science Academy are one option. There are also many industry- and company-sponsored certificates. Students should talk with their guidance office or other mentors to discuss opportunities outside of the traditional track.
This site gives a detailed list of 50 scholarships available to computer science students along with information about deadlines and requirements. Computer science students can visit each scholarship’s website to dig deeper into the scholarship of interest.Google for Education
Google offers a private scholarship for students being educated in computer science. This resource breaks down the application process and requirements for this option.Microsoft
Microsoft offers scholarships for students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. These scholarships are great for students looking to further their careers.National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation offers students scholarships specifically in the computer science area of study. The site gives students information about funding, scholarships and industry news.Society of Women Engineers
This resource gives women in the fields of engineering, engineering technology and computer science information and options for scholarships in their respective fields. The society provides its own scholarships for these fields, all of which have individual requirements.