Scholarships for Computer Science Students

October 13, 2021

Scholarships for Computer Science Students

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Computer Science Scholarships

Most aspects of society increasingly rely on digital technology, driving high demand for computer science professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 11% job growth in the computer and information technology industry between 2019-2029, nearly three times the projected rate for all occupations. Most positions in the field require at least a bachelor's degree.

Earning a computer science degree can prove a wise investment for the future. Computer science graduates enjoy strong earning potential, with a median annual wage of $88,240 across the industry. However, with higher education costs rising, attending college poses a steep financial burden for many degree candidates. Computer science scholarships can help students in the field keep their educational costs low.

This guide explores the scholarship application process, including tips to help students research scholarship opportunities, prepare their applications, and stay organized. We also highlight some of the best scholarships for computer science majors and outline additional financial aid resources.

How to Get a Computer Science Scholarship

Where can I find scholarships for computer science?

Many organizations sponsor computer science scholarships, including professional associations, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Colleges and universities also offer institutional scholarships.

How do I qualify for a computer science scholarship?

Scholarship eligibility criteria vary, but they frequently include intended major and minimum GPA. Extracurricular activities or work experience related to computer science contribute to a strong application.

How do you pay for a computer science degree?

Financial aid can help reduce the amount that students pay out of pocket. In 2018, 86% of bachelor's-level students received financial aid, including scholarships, grants, work-study opportunities, fellowships, and loans.

Are there many scholarships available for computer science students?

With demand rising for computer science graduates, students enjoy numerous funding opportunities. In addition to specific computer science scholarships, learners may qualify for general STEM scholarships.

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Explore Computer Science Scholarships


Since scholarships do not require repayment, they allow students to achieve their educational goals while incurring less debt. Featuring a few of the many available scholarships for computer science majors, our list helps students jump start their search.

Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship

This scholarship supports female-identifying bachelor's and master's candidates studying computer science and related fields. Applicants should demonstrate leadership, community involvement, and a strong academic record. In addition to scholarship funds, awardees receive a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud subscription and the opportunity to interview for an internship with the company.

Award: $10,000
Deadline: December

AFCEA STEM Majors Scholarships

Applicants for these scholarships must attend an undergraduate STEM program as sophomores or juniors and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. The scholarship program encompasses a general STEM major award as well as individual awards catering to minority students, women, AFCEA members, and students pursuing a course of study related to cybersecurity.

Award: $2,500 - $5,000
Deadline: May

Betty Stevens Frecknall Scholarship

One of several computer science scholarships that the Foundation for IT Education administers, this award benefits full-time bachelor's and associate degree candidates with at least one semester completed. Applicants must hold a 3.0 GPA and demonstrate leadership, financial need, and service to fellow students and IT professionals.

Award: Varies
Deadline: May

SWE Scholarship Program

The Society of Women Engineers awards over 200 scholarships annually to female-identifying undergraduate and graduate students in engineering, technology, and computer science programs. Most scholarships require a minimum 3.5 GPA for incoming freshmen and a 3.0 or higher for sophomores through graduate students. Individual awards may set additional criteria.

Award: $1,000 - $17,000
Deadline: February and May

IEEE President's Scholarship

This scholarship recognizes an outstanding finalist at a Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Science fair projects must relate to the IEEE's focus areas, including electrical engineering and computer science. Regeneron sponsors numerous science fairs throughout the U.S. and internationally. Each fair maintains its own deadline for project submissions.

Award: $10,000
Deadline: Varies

(ISC)^2 Foundation Undergraduate Cybersecurity Scholarship

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education administers up to 20 annual scholarships for students pursuing degrees focused on cybersecurity or information assurance. Applicants need a minimum 3.3 GPA, transcripts, a resume, and a recommendation letter. They must also answer a series of essay questions. The organization also offers scholarships for graduate students.

Award: $1,000 - $5,000
Deadline: March

Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship

Lockheed Martin awards 200 annual scholarships for computer science majors and other STEM majors. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA and attend a full-time, four-year program. Underrepresented populations, including women, members of racial and ethnic minority communities, and first-generation college enrollees receive special consideration.

Award: $10,000
Deadline: April

Microsoft Scholarship Program

Microsoft scholarships benefit learners studying computer science or a related STEM field. Applicants must attend a full-time undergraduate program in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants who demonstrate leadership in diversity issues receive priority consideration. High school seniors may not apply.

Award: Varies
Deadline: To be scheduled

Palantir Future Scholarship

Students from racial or ethnic minority groups underrepresented in STEM qualify for this award. Applicants can major in computer science or a related field. They must submit essays, recommendations, and resumes. In addition to receiving scholarship funds, recipients build interviewing and job search skills through a six-week remote program.

Award: $7,000
Deadline: March

Wayne V. Black Memorial Scholarship Award

ENTELEC, a professional association serving the energy sector, sponsors this scholarship. Bachelor's degree candidates majoring in subjects including engineering, computer science, pre-law, political science, or telecommunications qualify. Applicants must be in good academic standing at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada.

Award: $5,000
Deadline: To be scheduled

Best Practices When Applying for Scholarships


Applicants can increase their chances of winning computer science scholarships by staying organized and targeting the most advantageous opportunities. The next section guides students through the scholarship application process from initial research through final submission. We discuss tips for finding scholarships, preparing application materials, and submitting applications.

Do Your Research

High school guidance counselors and college financial aid officers help students identify scholarship opportunities aligned with their skills, backgrounds, and interests. These dedicated professionals guide students throughout the application process. Online resources such as the College Board and the CareerOneStop scholarship search tool provide a helpful starting point for additional independent research.

Establishing a centralized organizational system early on helps applicants keep track of their scholarships. After compiling a list of possible scholarships, students should decide which opportunities to prioritize. They may focus their effort on scholarships that offer larger awards, or they may choose to work on applications based on deadline date.

Prepare Application Materials in Advance

Financial aid experts recommend starting the scholarship application process as early as possible. Starting early allows applicants to gather and organize materials in time to meet varying deadlines. Additionally, getting a head start on writing essays and personal statements gives students time to craft engaging compositions, seek feedback, and revise carefully.

Students should request recommendation letters early in the process, as many instructors and coaches write multiple recommendations and may not honor last-minute requests. They also need to fill out the FAFSA and collect documents such as transcripts, financial statements, test scores, and proofs of acceptance or enrollment. Scholarship applicants may also need to locate documentation of extracurricular activities, awards, and honors.

Know the Different Scholarship Types

To maximize their success, students should understand the different types of scholarships and tailor their applications to suit the emphasis and requirements of each award for which they qualify.

Merit-based scholarships select recipients based on academic achievement, including high grades. Need-based scholarships focus primarily on supporting students demonstrating financial need. Both types of scholarship may set additional criteria.

Many scholarships, such as computer science scholarships, cater to learners pursuing a specific course of study. Scholarships may also target students based on factors including extracurricular activities, residency, gender, and religion. Some scholarships support specific populations such as veterans, single parents, students from minority backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities.

Pay Attention to Deadlines

Scholarships for computer science majors open and close at various times of year. While many deadlines fall in the spring, some scholarships require students to apply up to a year in advance. For high school students, that often means starting the application process before entering their senior year. Keeping track of deadlines prevents students from missing out on important opportunities or submitting an incomplete or sloppy last-minute application.

Many students use spreadsheets to organize their scholarship lists. Spreadsheets allow applicants to sort scholarships by deadline date. Marking important application dates in a planner or calendar can also help applicants avoid missing deadlines.

Submitting Your Application

Students should aim to submit scholarship applications in advance of the deadline whenever possible. Setting a personal deadline before the actual deadline allows applicants time to correct unforeseen problems and resolve technical complications.

Another person, such as a family member or college counselor, should check over applications thoroughly before submission. This outside perspective can help scholarship applicants spot errors, refine their writing, and make sure that they follow directions correctly to fulfill the application requirements. This final review should include a spelling and grammar check.

Financial Aid Resources for Computer Science Students


Computer science students enjoy access to many forms of aid that can bridge the gap between college savings and tuition. Federal and state grants, military aid, and fellowships typically do not require repayment. Like scholarships, these "gift aid" resources help students reduce their educational expenses and graduate with less debt.

The United States government uses the FAFSA to determine grant eligibility. To qualify for many federal grants, including Pell Grants, students must demonstrate financial need. Computer science students pursuing teaching careers may qualify for TEACH grants. The grants require recipients to commit to four years of teaching high-need subjects, including science. State education grants typically benefit residents attending in-state institutions. Programs and eligibility requirements vary by state, but students must usually complete the FAFSA for consideration. Primarily need-based, state grants may also include merit-based criteria, target specific majors, or support populations such as first-generation college students. Military-affiliated students benefit from several educational funding programs. Tuition Assistance supports active-duty and reserve personnel. Enlisted service members, veterans, and dependents can access GI Bill benefits, covering books, supplies, tuition, and housing. Additional sources of military aid include the Yellow Ribbon Program, college fund programs, and loan repayment programs. Most common at the graduate level, fellowships provide merit-based, repayment-free funding; they also often include both tuition and stipends. Academic institutions offer internal fellowships, which may require recipients to work in teaching, administrative, or research capacities. Nonprofit foundations, businesses, and government agencies also sponsor fellowships. Fellowship applications typically require service commitments or project proposals.

Ilana Hamilton

Ilana Hamilton lives in Portland, Oregon, where she studied English at Reed College. After an early career in visual media, Ilana returned professionally to her love of the written word. She now works as a writer and editor while raising two children and performing as a storyteller.

See articles by Ilana

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