Engineering Grants for College Students in the United States

Engineering is one of the favorite courses for many students in the United States. One main reason is that engineering can lead to many lucrative careers such as jobs in the fields of manufacturing, computer technology, science, building and construction, teaching and even in medicine. However, despite its popularity, the United States is concerned that its engineering students are falling behind their international peers with regards to academic competitiveness. Thus, the government is encouraging these students to become more competitive through an engineering grant.
The federal government has launched many grants to improve the academic excellence of its students. One such engineering grant is the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant provides a maximum of $5,350 per student for the school year 2009-2010. To qualify for the award, the student must come from poor families. Students are assessed using a “financial need” formula which is based from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) criteria
In addition to the Pell Grant, the federal government has added other grants to improve science and mathematics skills. These grants include the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant. The Academic Competitiveness Grant is offered to intelligent freshman and sophomore college students. The students must also show that they finished a rigorous high school curriculum. This grant awards each student a maximum of $750 in the first year and $1,300 in the second year. The engineering students must maintain an average grade of 3.0.

The National SMART Grant is available for college students in the third and fourth years of academic life. It is available only for students studying mathematics, engineering, technology, chemistry and the sciences. The grant will provide up to $4,000 for each undergraduate student. Just like the Academic Competitiveness Grant, the student must maintain a 3.0 average grade. To qualify for both grants, the student must be eligible to receive a Pell Grant and a U.S. citizen. The student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for the grants.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has also collaborated with other academic institutions to establish engineering grants. One engineering grant is Washington State’s Northwest Engineering Talent Expansion Partnership with NSF. This grant aims to improve the number of students who are enrolled in engineering degrees. Another program is the Computer Science Engineering Mathematics Scholarship. It is available for undergraduate students who are interested in the engineering discipline.

Aside from the federal government, there are many organizations that have launched their own engineering grant. Such organizations include IBM Research, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and the Anita Borg Scholarship. IBM Research offers grants to Native Americans, Hispanics and African Americans, while the Anita Borg Scholarship supports the education of women interested in computer engineering. For students who are interested in an engineering grant, the American Society for Engineering Education has a list of grants and fellowships available in the country.