More and more tech companies are beginning to recognize a need to welcome underrepresented groups into their workforces. That’s why this may be the perfect time for black and Latinx tech enthusiasts to consider a degree in computer science.
And luckily, would-be minority tech scholars don’t need to go it alone. Grant and scholarship opportunities abound for promising black and Latinx students who are interested in pursuing a career in computer science.
Here are five outstanding scholarship opportunities for black and Latinx students in technology:
Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship Program, $1,000 to $10,000. Minority students who are enrolled in a degree program in the technical sciences or engineering disciplines are eligible to apply for this award from Xerox, provided they have an excellent academic record. The scholarship exists to reflect Xerox’s stated commitment to the academic success of all minority students. For more information, visit https://www.xerox.com/en-us/jobs/minority-scholarships. Deadline: Sept. 30.
Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation Scholarship Program $3,000. This unusual scholarship is designed for women and minority students who are graduating from high school or already enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program to pursue degrees that will lead to careers in computer and video game arts. For more information, visit http://www.esafoundation.org/scholarship.asp. Deadline: April 1.
Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC), $500-$10,000. HENAAC seeks to pave the way for future generations of Hispanics in technology. Awards go to students pursuing science, technology, engineering or math degrees, and in addition to a merit-based scholarship, it includes transportation support for recipients to attend the HENAAC STEM Career Conference. For more information, visit http://www.greatmindsinstem.org/college/henaac-scholarship-application-guidelines. Deadline: April 30.
The Generation Google Scholarship, $10,000. This one-time scholarship targets aspiring computing and technology scholars from underrepresented groups (African American, Hispanic, American Indian, or Filipino/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). The award recognizes students who are passionate about computer science and technology, and it is for current high school seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students. The scholarship requires those recipients who are entering their first year of college to attend Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute; other recipients may attend if they choose. To apply, visit https://www.google.com/edu/scholarships/the-generation-google-scholarship/. Deadline: Dec. 1.
Microsoft Scholarship Program, full tuition for one year. The Microsoft Corporation provides one-year tuition scholarships to encourage students to pursue studies in computer science and related STEM disciplines. The award is for students who are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year institution. The guidelines note that Microsoft is especially committed to offering scholarships to people from backgrounds that have historically been underrepresented in the technical field. “We prioritize scholarship applications that demonstrate exceptional leadership work in the promotion of diversity in STEM disciplines at their universities,” the website states. For more information, visit https://careers.microsoft.com/students/scholarships. Deadline: Jan. 26.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, full tuition through graduation. Minority students who intend to study computer science, STEM, or select non-STEM majors can apply to this program, which offers 1,000 new full-ride scholarships per year. The program aims to promote academic excellence, and applicants must be Pell Grant-eligible students of color. The $1.6 billion initiative is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Fields supported include computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, and the sciences, where minority students are severely underrepresented. The average annual award is $12,785. To apply, visit http://www.gmsp.org. Deadline: Jan. 13.
Ron Brown Scholar Program, $40,000. While this scholarship is not specifically earmarked for students in technology, it is a generous program for young African American students who demonstrate outstanding promise. Ron Brown scholars receive $10,000 per year for four years to pursue the degree of their choice at the U.S. college of their choice. The program also offers mentorship, service, and leadership opportunities, in addition to the money. The goal of the program is to encourage public service and civic engagement in the spirit of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce (and the first African American person to hold a cabinet post), Ronald H. Brown. Since 1996, there have been more than three hundred Ron Brown Scholars. Applicants must be graduating seniors and African American. To apply, visit https://www.ronbrown.org. Deadline: Nov. 1, early applicant deadline; Jan. 9, final postmark deadline.
RMHC/HACER National Scholarship, $100,000. Ronald McDonald House Charities offers a four-year renewable scholarship to students with at least one parent of Hispanic heritage. These scholarships are not specific to students seeking a technology degree, but are based on overall academic achievement. All who apply are also automatically considered for a local RMHC/HACER scholarship of $1,000 or more. For more information, visit http://www.meencanta.com/hacer/en/requirements.html. Deadline: Jan. 20.