Community College STEM Scholarship Program
Students must apply during their second semester of freshman year of community college enrollment for an award that will begin in the sophomore year. This is a competitive scholarship program based on academic merit funded by NASA and the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizing high academic achievement and promise. The number of awards is contingent upon available funding.
• Encouraging students engaged in associate degree programs who are preparing for careers in technology fields essential to America’s industrial and technological competitiveness, particularly those with aerospace and STEM relevance
• Increasing participation of underrepresented minorities, females and students with disabilities in aeronautics, space and STEM fields
• Implementing the goals of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
More information about NASA four Mission Directorates can be found in the links below:
Space Technology Mission – Rapidly develops, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through transparent, collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise.
Aeronautics Research – Enable a safer, more secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly air transportation system.
Human Exploration & Operations – NASA space operations related to human exploration in and beyond low Earth orbit.
Science – Advancing Earth System Science to meet the challenges of climate and environmental change
• Must be a U.S. citizen
• Currently enrolled in a Virginia Community College and have completed at least one semester of coursework (minimum of 9 credit hours) at time of application (spring 2021)
• Be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more) during the award period (2021-2022)
• Majoring in a STEM program of study
• Grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
• Expect to graduate no sooner than May 2022 or later
Statement of your academic and career goals – a brief written statement by the applicant relating to how his/her degree will help them prepare for a technical career in aerospace or a STEM field that will support NASA’s mission. Indicate your plans for future academic preparation including pursuing an undergraduate four-year degree or beyond.
Plan of Study – submit an outline of your intended coursework for the sophomore year of your STEM associate degree program.
Resume – submit a short summary of your education, work or military experience and any significant accomplishments (e.g. honors or awards) or any other relevant information
Letters of Recommendation – provide the names and contact information for two references of which one must be the applicant’s current faculty advisor. Letters of recommendation should assess the applicant’s technical and /or academic potential as well as his/her progress and academic achievements. The on-line application system will contact both references via email to request a letter of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. We suggest that you inform both of your references that they will receive an email from the VSGC in reference to your application. Your references will be provided with a link to submit their recommendations.
VSGC must receive both recommendations for your application to be complete.
For help on writing a letter of recommendation, CLICK HERE.
Transcript– An unofficial transcript with all grades through Fall semester 2020 is required and can be submitted as a PDF in the online application. If the applicant is selected to receive an award then an official transcript will be required at acceptance. If the applicant does not have a PDF conversion tool, links to free on-line PDF converters are provided in the application
• Awardees must provide a head-shot photo electronically
• Awardees must provide biographical information upon selection
• Awardees must inform the VSGC of changes of contact information
• Must be enrolled full time (minimum of 18 hours) during the award period
• Awardees must respond to academic and employment follow-up surveys
• Awardees must may be asked to discuss their studies in public forums
• At the completion of the award period, but no later than May 7, 2022, the scholarship recipient must submit a brief, written report on their experience as a Virginia Space Grant Community College STEM Scholar. The report should address:
• Academic progress, including degree granted (if applicable)
• The impact the award has made on plans to pursue future technical training or a baccalaureate or higher degree
• Significant results of the recipient’s experience (e.g. a list of presentations made, awards, graphics or honors), attendance at the VSGC Student Research Conference in April 2022.
• Employment or future educational plans.
Disposition of Unused Funds:
- Release of $1,500 after VSGC has received the acceptance form and all supporting documents.
- Release of $500 after attending Student Research Conference in March/ April.
- If an the scholarship recipient terminates his/her academic program during the 2021–2022 academic year, the Community College is required to return a prorated share of the scholarship award to the VSGC. Any unused funds should be returned to us.
March 12, 2021: Applications are due before 11:59 p.m.
March 19, 2021: Letters of recommendation are due before 11:59 p.m.
Early April 2021: Awards will be announced in April 2021 with funding provided to students through their community college for the 2021–2022 academic year beginning with the Fall 2021 semester.
Application link can be found here.
A printable flyer for the Community College STEM Research Scholarship Program can be found here.