Community College STEM Scholarships

The Community College STEM Scholarship provides a one-year, non-renewable award of $2,000 for students enrolled full time during the award period at one of Virginia’s Community Colleges. Students must be majoring in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field and be interested in pursuing a career that supports NASA’s mission including careers in the aerospace sector. Allied Health Sciences majors are not eligible for this program.

Applications: Due March 8

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.

• Encourage 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
• Increase participation of underrepresented minorities, females, and students with disabilities in aeronautics, space, and STEM fields
• Implement the goals of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and NASA

More information about NASA’s five mission directorates can be found in the links below:

Aeronautics Research
Exploration Systems Development
Space Operations
Space Technology

• 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 the time of application
• Be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more) during the award period
• Majoring in a STEM program of study
• Grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Statement of your academic and career goals – a brief written statement by the applicant relating to how their degree will help them prepare for a technical career in a STEM field that will support one of NASA’s mission directorates. Indicate your plans for future academic preparation including pursuing an undergraduate four-year degree or beyond.

Plan of Study – an outline of your intended coursework for the sophomore year of your STEM associate degree program (including credit hours and name of course per semester).

Resume – 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 – 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 online 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.

Transcript– an unofficial transcript 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 online 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 in contact information
• Must be enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 hours) during the award period
• Awardees must respond to academic and employment follow-up surveys
• Awardees may be asked to discuss their studies in public forums
• Attend a webinar about future opportunities.
• At the completion of the award period, 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  (e.g. a list of presentations made, awards, or honors), attendance at the Student Research Conference
     • Employment or future educational plans.

Disposition of Unused Funds:

  1. Release of $1,500 after VSGC has received the acceptance form and all supporting documents.
  2. Release of $500 after attending the Student Research Conference.
  3. If the scholarship recipient terminates his/her academic program during the award period, the community college is required to return a prorated share of the scholarship award to the VSGC. Any unused funds should be returned.