Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines are flourishing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM professionals earned a median annual salary of $95,420 in 2021. That totals more than double the median salary for non-STEM employees. But you typically must earn a college degree to access STEM's most lucrative jobs. Many students rely on loans to pay for college.
Today, 43 million Americans hold an average of nearly $40,000 in student debt each –– and that number continues to grow every year. Scholarships help students earn a degree with less debt. Instead of feeling saddled by student loans for decades, scholarship recipients enter the workforce with more financial freedom. As demand for tech professionals continues to grow much faster than average, scholarships help students complete their IT degrees. Major tech companies, professional associations, and other organizations offer scholarships for IT students. These scholarships come with a variety of eligibility requirements and include need-based and merit scholarships. Many information technology scholarships also support groups that are underrepresented in IT, including women, Black, Latino/a, and Indigenous professionals. This guide introduces a selection of the many information technology scholarships available for students.
Many students take out loans to enjoy the benefits of a master's degree. The master of business administration (MBA) is one of the most popular degrees. In June 2022, Payscale reported an average salary of $92,000 for MBA graduates. However, the total national student loan debt continues to increase each year. According to the Education Data Initiative, over half of master's degree holders owe an average of $70,000.
Doug Wintemute is a Toronto-based freelance writer interested in higher learning and entertainment. The STEM field has a disproportionately low number of women in its ranks. According to the National Science Board, women represent just 21% of engineering majors and 19% of computer and information technology majors. Historically, STEM jobs have been stereotyped as masculine careers, discouraging women from pursuing these roles -- or causing their parents and mentors to discourage them. Finances can be an issue, too.
If you're returning to school and looking for financial aid, you may have heard about the importance of completing the FAFSA. But what is the FAFSA? The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the form college students fill out to determine their eligibility for financial aid. Every postsecondary school in the U.S. requires students seeking financial aid to complete the FAFSA. Doing so can make you eligible to receive scholarships, subsidized loans, grants, and other financial aid.