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Education and Training

Scholarships And Grants

A college degree and postgraduate study are extremely expensive undertakings that require many students to seek out scholarships and other forms of financial aid to help reduce or defer the cost of their educations.

Scholarships and cash grants and awards are available from a wide variety of sources—from the government and the colleges themselves to private and public educational institutions, professional associations and corporations, and even contests. The FIRST Robotics Competition is one example of scores of contests that offer scholarships as prizes, as do science fairs and competitions sponsored by high-tech companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and GE. Many of these competitions are geared specifically toward robotics and engineering and offer the winner not only financial rewards, but also another item on his or her résumé to help influence a college admissions board.

The Society of Mechanical Engineers is one example of a professional organization that offers scholarships and grants and also has created its own education foundation “as a means of transforming manufacturing education in North American colleges and universities,” according to the foundation's Web site. Since it began in 1980, the foundation has awarded more than $15.5 million in cash grants, scholarships, and awards for manufacturing education. Information on how to apply for these scholarships is available by contacting the granting organizations directly, many of which can be found in books such as The College Board Scholarship Handbook 2007, published by the College Board.

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