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STEM Scholars Program

Interested in a STEM Degree?

Scholarships are available through the S-STEM Grant Program

Funded through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) S-STEM Program (Award ID 1834041), these scholarships award eligible students with up to $7,000/year for each of their four years at PLU.
Application deadline is March 1, 2020. 

FAQs

Answer: The STEM Scholars Program at Pacific Lutheran University is a unique opportunity for students with academic promise, an interest in pursuing a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) discipline, and demonstrated financial need. Funded by an S-STEM grant to PLU from the National Science Foundation (Award Number 1834041), the STEM Scholars program will provide selected students both financial and programmatic support to facilitate successful completion of their PLU degree.

Answer: We anticipate that we will be able to award up to 14 STEM Scholars Program scholarships for students beginning at PLU in Fall 2020.

Answer: The maximum value of a STEM Scholars Program scholarship is $7,000 per academic year. This is a federally funded, need-based scholarship. Thus, the amount you can receive is limited by your financial need as determined by the U.S. Department of Education rules for need-based Federal financial aid based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. However, a STEM Scholars Program scholarship can be used to replace loans and/or work study.

These rules define financial need as the Cost of Attendance (COA) for an institution minus the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) for the student. STEM Scholars Scholarships can be renewed for up to a total of four years of financial support as long as recipients maintain eligibility and meet the requirements of the STEM Scholars program.

Answer: The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • admission as a full-time, first-year student at PLU
  • academic promise as indicated by high school GPA of 3.2 or above.
  • interest in pursuing a STEM degree
  • financial need (FAFSA required)

Answer: STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. At PLU, the various degrees in STEM are offered through the Division of Natural Sciences. Possible PLU STEM majors include:

Students interested in our Dual-Degree Engineering Program are also eligible for the STEM Scholars Program, although they will not be able to use their STEM Scholars scholarship for completion of their engineering degree at one of our partner institutions.

NOTE: Due to NSF restrictions, the STEM Scholars Program is NOT intended to support students interested in Pre-Health fields (including pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, nursing, kinesiology, and other clinical fields).

Answer: Unfortunately, at this time, the STEM Scholars Program is available only to first-year students and not to transfer students. However, Running Start students are welcome to apply.

Answer: You must first apply to and be admitted to PLU, complete the FAFSA, and then complete an on-line application, including 3 short (400 words or less) personal essays. You will also need to provide the name of a teacher or mentor who can speak to your academic potential in STEM that we can contact to submit a recommendation on your behalf.

Application Steps:

  1. Apply to PLU. Note that there are 4 Admission Priority Dates:
    • October 15th, 2019
    • November 15th, 2019
    • December 15th, 2019
    • January 15th, 2020

NOTE: While PLU continues to accept application after January 15th, you must apply to PLU by the January 15th, 2020 Priority Date for full consideration for this scholarship.

2. Consider scheduling a visit to PLU between now and May 1st, 2020.

3. Complete the FAFSA by February 15th, 2020 for full consideration for this scholarship. For more information, please see PLU’s Financial Aid website for more information.

Complete our STEM Scholars Program application by March 1st, 2020. The application is now available and we are currently accepting applications.

Check in with your teacher about completion of their recommendation, which must be submitted by March 15th, 2020.

Answer: Initial decisions about awards will be made by early April 2020.

Answer: Yes. However, the total amount of scholarships and financial aid that you can receive cannot exceed your financial need, defined as the Cost of Attendance (COA) for an institution minus the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), as determined by your FAFSA application.

Answer: Yes, you may have employment either on- or off-campus. If you require employment, we encourage you to find an on-campus job for several reasons. First, it is more efficient to combine classes and work if they are both on campus. Second, research has shown that students are more successful academically if they work on campus instead of off campus. We encourage you to look for jobs in the Natural Sciences as TAs and prep workers so that you can gain some professional experience in STEM. Please note that on-campus jobs are restricted to fewer than 20 hours per week. This is both for legal reasons as well as because working more than this poses academic challenges to students (less time to devote to coursework). For these reasons, it is to your benefit to work on campus if possible.

Answer: Participation in the STEM Scholars Program will provide the following benefits:

  • A vibrant community of scholars that values excellence and persistence
  • A 1-credit transitions course in your first semester on campus to orient you to PLU and prepare you for success in the program
  • Intentional mentoring by a faculty member in your field of interest
  • Professional development that will build marketable skills, build networks, and connect you to campus resources and career opportunities

Answer: The following are the programmatic requirements for students to stay in the STEM Scholars Program:

First Year:

  • Attend meeting of STEM Scholars during New Student Orientation
  • Participate in 1-credit Transitions course in Fall 2020
  • Take a linked STEM course
  • Attend at least 10 sessions of Supplemental Instruction for your STEM classes per semester

Throughout Program:

  • Meet with your faculty mentor at identified meeting times in both Fall and Spring semester (approximately biweekly)
  • Attend social meetings (approximately 1 per semester)
  • Participate in regular STEM Scholar Program evaluation
  • Communicate regularly with leadership team about experiences

Students must continue to meet the Federal S-STEM requirements such as citizenship and being a full time student making satisfactory progress towards a STEM degree, as determined by each department.

Answer: As a STEM Scholar, you will always be treated as an individual. Working together, you and your Faculty Mentor along with the STEM Scholars Leadership Team will make decisions that are best for you. In particular, the STEM Scholars Leadership Team has the right to approve any exception that is in your best interest.

Answer: If you do not continue to pursue a STEM major, you would no longer continue to be eligible for renewal of your STEM Scholars Program scholarship. However, PLU would provide you with a list of alternative financial aid options to support you to complete another PLU degree.