Seeking six students for STEM scholarship…

October 12, 2016

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Current Johnson County Community College students are eligible to apply for a prestigious scholarship program from the National Science Foundation.

The scholarships, based on past academic performance and financial need, cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and other expenses for six students in the spring semester of 2017.

Students must be interested in pursuing careers the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math and planning to transfer to a four-year college or university after JCCC.

Scholarship amounts will be determined based on a number of factors, though JCCC is authorized by the NSF to provide up to $5,000 per applicant for the spring semester.

"This really is an amazing scholarship," said Beth Edmonds, JCCC professor and chair of mathematics and one of the coordinators for the STEM Scholarship Program. "In terms of its potential benefit to students, there are few other scholarships out there that could be this life-changing."

How to apply

To apply for the scholarship, students should first complete a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form (so need can be determined) and then either visit the Financial Aid Office on the second floor of the Student Center (SC 253) or apply online. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2016.

Students who qualify for the scholarship should be prepared to submit two essays for review by the STEM scholarship committee, which will be composed of STEM educators from around the area.

In this initial phase of the five-year grant program, the six students will be the first STEM Scholarship cohort, eligible for tutoring, academic counseling and faculty mentors as well as scholarship funds.

Future plans

In spring 2017, the NSF scholarship will open to high school students planning to attend JCCC in the fall. Students from the first cohort will act as mentors for these students, explained Suneetha Menon, JCCC Science Resource Center coordinator and the other STEM Scholarship Program coordinator.

Edmonds said the National Science Foundation wants to do more than just give money to potential STEM scholars. "One of the goals of the program is to create a community of students who benefit from their shared experiences in hopes that students complete their degrees in these much-needed fields," she said.

The $644,760 NSF grant will provide up to $432,000 in STEM Scholarships to JCCC students over the next five years.