Now Open: STEM Scholars Scholarship

The UNCF STEM Scholars Program is a ten-year initiative designed to identify and provide scholarship and academic support for a total of 500 talented African American high school students who aspire to earn STEM degrees and to pursue careers in STEM fields.

The program enables highly capable young people to pursue undergraduate STEM majors and prepares them for successful careers in a variety of STEM professions. The application is open for high school seniors who are entering college as college as first time freshmen in fall 2020.


To qualify, applicants must:

  • Be African American
  • Be a citizen, legal permanent resident, or national of the United States
  •  Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on an unweighted 4.0 scale
  •  Pursued a rigorous course of study in high school in math and science courses, including pre-calculus
  • Have demonstrated financial and unmet need as measured by the student’s college or university
  • Show evidence of readiness for and commitment to pursue STEM majors, including biological/life sciences, physics, chemistry, computer science/engineering, information sciences, engineering (industrial, mechanical, electrical or chemical), mathematics
  •  Complete all of the application essays
  • Arrange for a letter of recommendation to be submitted via the UNCF application portal
  • Be enrolled for the first time at a U.S.-located, accredited college or university (with the exception of students concurrently pursuing a high school diploma while taking college-level courses) in the fall as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student
  • -Complete and submit the application by the deadline of Friday, April 17, 2020, 11:59 pm EST/8:59 pm PST


  • Submission of one letter or recommendation submitted by a high school STEM teacher or a STEM program sponsor/mentor (an individual who has engaged the student in a STEM program during the school year and/or summer, and who can provide insight into the student’s academic performance and potential for success in pursuing a STEM degree)
  • Completion of all essays
  • Completion of application form to include demographic information and student record of leadership and community service record



Here are some things you can do to prepare for submitting a competitive application:

  • Begin thinking and talking to parents, counselors, and teachers about your plans and what you will need to do to be ready to be a strong candidate for college admission and student aid.
  • Carefully consider which of your teachers and STEM program sponsors to ask for a letter of recommendation. They will help us better understand what type of student you are by providing insight into your academic performance and potential.
  • Apply for federal student aid. Go to to familiarize yourself with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to get more information on federal student aid. If you are a finalist, we will use this form to confirm your citizenship and better understand your financial needs.-
  • Review your transcript to be sure that your GPA and the courses you have taken make you eligible for this program. And be sure to keep your grades you so that your mid-year transcript is favorable.
  • Let us get to know you through your essays and help us to better understand your interests, goals, motivation, and experiences that have shaped your decision to pursue an undergraduate STEM degree.