STEM Scholars Scholarship Overview

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 application process is closed for 2018. Visit for other opportunities.

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 2018.


To qualify, applicants must:

  • Be African American/Black
  • 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 and have pursued a rigorous course of study in high school
  • Have a demonstrated high level of academic performance in math and science, evidenced by a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) 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 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) in the fall as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student
  • Complete and submit the application by the deadline of January 16, 2018 11:59 PM EST/9:59 PM PST



  • Submission of one (1) letter of recommendation submitted:
    • A high school STEM teacher
    • A STEM program sponsor (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 + Student record of leadership & 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 see and become familiar 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 need.
  • 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 up so that your mid-year transcript is positive.
  • 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.



  • Tiered tuition scholarships:
    • Up to $2,500 per academic year for freshmen and sophomores, $5,000 for juniors and seniors, and an additional
    • Up to $5,000 for students whose academic programs require a fifth year
  • Scholarships are renewable for five undergraduate years, contingent upon:
    • Maintenance of a 3.0 (out of 4.0) grade-point average + Continued full-time enrollment to degree in an eligible STEM major
    • A $5,000 stipend based on a STEM-related project/internship of the student's interest
  • Academic support and mentoring
  • Access to online academic support service and resource platform and other STEM-discipline support services

Participation in:

  • K-12 STEM Summer Institute (pre-college)
  • UNCF Student Tech Empowerment Workshop
  • Career-development support:
  • Mentoring, training and education
  • Access to entrepreneurial training in launching new tech ventures through competitive Venture Accelerator program + High school/pre-college STEM summer leadership institute