Who wouldn't appreciate the opportunity to secure additional scholarship support while pursuing a fulfilling experience in STEAM? In the face of escalating tuition expenses, uncertain financial aid packages, and limited merit-based scholarships available at leading universities, the financial challenges of college can often weigh heavily on students. Identifying external scholarship opportunities can prove daunting, not to mention evaluating one's eligibility for these options.
This article highlights an opportunity for female-identifying and nonbinary students interested in tech with one of the biggest companies, Microsoft.
With substantial financial rewards and the promise of enduring connections and mentorship for its beneficiaries, high-achieving female-identifying and nonbinary high school seniors should consider this program. Let's delve into the specifics of this scholarship to help you determine whether pursuing this opportunity aligns with your academic and career aspirations.
What is the Women's Microsoft Scholarship?
The Women at Microsoft Scholarship program to empower and enable high school women and non-binary individuals to pursue higher education in STEAM fields is a positive initiative created to encourage diversity and inclusivity. Such programs can provide financial support, mentorship, and resources to help underrepresented groups succeed in STEAM careers. It's a step towards creating a more equitable and diverse technology workforce.
Eager to seize the opportunity offered by the Microsoft Women's Scholarship? Should you submit your application to become a Microsoft Women's Scholar? Let's explore the criteria used to assess candidates.
What Does the Scholarship Entail?
The Women at Microsoft Scholarship offers various awards, up to $5,000, which can be one-time or renewable for up to four years. It's available to promising high school seniors and current undergraduate women and non-binary individuals pursuing a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) career.
The scholarship funds can be applied to cover tuition, room and board, and class fees. Payments will be disbursed directly to the college or university, and no payments will be issued directly to the students.
Factors including financial need, academic excellence, and a demonstrated enthusiasm for technology will determine the selection of scholarship recipients.
How Prestigious is the Women at Microsoft Scholarship?
The scholarship funded by Microsoft, offering a $5,000 award, holds particular prestige for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students due to Microsoft's industry influence. This endorsement signifies Microsoft's recognition of recipients' potential in STEM fields and can lead to mentorship, internships, and future job opportunities. Scholarships supported by tech giants like Microsoft carry prestige and validate recipients' academic and professional achievements. Highlighting your passion for STEM, dedication to your field, and any relevant contributions can set you apart in this competitive application process, with the financial and recognition rewards making the effort worthwhile.
What Should I Demonstrate as an Applicant?
The Microsoft Women's Scholarship emphasizes that ideal recipients should exhibit exceptional leadership, a high-achieving academic record, and demonstrate "Leadership and participation in school and community activities."
As an applicant, the focus should be on the significance of your contributions. You're expected to have substantially and meaningfully impacted your community, showcasing a dedicated commitment to helping others. Your personal, academic, and community engagements summary will include part of this.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
This scholarship is designated for promising high school seniors and current undergraduate individuals who identify as women and non-binary and are pursuing or planning to pursue education in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) field at a vocational or academic college. To be eligible for the Women at Microsoft Scholarship, you must meet the following criteria:
You should be a graduating high school senior who identifies as a woman and non-binary.
It would help if you aspired to pursue a career in a STEAM field, understanding that this scholarship is not limited to specific STEAM majors. The selection committee is particularly interested in your intent to actively engage in a STEAM-related industry in your career, your passion for technology, and your vision for the impact of technology on the world.
You plan to attend an accredited 2-4 year public or private college, university, or technical college in the United States for the upcoming academic year or participate in a US affiliate program.
Your high school GPA should be 3.0 or higher.
It's important to note that this scholarship welcomes applications from international candidates. Additionally, non-binary individuals, those who identify as gender fluid, and women of transgender experience are strongly encouraged to apply.
Key Dates & Deadlines
The application window for scholarships in 2023 was scheduled to commence on January 23, 2023, and remained open until March 15, 2023. For the 2024 cycle, all applications must be submitted through the Scholarship America portal, and it's important to be aware that applications sent via email or postal mail will not be considered.
Be sure to include the following in your application:
Demonstrated involvement in school and community activities, showcasing leadership
Details of your work experience
A statement outlining your educational and career goals
Information regarding any unique personal or family circumstances
An online recommendation
5 Tips to Help With Your Application
1. Start Early and Stay Organized
Initiate your scholarship search early, ideally at least a year before you plan to start your studies. Many scholarships have application deadlines that can be months in advance, including this one!
2. Go Through All Relevant Information Before Applying
Carefully read through the eligibility criteria, as applying for scholarships that resonate with your profile can improve your chances. You should also take a close look at what is expected out of your application, and make sure to refer to this checklist while drafting your essay and application!
3. Seek Strong Recommendations
Request letters of recommendation from individuals who know you well and can provide detailed insights into your character, skills, and accomplishments. This could be a teacher, employer, mentor, or coach.
Provide your recommenders with clear information about the scholarship, your academic and extracurricular achievements, and your personal statement to help them write impactful letters of support.
4. Proofread and Edit:
Before submitting your applications, thoroughly review them for errors in spelling, grammar, and formatting. A polished application reflects your attention to detail and professionalism.
5. Ask for Feedback!
Consider having someone you trust, like a teacher or counselor, review your application for clarity and coherence. They can offer valuable feedback to enhance the quality of your application.
We have also compiled a list of 10 scholarships open to high school students here - take a look!
Lumiere Research Scholar Program
If you’re looking for the opportunity to do in-depth research on various topics in business management and leadership, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.
Tenzing Dolma is a Masters student specializing in research following the Nechung Oracle and the historical, religious, and cognitive approaches to its presence. She has a bachelors in Neuroscience from Loyola University Chicago and is currently completing her graduate studies at Columbia University. She hopes to help students find their passions through access to programs and organizations the same way she found hers!
Image Source: Microsoft logo