FAQ 2. FIRST Scholarship Program Selection Application Process

Nov 18, 2014 Written by FIRST Staff

Each FIRST Scholarship Provider sets their own scholarship requirements – this is everything from how or when to apply, to if you must declare a specific major. For the 2015 Program, there are sort/filter options available at http://www.usfirst.org/scholarshipsearch.aspx to help pinpoint scholarships that you may be interested in. (The filter section is the big block at the top of the Scholarship Opportunities page). Choose which selection criteria is important to you; either the ‘basic information’ on the Left hand side, or the specific requirements on the right. Click or choose the things that are important to you in your search, then click ‘update’. You will then see a list of the current FIRST Scholarships based on your entered criteria.

Once you find a scholarship that you’re interested in you can do a few things; let’s take the University of Texas (UT) at Austin (pictured) as an example: Lots of things going on in here, so let’s take it one by one.

  • In the first column we’ve got the name of the Scholarship Provider, which is hyperlinked to their website. Then we have a location, this is the location of where the scholarship must be used. In this case, it’s Austin, TX, because UT Austin is located there. (If you’re looking at a scholarship provided by a company, that area might say ‘Any School.’)
  •  In the second column  we’ve got a few things highlighted - In the orange boxes are the amount being offered by the Scholarship Provider (at UT Austin it’s $2,000 non-renewable – so a one time award of $2,000), and if there are any major/course of study requirements or other special qualifications. Some scholarships require applicatnts to intend to major in a specific field of study, others may require specific residancy etc. In this same column we’ve got two hyperlinks (yellow arrows), one called ‘More Details’, the other ‘View Application’. These are the only two options that you can encounter here. ‘More Details’ will take you to a website or document describing the scholarship opportunity in detail. ‘View Application’ will take you to the application for the scholarship (website or document ). Some scholarships may combine these into a single document and therefore only have one of these hyperlinks.
  •  In the third column you have the application deadline date, and below that the number of scholarships that are available. Notice anything specific about the University of Texas at Austin scholarship? …The application deadline is SOON – if you’re interested in this scholarship, make sure to submit the application on or before December 1st.
  •  The fourth column shows which FIRST Program(s) you need to have participated in (as a high school aged participant) in order to potentially qualify. Most of the scholarships are available for both FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition Participants/rising Alumni, but be sure to confirm.
  •  The last column that we need to consider tells you when you should be submitting your application for this Scholarship. The vast majority of our scholarship providers collect applications during an applicants Senior year of high school, but there are a few that require you to apply during your Junior year, or allow you to apply after high school.
  •  (The very last column - not shown in the UTA example - shows the date that the information was posted to the FIRST Scholarships page – so while it could be useful information to have, it doesn’t necessarily have an effect on whether or not you might consider the scholarship.)

This was a LONG post. Thanks for bearing with me – I’m happy to share this information (digitally) in person! If you/your Team would like to set up time to go through some Scholarships Program best-practices and how to’s – just let me know! Send me an email at scholarships@usfirst.org and we’ll get something set up!

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