FIRST Scholarship Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1:  What is the FIRST Scholarship Program?

  • Scholarships are made available by FIRST 'Scholarship Providers' - colleges, universities, companies, associations or foundations who make available scholarship funding specifically to FIRST Participants and Alumni
  • Scholarships are available for high-school participants from FIRST Robotics Competition and/or FIRST Tech Challenge programs
  • FIRST Scholarships are not funded or administered by FIRST.

Q2:  What kinds of scholarships are available?

  • Most FIRST scholarships are merit-based scholarships and may be renewable each year if you maintain an acceptable academic average.  
  • Each scholarship is unique and has its own award amount, eligibility requirements, application requirements, and application deadline.

Q3:  What is the amount of a FIRST Scholarship?

  • Each scholarship is unique and has its own award amount.  
  • They range in value from $500 non-renewable to full tuition for four years. 
  • Some schools offer a range of scholarship amounts, dependent upon your academic average.

Q4:  Who can apply for a FIRST Scholarship

  • High school students who have participated or are participating on high-school-level FIRST Robotics Competition and/or FIRST Tech Challenge teams can apply for FIRST Scholarships.
  • Most scholarship request applications during a student's senior year, but there are a few scholarships available to juniors or college students. 
  • Each scholarship may also have other eligibility requirements, be sure to check carefully that you are eligible to apply.
  • All FIRST Participants should familiarize themselves with the Scholarship Program – so that when you are ready to apply you understand how the Program works!

Q5:  When do I apply for a FIRST Scholarship? 

  • Most scholarship applications are due between January and April
  • Each scholarship has its own application deadline.  

Q6:  I don’t plan to be an engineer.  Are there any scholarships for me? 

  • Yes!  Approximately 35% of the scholarships are for "any course of study". 
  • The remaining 65% are for specific majors such as engineering, computer science, or technology. 

Q7:  The college that I want to attend doesn't make available FIRST scholarship. Any suggestions? 

  • Look for FIRST scholarships offered by corporations or associations that are not associated with a particular school. 
  • Call the Director of Admissions or Dean and ask if they would be interested in making available FIRST scholarships. 
  • If that person is unfamiliar with FIRST, tell them about your FIRST experience and why they are missing out on promoting their school to thousands of talented students like you. (Maybe your contact will be responsible for that school ultimately deciding to offer a FIRST scholarship.)
  • Make sure to connect them with us at scholarships@firstinspires.org 

Q8:  How do I apply for a FIRST Scholarship? 

  • Each FIRST Scholarship has its own unique application process. 
  • Be sure to read the scholarship description carefully. Click the "More details and application" link in the description column.
  • You will find instructions on how to apply within the scholarship description. 
  • You may need to write an essay and/or send a recommendation letter from a mentor. Plan to do this before build season, if possible.
  • If you have any questions about the application process, contact the Scholarship Provider directly.

Q9:  When should I apply for a FIRST Scholarship? 

  • Each FIRST scholarship has an associated application deadline date, but it may be to your advantage to get your application in before this date.

Q10:  Can I apply for more than one FIRST Scholarship?

  • Yes! At the time that you need to apply for a scholarship, you may not know which school you will be attending. 
  • If you are applying to two schools that each offer a FIRST Scholarship, it makes sense to apply for both of those FIRST Scholarships. 
  • Being offered a FIRST scholarship may affect your decision of what school you will attend.

Q11:  I missed the scholarship application deadline.  Is there anything I can do?

  • That depends upon the school policy and whether they have received enough applicants for their scholarship. 
  • Contact the school and explain why you missed the application deadline.
  • FIRST cannot assist with late applications.

Q12:  What are my chances of winning a FIRST Scholarship?

  • There are many factors that affect your chances of being offered a FIRST scholarship. 
  • Certainly high on the list is how well you match the eligibility criteria for that particular scholarship. 
  • Some scholarships get many applicants; others get only one or two applicants each year.  

Q13:  If I win a scholarship offered by a college and then decide not to attend that college, what happens to my scholarship? 

  • Most colleges and universities offer scholarships for use only at their campus, so you will not be eligible to receive the scholarship if you attend another school. 
  • If the school has campuses in multiple locations, be sure to check with the school to see if your scholarship can be used at the campus you plan to attend.

 Q14: Can I take my scholarship with me if I transfer from one college to another? 

  • Probably not.
  • If the scholarship was provided by a college or university, the scholarship typically is for use only at their campus. However, check with your Scholarship Provider.

Q15:  I won a FIRST scholarship last year. Now that I am in college, what do I need to do to renew my scholarship for next year?

  • Many of the FIRST Scholarships are renewable, but may require additional paperwork and/or a minimum GPA in college. 
  • Be sure to check with your college Financial Aid Office or your scholarship donor to see what is expected of you. 
  • There may be a deadline by which you must file some paperwork, so check with them early in the year.

Q16:  I want to stay involved with FIRST after high-school – how can I do that?

  • Check out www.firstinspires.org/alumni to find out about all opportunities available for FIRST Alumni including Internships and Networking