STEM education is key to driving U.S. economic productivity in years to come, yet remains woefully underrepresented in the workforce. Despite high levels of unemployment among U.S. workers, many jobs remain vacant in STEM fields. This has created high demand, especially for computer science (CS) majors.

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the median starting salary for bachelor's degree-holders in CS and engineering is around $69,100...61% of CS majors find full-time employment within a year of graduation

Payscale reports that the median starting salary for bachelor's degree-holders in CS and engineering is around $69,100. The survey also found that 61% of CS majors find full-time employment within a year of graduation, and students in other fields often pursue coursework in CS to "stand out" from the competition, indicating the value of the field.

Examples of jobs in the field of computer science include computer network architects, programmers, support specialists, and systems analysts. Though CS bachelor's degree-holders are often employed directly out of college, many choose to move on to a master's in computer science (MSCS) in order to pursue in-depth study of a specialized field that may provide them with more satisfying career options. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for computer science and information technology jobs in 2015 was $81,430, well above the national average of $36,200.

While completing a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science can be an expensive pursuit, a wide range of financial aid opportunities have been made available to encourage more people to enter the field and fill up jobs in the industry. We've created a guide that includes scholarship, grant, and other aid opportunities offered specifically to computer science majors.

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Financial Assistance for Computer Science Majors

The first step to applying for financial aid is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the Federal Student Loan program. This should be done even if students don't think they will qualify to receive aid. All states use this single application to determine the financial need of resident students, and most people are eligible to receive some degree of financial assistance, including those pursuing computer science scholarships.

The interest rates for federal loans are much lower than private loans, do not require a credit check, and may be forgiven or substantially reduced depending on demonstrated need and employment opportunities. Other common loans include the Perkins loan, which is a school-based loan with a low interest rate of 5%; subsidized direct loans, which the U.S. government pays the interest for while the student is in college; unsubsidized loans, in which interest begins accruing immediately; and PLUS Loans (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students), in which the parents of a student enrolled at least half time borrow money on behalf of the student. Many scholarships for computer science majors also rely on FAFSA information.

For more information on federal student aid, check out our overview on financial aid here.

Scholarships for Computer Science Majors

computer_science_engineerStudent education in STEM fields is crucial to the growth of the U.S. economy as technology-driven industry expands. The high demand for trained computer science and information technology experts has driven organizations to offer attractive computer science scholarships and education funding options for students, especially from underrepresented backgrounds.

Recent plans like the White House Computer Science For All Initiative (#CSForAll initiative) seek to rectify the lag in computer science and technology education by targeting young students from minority backgrounds and providing them with enhanced opportunities to study computer science in-depth. With $4.2 billion scheduled to be put towards teacher training and curriculum development in this field, the future looks bright for education in computer science and technology, and students will no doubt benefit financially from the increased access to quality education.

Enhanced education funding opportunities from public and private institutions has increased as well, reflecting the great demand for new talent in the field of computer science, and scholarships for computer science majors are now more prevalent than ever. With over 600,000 tech-related jobs going unfulfilled in the past year and with 51% of STEM jobs projected to be related to computer science by 2018, the time is ripe for student recruitment in this field. Below you will find our list of the best scholarships for computer science majors and computer science grants.

Featured Computer Science Scholarships

NSHSS STEM Scholarship

Who's Eligible? This scholarship is open to students studying in a STEM field, including computer science, who are from an underrepresented minority background. To qualify, student must be a high school senior with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: TBA

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SMART Scholarship For Service

Who's Eligible? The Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation scholarship provides full tuition for undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields including computer science. To qualify, students must be at least 18 years old, be willing to work for the Department of Defense post-graduation, and should maintain a 3.0 GPA.
Award amount: $22,000 - $38,000 per year (all education costs covered)
Deadline: December 1

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IEEE Presidents' Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Given to one student in recognition of an outstanding project related to computer science or other electrical engineering field, this scholarship is open to students who compete in the Intel ISEF competition. To qualify, students must advance to the international competition.
Award amount: $10,000 (paid over 4 years)
Deadline: May 1

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AFCEA STEM Majors Scholarships for Undergraduates

Who's Eligible? This scholarship is open to undergraduates studying in a STEM field, including computer science, who maintain an interest in cyber security- and homeland security-related disciplines. Only full-time college sophomores and juniors may apply, and they must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: April 1

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NSA Mathematics and Computer Science Student Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Open to all students pursuing a degree in computer science, mathematics, or computer engineering. To qualify, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Award amount: $500
Deadline: June 30

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The Jewish Federation Of Metropolitan Chicago Academic Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Funds are distributed to successful candidates living in the Chicago metropolitan area. To qualify, candidates must demonstrate financial need, and demonstrate career promise in a "helping profession" (including computer science).
Award amount: $8,000
Deadline: TBA

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APIASF NASA Scholarship

Who's Eligible? This opportunity is offered by the largest non-profit for Asian and Pacific Islanders. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate financial need, be a U.S. citizen of Asian/Pacific Islander descent, maintain a minimum GPA of 2.8, and must be majoring in computer science (other majors qualify) at an accredited college or university.
Award amount: $2,900
Deadline: TBA

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AAUW Return to Learning Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Offered by the American Association of University Women, this scholarship is intended for women pursuing studies in computer science who reside in Illinois and who are continuing education after a significant time away from school. To qualify, students must be enrolled at an accredited university in a STEM field.
Award amount: $2,500
Deadline: TBA

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AAAS Mass Media Science And Engineering Fellows Program

Who's Eligible? Students must be enrolled full time in a college or university at any level, and majoring in computer science (or other approved field). This summer fellowship program allows students to increase communication and grant writing skills.
Award amount: $5,000 stipend
Deadline: TBA

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(ISC)^2 Foundation Undergraduate Cybersecurity Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Intended for students who demonstrate financial need as they continue their studies at an accredited undergraduate degree program with a focus in cybersecurity or information assurance. Open to computer science majors. To qualify, candidates must have completed two semesters of work, and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: TBA

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Microsoft Scholarship Program

Who's Eligible? This academic-based scholarship is awarded to students enrolled full time at an accredited college or university pursuing a degree in a STEM field, including computer science. To qualify, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: TBA

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Adobe Research Women In Technology Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Designed to promote gender diversity in the workforce, this scholarship is awarded to exceptional women studying computer science world-wide. To qualify, female students must be enrolled at the undergraduate level full-time. They must submit references and answer an essay question.
Award amount: $10,000
Deadline: TBA

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ExCEL Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Applicants must be enrolled in the Department of Computer Science at Loyola University in Chicago, demonstrate financial need, and maintain a 3.0 GPA.
Award amount: $5,000 per year
Deadline: February 1

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Xerox Minority Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Awarded to qualified minorities studying technology-related fields including computer science. Applicants must have a B average or better, and should submit a resume.
Award amount: $1,000 - $10,000
Deadline: September 30

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IBM Corporation Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Applicants must be female undergraduates at the sophomore level and studying in a CSAB-accredited, full-time computer science degree program. Preference is given to minority students, and all applicants must maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: February 15

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PG&E NuEnergy Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Awarded to computer science majors (and other qualifying majors) who are interested in pursuing careers in the energy sector. To qualify, students must answer an essay prompt and show proof of residency in a PG&E area. High school seniors are not eligible.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: TBA

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Texas Instruments Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Awarded to two high school seniors interested in pursuing a major in computer science or other related technical field. To qualify, students must submit an essay, and have participated in the VEX Robotics Competition.
Award amount: $5,000 non-renewable
Deadline: January 31

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Google SVA Scholarship for Student Veterans

Who's Eligible? Awarded to eight student veterans pursuing degrees in computer science. Recipients will get a chance to attend the Google Annual Summer Scholar's Retreat. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate strong leadership skills, answer an essay prompt and maintain a strong academic record.
Award amount: $10,000
Deadline: TBA

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Computer Science Scholarships for Minorities

The Accenture American Indian Scholarship Fund

Who's Eligible? Open to incoming freshman undergraduates of American Indian heritage seeking a degree in computer science, engineering, management, and finance. To qualify, applicants must show commitment to the American Indian Community, verify tribal heritage and financial need, and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: June 6

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American Indian Science and Engineering Society Intel Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Available to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian AISES members studying computer science and related fields. To qualify, students must be enrolled at an accredited four-year institution full-time and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Award amount: $5,000 for undergraduates, $10,000 for graduate students
Deadline: May 1

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Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Designed to support the development of black employees at Microsoft, this scholarship is awarded to meritorious high-school seniors studying technology, computer science, or related fields. To qualify, applicants must be of African descent, plan to attend a four-year institution the year after high school, and should demonstrate leadership skills. The are also required to demonstrate financial assistance and must maintain a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
Award amount: $5,000 per year renewable up to 4 years
Deadline: March 1

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ESA Foundation Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Open to women and minority students pursuing degrees related to computer science and video game arts. To qualify, students must be enrolled at an accredited four-year college or university full-time and maintain a GPA of 2.75 or above. Now open to high school seniors.
Award amount: $3,000
Deadline: April 1

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Gates Millennium Scholars Program

Who's Eligible? Open to minority students studying at the undergraduate or graduate level in STEM fields, including computer science. 1000 scholars are selected each year. To qualify, applicants must be a minority citizen, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3, demonstrate leadership characteristics, and be qualified to receive Federal Pell Grant financial aid.
Award amount: Average award of $12,785
Deadline: January 1

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HENNAC Scholars Program

Who's Eligible? Designed to bolster Hispanic representation and retention in STEM fields, this scholarship has distributed over $2.6 million to 100 scholarship recipients since 2000. To qualify, applicants must submit an essay, maintain a GPA of 3.0, and plan on majoring in a STEM field.
Award amount: $500 - $10,000
Deadline: TBA

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Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Who's Eligible? Open to high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students of Hispanic heritage who are studying full-time at an accredited four-year college or university. To qualify, students must complete a FAFSA and maintain a minimum GPA (2.5 for undergraduates, 3.0 for high school). All majors accepted, but emphasis is on STEM fields, including computer science.
Award amount: $500 - $5,000
Deadline: March 1

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NACME Minority Scholarships and Engineering Scholarships for Minorities

Who's Eligible? NACME distributes block grant money through this scholarship to fund STEM education of African American, American Indian, and Latino students, including those studying computer science. To qualify, students must be enrolled at a participating institution, maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5, and (for college students), have completed and maintained a minimum of a B grade in calculus, physics, or chemistry course.
Award amount: $12,500 up to 5 years
Deadline: TBA

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AT&T Labs Scholarship Program

Who's Eligible? This three-year fellows program is designed to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to complete PhD programs in computer and communications fields, including computer science. To qualify, candidates must have experience in publication or graduate research in required fields.
Award amount: $72,900 (covers all education expenses)
Deadline: May 30

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EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Who's Eligible? Designed to aid minority students studying in fields integral to NOAA's mission, this scholarship is open to students studying environmental science and a range of related disciplines, including computer science. To qualify, applicants must be accepted full-time at an accredited two- or four-year minority-serving institution, and should maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA.
Award amount: $45,000 max (two years of academic assistance)
Deadline: TBA

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Computer Science Scholarships for Women

The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Available to women studying computing and technology at the undergraduate- and graduate-level, this scholarship is awarded based on applicant's strengths in leadership and academic background. Recipients are invited to a retreat at Google to attend workshops and social activities. Available in Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe Middle East, and the U.S.. To qualify, female students must be enrolled in or plan on enrolling in a graduate or undergraduate program in computer science, computer engineering, or a related technical field. They must maintain a strong GPA and demonstrate active leadership in increasing the involvement of women in computer science.
Award amount: $10,000
Deadline: December 1

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WC Scholarship Fund for Women in Computing

Who's Eligible? Available to women pursuing a computer science or technology-related field at a college or university in Washtenaw County. To qualify, candidates must have at least two semesters remaining and submit an essay.
Award amount: $1,000 per year
Deadline: March 1

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The Center for Women In Technology (CWIT) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Available to female UMBC students majoring in computer science or a related technical field, this scholarship helps foster female-friendly engineering and information technology education. To qualify, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, one from a science or technology teacher and one from a faculty member who has familiarity with the candidate's academic performance and leadership characteristics.
Award amount: 4 year scholarship: $5,000 - $15,000 per year for in-state, $10,000 - $22,000 per year for out of state.
Deadline: January 1

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SWE Scholarship

Who's Eligible? The Society of Women Engineers Scholarship is available to female students attending an ABET-accredited college or university and pursuing a degree in computer science or related engineering and engineering technology field. Freshmen qualify if they maintain a 3.5/4.0 GPA and submit two references, one from a STEM instructor.
Award amount: $1,000 - $15,000
Deadline: For Sophomores thru graduate students: Dec 1 - Feb 17, For Freshman: March 1 - May 15

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HPE Helion OpenStack Scholarship for Women

Who's Eligible? Available to college women pursuing careers in technology. Candidates must be enrolled full-time in computer science or information systems degree programs and must develop a project using OpenStack or Cloud Foundry technology.
Award amount: $10,000
Deadline: TBA

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Carnegie Mellon Executive Women's Forum INI Fellowship

Who's Eligible? Sponsored by Alta Associates, this scholarship offers full scholarships for incoming women Information Networking Institute (INI) students. To qualify, students must be accepted to an INI graduate program, maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA, show outstanding leadership potential, and maintain no outside employment contracts.
Award amount: Full Tuition
Deadline: TBA

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Palantir Scholarship for Women in Engineering

Who's Eligible? This scholarship supports women in STEM fields and is awarded annually to 10 students from across the U.S. To qualify, students must submit a transcript, resume, and answer an essay prompt.
Award amount: $10,000
Deadline: TBA

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Buildium Women in Technology Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Available to female students in a STEM field who are at least 18 and in good standing with their college or university. To qualify, female STEM students must write an essay explaining which female leader in technology (or STEM field) inspires them the most.
Award amount: $2,500 per semester
Deadline: April 15

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Michigan Council of Women in Technology Undergraduate Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Designed to support female undergraduate students in STEM fields residing in Michigan. Applicants must be studying information technology at a Michigan state college or university and maintain a GPA of at least a 3.0.
Award amount: $5,000 (renewable for 4 years)
Deadline: May 25

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Women in Defense Scholarship

Who's Eligible? Awarded to three outstanding students per year, this scholarship supports women studying computer science or a related defense technology field. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in college and have attained at least 60 undergraduate credits. They must plan on pursuing a career in national defense, demonstrate financial need, and are required to maintain a GPA of at least 3.25.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: July 15

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