Today’s high school students are coming of age in a technologically-focused world, which makes them the perfect choice for early exposure to data science concepts. Early and regular exposure to these ideas will help give young people a more solid background and help them become adaptable as new technologies and approaches to data science arise.
Even if these students ultimately decide that they want a career outside of data science, this foundational knowledge will still give them a competitive edge as they apply for college scholarships.
Scholarships in data science that are available to high school students are challenging to find. Unlike other specialties, data science requires years of education and training; most data scientists retain a master’s degree or a Ph.D. before they can truly begin their careers. Data science is also a newer discipline in the grand scheme of things, so scholarships dedicated to this specific area of study is a challenge for any student. However, data science does require a thorough understanding of coding, math, and statistics, which is why this article will focus on mathematics and general STEM scholarships as well. These scholarships will help prepare students for a career in data science if they decide to go in that direction.
General Data Science Scholarships
The Generation Google Scholarship is a primarily essay-based scholarship for students who demonstrate high achievement in academics but might be unable to pursue higher education because of their current financial situation. This program is not strictly limited to students from minority backgrounds, but those who do are especially encouraged to apply. To apply for this scholarship you need to already have been accepted to a bachelor’s degree program in computer science or a related field. Recipients of this scholarship will receive $10,000 if they are in the US; Canadian recipients receive $5,000.
There is also a Future Leaders in Technology Scholarship sponsored by Connect Worldwide. To be eligible for this scholarship, you must provide proof that you have already been accepted to a college or university and are planning to study technology in some form. The application includes a 1000-word essay describing your professional and academic goals, high school transcripts, and three letters of recommendation from your teachers.
The Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship is an incredible opportunity for any potential data scientist. The application requires students to be planning to study computer programming or a related college degree (this includes data science), a documented need for financial assistance, and successful completion of computer science classes in high school. You must also have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to be considered. Each cycle, up to 100 winners will be awarded between $5,000-$10,000 with a lifetime limit of $40,000 for the total disbursement.
Data Science Scholarships for Minorities
Black high school students have several STEM scholarships opportunities available to them. Just two examples of these are the Blacks@Microsoft Scholarship and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) STEM Scholarship. Both scholarships require the submission of a resume, a high school transcript, and letters of recommendation. The Microsoft scholarships require a 3.3 minimum GPA and are need-based, meaning you must demonstrate financial hardship as one of the conditions of applying. They award four $20,000 scholarships, eight $10,000 scholarships, and fifteen $1,000 scholarships to the winners.
The UNCF Scholarship requires a 3.0 GPA or higher and, while awardees can be given up to $25,000, it is designed as a “last dollar” scholarship. This means that recipients are given an amount after their family’s contribution to their education, other scholarships and grants they may have been awarded, and other financial aid they are eligible to receive has already been calculated. The remaining amount needed is typically agreed upon by the UNCF and the financial aid office of the college to which you have been admitted. After this amount has been decided upon, the scholarship then gives students up to $2,500 per year for their freshman and sophomore years, then $5,000 for their junior and senior years.
Female students have the opportunity to apply for the Learner Education Women in Mathematics Scholarship. The amount of $1,000 is given to one winner every six months. Current high school seniors are eligible to apply. They must submit an essay that describes their interest in mathematics and how it has shaped their view of the world. Additionally, female students can apply for the VIP Women in Technology Scholarship. Recipients are awarded $2,500 based on their answers to an essay question. Their leadership skills, academic achievement, and community involvement are also evaluated to determine who will be given this scholarship.
Students with learning disabilities are typically excluded from careers in STEM, but this shouldn’t be the case. MyBioSource Inc. sponsors a Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. Two recipients will receive $1,000. Eligibility requirements include having a documented learning disability and having already been accepted to an accredited four-year college program. A full list of disabilities that meet the criteria for this scholarship can be found at the link above. Finally, students who identify as LGBTQ+ can connect with the closest Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) organization. Local chapters often have scholarships available.
Learn Data Science in NextGen’s Summer Classes
If learning data science as a high school student sounds exciting to you, check out NextGen Bootcamp’s data science courses for high schoolers. These courses are an impressive addition to any scholarship application or resume. They offer in-person data science classes at their campus in Manhattan, as well as live online data science classes that can be attended remotely from all over the world. You can also review the full list of coding courses for high school students on NextGen’s website if you’d like to learn more.