Washington State University Tri-Cities is making another play for students considering science- and technology-based careers, this time with a new scholarship open to new freshmen.
The university will award $8,400 per academic year to as many as 10 students under the STEM Scholars program, according to a release. University spokeswoman Maegan Murray described it as a means to interest more incoming students in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, fields and make the north Richland campus a destination.
“This is going to be an ongoing program to boost our role as a STEM campus,” she said.
Along with being first-time freshmen, applicants must also have at least a 3.75 GPA from their high school classes to be eligible for the scholarship. They also must pursue a designated STEM degree, such as engineering, environmental and computer science, mathematics and the biological and physical sciences.
Any student that receives the scholarship must remain a full-time student at WSU Tri-Cities, completing 24 credits per year to have it renewed. They also must maintain a 3.0 GPA and participate in STEM Learning Community activities on campus.
The scholarship is not a full academic ride to the university; a full year of tuition and fees at the campus is closer to $11,000. It’s also not the only financial aid offered for students pursuing STEM fields but university officials said they are doing what they can to increase interest in those jobs.
“Right now, there are thousands of STEM positions that the industry is unable to fill,” said Chancellor H. Keith Moo-Young. “Through this program we are encouraging students to pursue STEM degrees, which satisfies demands for those positions while allowing the United States to continue to be a leader in innovation, research and technological advancement.”
High school seniors and others looking at WSU Tri-Cities for their freshman year can learn more about the scholarship program and apply here. All applications and steps toward eligibility must be completed by Jan. 31.