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Education The Almighty Buck

Tech Scholarships for College/University? 577

Posted by Cliff
from the show-me-da-money! dept.
Mirkon asks: "I'm a potential high school graduate, and have been accepted to a four-year school for furthering my rather biased educational interests. The problem is that while I'm cheap, the school (predictably) isn't. It's still getting itself off the ground, and thus only offers the legal minimum of scholarships - for racial minorities and those with intense financial need, neither of which I qualify for. Tedious searching for third-party scholarships has revealed that there are very, very few that cater to the interests of a technologically-inclined student, and even fewer that don't give a paltry one-time prize of $500 or less. While there's certainly no shortage of 'write an essay about us/you and we might give you a scholarship' offerings, I find it hard to swallow that there aren't more and more valuable scholarships to encourage growth in the tech sector. Are there?"
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Tech Scholarships for College/University?

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  • Local Resources (Score:5, Informative)

    by Taboo (263223) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:04PM (#7884924)
    In addition to the many national and regional organizations out there, you might find that there are local financial charities in your area that have a surprisingly rich portfolio of grants and scholarships. Here in northern California we have the Humboldt Area Foundation [hafoundation.org] which provides scholarships on behalf of members in the community who have setup over 100 memorial endowments totalling more than $50 million. When looking for financial aid, be sure to not to overlook your local resources.
    • Re:Local Resources (Score:5, Informative)

      by Cycomast (737499) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:15PM (#7885078)
      Bottom line, forget all the scholarships from big companies like Target, Best Buy, etc. They usually give out between 10-50 scholarships, but have in excess of 10000 or 20000 applicants. Look for local companies, rotary clubs, and any scholarships specifically offered at your school. The latter are often available due to memorial funds set up for deceased students. I ran into this very problem as the poster when looking for scholarships to fund my education at an expensive private university. While I did not qualify for financial aid, my parents have two more kids to send through college, and scholarships would certainly have helped to ease the financial burden. I too was unable to find any scholarships that were specifically for tech/engineering. There were actually a few, but they were all for women or minorities. I guess there just isn't much out there for WMEs (white male engineers). However, don't overlook local scholarships - there are plenty that aren't specifically geared toward any one type of person, that are granted to 1/5 or 1/10 applicants.
    • If you're smart enough, you can go to a need-blind institution, in which case you'll still pay more than you'd like, or you can land a scholarship at a "lesser" institution that will pay you to join their "honors" program and make their student body look more aptitudinous [sic].

      You think someone unaffiliated with an institution is going to throw real money at you with no strings attached because you're smart? Never going to happen, unless you somehow manage to to well in the Intel nee Westinghouse competi

      • There are some with minimum strings. Most are related to location, and emphasize on staying in state. I am an AEA scholar, I get a good scholarship and internship from the American Electronic Association for attending a school in my home state of Oregon. This scholarship applies to any student in Oregon for tech, and is related to some Intel Scholarships and internships. There is serious money from them in Oregon. But only if you stay in state. That is why I turned down going of state.
  • <blockquote> I find it hard to swallow that there aren't more and more valuable scholarships to encourage growth in the tech sector.</blockquote>

    Take a number junior. We work in the field and are unhappy there isn't growth in the tech sector. ;-) Consider applying for a tech scholarship from an Indian company, they must be drowning in "loose" dollars. ;-)

    <blockquote> and even fewer that don't give a paltry one-time prize of $500 or less.</blockquote>

    Dude, that's the entire domest
  • by bwags (534113) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:05PM (#7884951)
    I had some friends at Georgia Tech that used this route through school. Takes a little longer to make it through school, but you most likely have a job when you get out.
    • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:16PM (#7885095) Journal
      This is the route I took to get my degree.

      Yes, it took me twice as long only taking two night classes a semster. However, during this time I had other things happening (marriage, a house, etc...) I highly motivated individual that really wanted to sacrifice their social life could take 3+ classes and then take summer classes as well... and shorten things up...

      So, at the end of it, I ended up with 8 years of work experience and no student loans.

      I know that this won't work for everybody. Obviously, your not just going to walk into a ASIC job or something where you need some up front education...
    • I also did this through the University of Texas. Worked out really well.. I got out in just over 5 years, had job experience from two major companies (duPont and National Instruments) and I found the alternating semester system they use really advantageous:
      1. You can usually save up enough money during a work semester to cover (almost) all the expenses of the following school one. (Provided you're sufficiently frugal)
      2. Just when you're getting burnt out on a 9-5 work grind, you'll switch back to a class o
  • by TwistedSquare (650445) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:05PM (#7884954) Homepage
    This is sort of off-topic but can anyone explain to me how this works in the US? In the UK students are poor as anything but theoretically can get enough (loaned) from the state to survive. Is it much worse in the US?
    • by Keighvin (166133) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:08PM (#7884983)
      It's the same - "Student Loans" is a term here which quite frequency make people in their 30's cringe from the sting they still feel in trying to relieve the debt.
      • Although it may not be as bad as "consumer debt", student loans will deffinitly hurt you afterwards, especially if you've borrowed a lot. You really want as much free money as possible.

        Like I said in another post, apply for all those paltry little scholarships; no one ever does, and you can "MAKE $$$ FAST" as the default winner. Someone also suggested using local resources, such as clubs & professional organisations your parents may belong to: church groups, VFWs, Elks Lodges, unions, all those enti

      • Student loans are also one of the few things you can't generally bankrupt your way out of (too many e.g. med students taking advantage of bankruptcy for that, so the loophole was closed). Once you sign that promissory note, you're pretty much stuck with it forever (or until it's paid off, whichever comes first).

        Of course, the interest rates have gotten pretty good (they're the lowest of any of my current creditors), especially if you consolidate (though that has some ramifications, too--check with a finan
      • people in their 30's

        In their 30's?!? Try financing med school some time and s/30/50/.

    • In a word, yes. There is little chance of most students getting through school via government grants. However, the flip side of this is that we dont have many students majoring in snooker.
    • by Wingchild (212447) <brian@wingchild.net> on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:11PM (#7885032) Homepage
      In the US, standard procedure is to get a loan for the cost of your education; this loan is often sizeable, usually with a low rate of interest accrual, and is to be paid back after your graduation from the learning institution you've chosen to attend.

      The author of this entry to "Please help me, Slashdot" has noted early on that he is cheap: The author does not want a loan. He is looking for a scholarship offer -- that is, he would like very much for someone else to pay for his expenses and send him to school for free. (Wouldn't we all have loved that?)

      Unfortunately I have nothing useful to add on that front, as the only scholarship I ever took advantage of was a strictly academic one, and only that for going to a tiny, two-year state school. This hasn't prevented me from being in a computer-related field for the last eight years, nor has it prevented me from working as a senior network engineer, or as a field consultant, or down at the Pentagon, or etc.

      The person who submitted the story noted that he is a potential high school graduate ... my advice would really be to work on converting that "potential" into "actual", and then worry about college as you go. If you have to eat the cost of a loan, so be it -- you're no worse off than everybody else. Get into tech and make it pay for itself in a few years; you wouldn't be the first, and sure wouldn't be the last. :)
      • by itwerx (165526) <itwerx@gmail.com> on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:16PM (#7885102) Homepage
        Get into tech and make it pay for itself in a few years; you wouldn't be the first, and sure wouldn't be the last. :)
        I'll say. I had lots of tech knowledge from misc hacking while in high-school but didn't have anything I could put on a resume' so I joined the USAF for three years (minimum to get GI benefits) and wrote/phrased my resume' in such a way that, without actually lying, anyone reading it would assume that my knowledge had been gained in the service.
        It worked out great! I'm taking night-classes for my MBA right now...
      • by noah_fense (593142) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `namehthaon'> on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:23PM (#7885187)

        Also, go to a _state_ school! Your education will cost 1/10 to 1/3 as much money! You won't be burdened by student loans! Instead you'll buy a shiny new car and/or house with all the money yo'll save.

        And "tech" workers, don't diss college. There is a demand for skilled engineering students, although curently many of those oppurtunities are in the defense industry.

        -n
    • As an ex-pat Briton with a degree from a British university, I can tell you that students there are very whiny, and militant about it. And no, I had no financial assistance from my parents.

      Stop sponging off the tax payer (which is what Blair is moving towards) and pay for it yourself. Here in Canada so many people have degrees (much higher rate than the UK) that even with a Masters (especially arts) you could end up working in a restaurant. This doesn't stop people signing up for more student loans - yo
    • Speaking as someone with a dual US/EU citizenship who studied in the US and who investigated studying in the UK as well. I can tell you the financial aid system is much much worst for the student here in the US. I know the student loan phenomena in the UK is relatively new and I know that everyone over there is still bitching about it, but you guys have it way better over there.
  • by magarity (164372) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:07PM (#7884971)
    Your rich uncle, Sam, has practically limitless amounts of cash to lend to students of higher education for piddly interest rates. Whether this is a good idea depends on whether you're going to school to party or as a stepping stone to a high paying career.
  • write those essays (Score:5, Informative)

    by RevDobbs (313888) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:08PM (#7884980) Homepage

    No one actually applies for most of the schoolarships out there... I have a nephew that has won a ton of money by virtue of being the only entrant.

    Write a generic, flexible essay and, well, crap-flood it everywhere. You'll be amazed at the checks you'll be cashing at the end of the semester, after all of your tuition, housing, and books have been paid by other people...

    • Can you apply and recieve these post-graduation in order to pay back your accumulated student loans? ;)
    • Note that most universities, at least in Canada, would consider this plagiarism if you wrote one essay and submitted it to multiple classes. Of course, you are submitting your essay to multiple scholarship sources and in any case, plagiarism isn't treated as seriously in the 'real world'.

      But yes, you can plagiarise yourself.
      • I've never heard of a problem with re-using your own work. I've only had one case where I was able to do that (in 9th grade, and I told the teachers)--usually the asignments for a given class are too specific to allow for recycling writings.

        With college application essays, everyone uses the same essay for all their applications (with a few adjustments). For scholarships, the same thing would be expected.
  • Typo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:08PM (#7884982)
    Tedious searching for third-party scholarships has revealed that there are very, very few that cater to the interests of a technologically-inclined student

    Did you mean white, male student? Or are you outside the U.S.?

    I find it hard to swallow that there aren't more and more valuable scholarships to encourage growth in the tech sector.

    Hard to swallow? Apparently you haven't been keeping up with the news. All your jobs are belong to India. IT is a dying industry in the U.S. You might consider nursing, or something else that can't be outsourced as easily. Union NO!

    • by ari_j (90255)
      Yep. In fact, my single biggest scholarship is, only 3 years after I got it, no longer available for new applicants. $20,000 Wal-Mart Competitive Edge scholarship, for those going into technological fields. I had a lot of excess checks, but it's a good thing I had the scholarships because I sure don't make enough with my CS degree to pay off student loans.
  • by glomph (2644) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:08PM (#7884990) Homepage Journal
    I've worked for over 20 years in various tech roles, after getting advanced degrees in Physics from the biggest name skoolz in the US. The ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently is what matters, not how much acronymic crap you can pack into your resume. My general experience is that good people are those who can adapt, not ones who learned old-tech from profs in some academic environment. Direct academic training for entering the IT world is a total waste, and always has been so, even when the economy did not suck.
    • Good idea; if you make it to a master's or doctoral degree in a real academic field you can always get a job teaching at universities; someone always needs at very least an adjunct.
    • by endeitzslash (570374) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:26PM (#7885217)
      I'm a little hesitant when I see the "school doesn't matter because you don't learn problem solving and those academics don't know their arses from a hole in the ground" attitude. The fact that this person has been working for 20 years means that he (or she) went into the workforce long before a college education was an absolute requirement (as it is now) for most well-salaried jobs.

      While it may be true that some people don't learn many applied skills in college, many companies simply won't take a chance on a non-college graduate, college dropout, or someone who got straight D's.

      You can bleat and complain as much as you want about the effectiveness of academic training, but the power of the diploma is well-established in job hunting.

      Besides, college is fun and is often a good place to mature and improve other important social skills.
      • "Besides, college is fun and is often a good place to mature and improve other important social skills."

        Like proper keg-stand technique.
      • I vehemently hated college. I was miserable pretty much the whole time I went. I didn't graduate, but I made it through 2 1/2 years while working part-time, and then full-time.

        I've made up the balance in real-world work experience, but I wish I had my degree so that there would be one less thing to get rejected for the next I have to look for a job. My mental health is too fragile for me to go back to college while trying to maintain a household.

        A guy told me when I was a teenager, "A college degree is
    • Not sure I agree... you have to be able to pack the crap on your resume to get an interview in the first place, to get through the moron resume screeners or search engines.

      The 3rd and 4th steps in the process aren't good for crap if you get blocked at the 1st step.
  • by stonebeat.org (562495) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:08PM (#7884992) Homepage
    It is quite hard to get a full scholarship at the undergraduate level from 3rd party. Once you are in the graduate school, it scholarship comes in form of Research Assistant, Intership, Independent StudyGraduate Assistant, etc.
  • How about a job? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andawyr (212118) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:09PM (#7884993)
    Have you thought about doing what most other people do, and get a job? Sure, you'll have to work your butt off, but if you do it this way, you'll certainly have more self esteem than had you paid for tuition and what-have-you with scholarships. Free money ain't, really. If you work for the cash, you'll know what it really cost you to get an education. You'll also realize that you're going to college to *work*, and not to screw around. I saw way too many people party away $1000s of scholarship dollars simply because it wasn't really their money.

    Student loans are another way to go - there's nothing wrong with getting one either. I did it, and I paid it off too. Yes, it took a few years, but it was finally paid off.

    It may even be the case that you'll have to put off going to college for a year or so until you have enough money. So be it.

    Good luck!
    • by hyrdra (260687) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:18PM (#7885121) Homepage Journal
      Please mod the parent up. This is what college and being out on your own are all about, and this way only serves to better prepare you for life ahead. There is a lot more to life than having a good education, and doing it this way (I am doing it now) teaches you things your scholarship/daddy money peers probably won't learn about until out of school.

      Don't always take the easy way; the other path may be more interesting and rewarding -- true success isn't without its struggle.
    • I second getting a co-op technical job. It's incredible how much more pay you get from tech jobs than from washing dishes.

      The biggest difference I found between working and the programs I wrote in college is, I wrote the programs in college. At work, I didn't write it, and 100 other people are enhancing it at the same time. That makes co-oping a useful education.
    • This is really good advice that I wish I was given years ago myself. Some employers will even pay for your degree if it's related to your job.

      I dropped out of college (I was a Math/CS dual major) after getting a job offer after a summer internship and I wound up working in the Information Security field for 7 years before deciding to go back and finish. Even though my current employer is paying the tuition, the free time that going back to school consumes is a huge investment, so I'm a lot more serious abo
    • by cubicledrone (681598) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:39PM (#7885329)
      Have you thought about doing what most other people do, and get a job?

      Having a work schedule in addition to a full-time class schedule is not always a good idea. It's a little difficult to do great work in school if you are always sitting down to Advanced Linguistic Anthropology after eight hours of waiting tables or restocking the paper towels at Wal-Mart.

      Student loans are another way to go - there's nothing wrong with getting one either.

      Except the ridiculous interest and the fact that it takes years and years and years to pay it off.
      Item one in college: DO NOT BORROW EVEN ONE DOLLAR UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

      This is especially important with credit cards. Fuck that up and you'll realize right fucking now how un-free money is.
      • by Sevn (12012)
        Having a work schedule in addition to a full-time class schedule is not always a good idea.

        It's not a good idea if it really bothers you giving up a little drinking, fucking, getting stoned, and watching tv time to push a mop around or ask if someone wants fries with that. I guess it really depends how much your education matters to you. If you can't stomach the idea of giving up a social life for the prospect of a great education and a future, perhaps you should just quit college and file for unemploym
        • I guess it really depends how much your education matters to you.

          I worked every single day I was in school. My education mattered to me. It would be nice if it mattered to employers, but it doesn't.

      • Re:How about a job? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Moebius Loop (135536)
        Student loans are another way to go - there's nothing wrong with getting one either.

        Except the ridiculous interest and the fact that it takes years and years and years to pay it off.
        Item one in college: DO NOT BORROW EVEN ONE DOLLAR UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.


        While I'll agree that most college students are well-served to stay away from credit cards, and other high-interest rate loans, you can't apply the same logic to college loans.

        Specifically, the Stafford (even Unsubsidized) loans have ver
  • by kaltkalt (620110) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:09PM (#7884997)
    so when your job ends up being in india you'll be able to talk to your boss in his own language. Although chances are they'll already speak english quite well. But finding a scholarship for "Indian (dot, not feather) studies" would be more productive realistically and pragmatically than looking for a scholarship for tech-based study.
    • not everyone in india speaks hindi!

      you may also wish to study:
      -Bengali
      -Telugu
      -Marathi
      -Tamil
      -Urdu
      -Gujarati
      -Malayalam
      -Kannada
      -Oriya
      -Punjab i
      -Assamese
      -Kashmiri
      -Sindhi
      -Sanskrit

      all of which are official languages of india! (that's why everyone speaks english)

      you may want to get a minor in asian studies or maybe linguistics or semiotics just so you can wade through the language mess
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:10PM (#7885012)
    i was a busboy/waiter all through high school and college and i can tell you that it teaches you valuable life skills like:
    * how to manage your time and prioritize obligations
    * how to make and save money; how to spend money wisely
    * how to deal with work conditions, including low pay, long hours, bad bosses, evil customers, etc.
    * eventually, how to appreciate a "better" job, having tasted first hand what some people have to do to earn a living
    • I did this as well, but I got an on-campus job in the IT/Telecommunications department. Low pay, but picked up some good skills that eventually led to a decent career in IT.

      Some of the duties of that job were installing/configuring some of the earlier T-1's, locating and mapping underground network cabling, and helping the boss with his "side-business" of remote tech support for banks.

      Plus, the hours were great! I worked in-between classes and had every night and weekend off, but was still able to p
  • One way you might try to get money is to bargain with the school. Look at the other schools that you've been accepted to. Which ones have really good tech programs? Tell your school that you've been excepted to $TECH_SCHOOL and that you'd like an incentive to go to $YOUR_SCHOOL instead of $TECH_SCHOOL.

    If you're me and couldn't get into any better schools, then you could consider simply begging them. My dad wrote them a letter saying that we were poor, and they have me $4k. Not much relative to the cost, bu
  • by tgd (2822) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:11PM (#7885014)
    Maybe you should work more on ensuring you actually are more than a potential graduate first. Upcoming graduate? Future graduate?

    I was a potential graduate and the last few months of my senior year really really sucked. ;-)
  • army (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:11PM (#7885021)
    Though the current climate is a bit unusual in terms of action in the middle east, I recommend joining the Army, Navy, etc if you are inclined. After serving your country you can get about $8k a year (scholarship - ie not a loan that you have to pay back) towards a schoo of your choice. Granted you have to maintain a certain GPA, but it is still better than having $32k in debt after graduating.

    PS Flamers: This is not for everyone, just a suggestion to those of us that don't want to pay an unreasonable amount for a college education.
    • Re:army (Score:5, Informative)

      by Samari711 (521187) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:30PM (#7885252)
      if you go the ROTC route, you also will have to take some extra courses, pass physicals, and fitness tests throughout your time at school. then after you graduate you've obligated yourself to service for something like 5 years in exchange for the government footing the bill for your education. you'll also start with a higher rank then if you just enlisted and if you're tech inclined you'd most likely not see the front lines as your skills would make you more valuable elsewhere.

      (note:i'm not in ROTC myself but a lot of my friends are)

      • Re:army (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kymermosst (33885) on Monday January 05, 2004 @07:30PM (#7885861) Journal
        you'll also start with a higher rank then if you just enlisted

        You start out with a rank you won't ever attain if you "just enlisted"... you will be an officer.

        and if you're tech inclined you'd most likely not see the front lines as your skills would make you more valuable elsewhere.

        If you believe that, you're a fool. There are lots of room for tech jobs up at the front line, near the front line, and in our own set of high-value targets. There is no such thing as "most likely."

        I was someone "tech inclined" in the Army, and yes, it got me put with counterfire radar instead of with an infantry unit (I was a 13F - Field Artillery Fire Support A.K.A. Forward Observer)... but the TOC I worked in also had M.I., communications, and lots of other high-value targets. We were right on top of the list of things an enemy would be looking for should we have been deployed. (Thankfully, we just did humanitarian stuff while I was in.)

        People at the front lines are using high-tech equipment that needs to be serviced, and if you are "tech inclined" you just might be the guy who has to jump into a foxhole at the front lines and fix it.

        DO NOT JOIN THE MILITARY THINKING YOU WILL NOT SEE COMBAT. You are doing a disservice to yourself, your fellow soldiers, and your country.

        That is all.
  • by TWX (665546) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:11PM (#7885026)
    Currently there really isn't much growth in the technical sector, since management has figured out that it can send jobs to countries that pay Bachelors' trained people half of what they make, or less, than in the U.S. Granted, there are new jobs that come up, but there are so many people looking to fill them that unless you're really lucky, you're not going to end up with that nice job with longevity and stability.

    I started studying Computer Systems Engineering. After seeing what my code-monkey friends have been going through for the last two or three years, I decided not to go with that. I'm going to go back and finish college in something else. I'm not sure what, just yet, but I'll use my computer knowledge as an asset to help further myself in another career, not as a career in itself. You're either going to do computer service for a living, which can make money, but not a lot and is mindnumbingly boring, or you're going to be feast-or-famine as long as technology remains the commodity that it has shown to be. Learn how to do something else, that knowing computers benefits you in, and keep your skills to help you.
    • You're really not answering his question though. I've yet to hear some skills that you can train for that are mildly interesting that are guaranteed not to be shipped off to India.

      Offshoring is NOT just affecting IT, it's also:
      - CPAs
      - Lawyers
      - Radiologists .etc., etc., etc.

      I would think there would be a lot of potential in Nanotechnology, but why wouldn't that be shipped off as well?
  • by Dolemite_the_Wiz (618862) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:11PM (#7885027) Journal
    Undergrad Tech Scolarships were few and far between. At the time, I was working for the number three CS department in the Nation.

    The real money is in Graduate Grants and Scolarships. For it's when you're in Grad School that you're working on the potentially groundbreaking technology. Not as an Undergrad.

    See if you can find other types of money as there are so many non-tech scolarships available that are never used. Keep looking the scolarships you're looking for are out there.

    Dolemite
    ___________
  • No (Score:5, Funny)

    by jafac (1449) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:11PM (#7885028) Homepage
    We don't want no stinkin growth in the tech industry.

    There aren't enough jobs to go around as it is.

    Why don't you change your major to an industry that IS growing, like IP Law. Or Linguist for some obscure 3rd world country. Actually, you should try to find the poorest nation out there, and learn it's language. In 4 years, you'll be helping US firms hire them in droves.
  • You mean there are laws saying how many scholarships a school MUST offer ?

    I find that quite hard to believe - I can believe that they offer some scholarships to certain applicants for various reasons, but not that they are "Legally Required" too

    Can you point to a statute that would even hint at something like this so I can place any idiot that voted for this on my list of candidates I will never vote for in the future.

    Realize that this isn't anti scholarships - just like I don't believe that being aga

  • If this school doesn't offer many scholarships, look for another one that either offers good scholarships or is less expensive. Surely this isn't the only college you could get accepted into? If it is, you won't be worthy of any real scholarships anyway.
  • Potential? (Score:5, Funny)

    by verloren (523497) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:12PM (#7885042)
    My first suggestion whatever you decide is not to portray yourself as a 'potential' high school graduate. You're much more likely to get a scholarship if you can at least appear confident that you'll graduate high school.

    Cheers, Paul
  • by DaHat (247651)
    Just three weeks ago I graduated after 4 and a half years of getting my BS in CS (not that I need a degree to prove my level of BS). Also not qualifying for any free money and not attempting to earn any scholarships, I did what many before me have done... put my name on the dotted line and financed my college education.

    Granted when I started the tech market was booming and I figured I'd have em all paid off quite fast with the money I'd be making hand over fist, that was of course not the most realistic pl
  • I suggest a sex change and an appointment with Michael Jackson's skin therapist.

  • Due to the large number of students that drop out of engineering majors, most merit based engineering scholarships weren't offered until my sophmore and junior years of college. These scholarships are often accompanied by internship oppurtunities, and they were offered to my through my university.

    In other words, get in, do _exceptionally_ well, and you will be rewarded later in your college career.

    -n
  • Don't bother (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by BattleTroll (561035)
    Don't bother going into tech, it's a dead end that will lead you to disappointment.

    You want a major in which you can actually find work after graduation. Something useful like Comparative Literature or Philosophy.

  • The military has a program that will put you through whatever college you can get into in exchange for 4 years in the armed service afterwards. NSA (National Security Agency) used to have a similar program if you were good in math but I don't know if they still do.

    The military also has their respective academys, i.e., West Point, Anapolis and Colorado Springs. The men I've met who went to West Point spoke very highly of it in terms of the education they received.

  • I noticed alot of classes I took, at least at the lower levels, were big enough that the teacher couldn't keep track of all the students. So just find out when those classes are, and show up. You get a college education without paying a cent!

  • by kolding (55685)
    Maybe you should consider schools that have a history, rather than a very new school. An older school will have a reputation, and more access to funds via it's financial aid offices.

    You should also be careful about picking a school based on (as you put it) your "rather biased educational interests". As a someone who hasn't graduated from high school yet, your interests are very likely to change over the next few years of your life, as you set out into the world and see things that are different from wher
  • Google that. I really don't know if it's still active, but I recieved that $20k for the tech school I chose. However, that's $5k per year, IF you keep up the GPA requirements. I didn't, and I lost it after my freshman year (that's what Quake & Quake II did for me). Anyway, they only offer it if you enroll in a technical college, where in my case Ga. Tech qualified, as did Southern Polytechnic.
  • Join the Army (Score:2, Informative)

    by hayek (192772)
    Instead of college, I'd suggest joining the military. They will beat that self-centered I-want-someone-else-to-pay-for-my-education attitude out of you, and you can apply for benefits via the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and Army/Navy College Fund (ACF) after you serve.
    • I got over 20 grand for school and was able to finish my first degree without any debt. All thanks to my uncle sam.

      If getting blown up / shot worries you - I say go Navy or Air Force. Not to mention if you are smart and test well you could get into some very interesting technical work- say with UAVs or something else cool. There are other benefits as well- like being able to buy a house with no money down using a V.A. home loan. I had more out of pocket costs on my first car than I did on my first ho
    • Always an option, but then - you also might come back in a body bag, or with strange medical conditions that don't show up until years later - thanks to some military experimentation on their recruits?

      Ok, so I'm only being half-serious here.... But still, I'm not all that impressed with the military. I have a few good friends who went that route right after high-school, and they all felt they got "screwed over" by the whole thing. (Typically, the recruiter makes a lot of big promises and feeds you exact
      • Re:Join the Army (Score:4, Interesting)

        by stoolpigeon (454276) <bittercode@gmail> on Monday January 05, 2004 @07:23PM (#7885805) Homepage Journal
        I met a lot of people in the military that were pissed off because 'the recruiter lied'. I never understood them.

        When you enlist you sign a contract. Pages and pages of terms. What is amazing is how few people read that contract. I had been at the Military Entrance and Processing Center all day- mostly waiting on them. It didn't bother me a bit to have them wait while I read my contract over thoroughly. Sure, there are caveats and they do own you. But on the same hand, you should know what you are getting into.

        There were no big surprises in my enlistment. It worked out pretty much as I thought it would. The Navy got me for a little while to do some work that needed to be done (and I did a pretty good job of it) and I got college paid for along with some extra perks- one I mentioned above.

        I would ask guys- 'how did you pick the Navy, and this job in the navy?' I was amazed at how many guys who had voluntarily given up years of their life said things like "I don't know- I just took whatever" and so on. Crazy. Then to top it off - they blame the military because they didn't do their homework.

  • by esj at harvee (7456) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:22PM (#7885158) Homepage
    I understand that you probably have your heart set on a technology career but I would strongly encourage you to look elsewhere for your life's work. the technology career in the United States is fading. There is significant age discrimination and it is effectively a ten to fifteen year career.

    Try some informational interviews at technology companies and just look around and see how the people in the technology staff and first couple levels of management are above the age of 45. If the companies say they have a "dual career ladder", ask how many directors they have on the managerial side. Then ask how many they have on the technical side. if they give you a nonzero number, ask to be introduced to some of them. Another question on the same line is to ask what does it take to become a director for managerial and then ask for the technical. You'll frequently find that the technical rungs have significantly higher hurdles than the managerial side.

    Don't be fooled by the typical /.comments of "I'm over X, and I still have a job by being technically hot shit" because they are exceptions that prove the rule. For the most part, your typical your career will be over by the time you are 35-40.

    A technology career is also bad for you physically and mentally. Most companies use subtle or not so subtle psychological pressure to encourage staff to work all sorts of hours, usually in the name of teambuilding. It will cost you sleep, health by being increasingly sedentary and obese, and even possibly repetitive motion damages which leaves you with lifelong pain.

    The psychological pressure to work long hours will reduce your ability to take time off to take vacations.

    The hyper focus mindset it takes to get work done in a cube environment also will impact your ability to form healthy relationships with a partner. Important time off together (see above) will be impaired and nibbled away at by the inability to leave work at work.

    So, leave the technology career for others. The smart move into something where you can have a long career and make good money without putting your physical and mental health at risk. take care of yourself. Because not only will nobody else do it, everybody else wants to eat you alive and not in a good way.
    • There is significant age discrimination and it is effectively a ten to fifteen year career. ...at 11 different companies.
    • by randyest (589159) on Monday January 05, 2004 @08:17PM (#7886247) Homepage
      the technology career in the United States is fading

      I'm sure you know that IT is not the only technology career, but I have to interject here and clarify the potential confusion.

      IT and CS are flooded, yes. But, EE (as in, you know how to make hardware that works) is still desperate for fresh meat. Where I work (making ASICs for NEC), we have had 3-4 open requisitions throughout the IT slump and dot-bomb era. We just can't get qualified individuals, and starting pay in the Boston area (fresh grads) is still over US$75k plus $10k signing bonus and full relocation. It's a bit higher for Santa Clara, and a little lower for Dallas, Chicago, or North Carolina. We also start you off with 29 days of vacation per year (and you have to take it, like I am right now) that quickly gets up to 45 days. No stock options, but bonuses are still being paid in the 8-15% zone.

      Unfortunately, most of our applicants are CS majors with experience writing RTL (a fancy name for programming the behavior that hardware is supposed to do). We don't need them. We do, however, need people who understand physics (particulary semiconductor device physics), analog and digital physical design, electromagnetic field theory (for signal integrity), and those who can code their own tools to get the job done (which means you get your choice of language and need pay no attention to GUIs or usability if you have the ability to make programs process data with perfect accuracy, quickly, and with small memory footprints).

      If you have even a small interest in the hardware side of things, please consider crossing over. You can code here too, and no one except you needs to understand your code or even how to use your program :)

      Of course, a lot of displaced CS/IT types have been hassling our HR staff with BS. If you're not more familiar with a transistor than you are your own thumb, please don't bother us.
  • I understand this is too little, too late for the one asking about scholarships, but this is advice for those with younger children who are thinking about the future...

    My grandmother, when I was about 4 years old, put about $2000 in a government trust fund that accrued compound interest with no taxes. By the time I went to school when I was 18, it had grown to over $26,000. I thought she was so wise to think about the future that way. There were also options for me to use the money for either starting
  • Um ... Well, you didn't give a LOT of info. I mean, in many ways, the situation that you described is the same situation for a lot of students regardless of their technical inclination. If you don't have intense financial need then you're going based on merit, at least for scholarships, and there are a great deal of merit-based scholarships for all kinds of students, but the merit must be legitimate. In other words, you'd best be sporting some serious grades and some serious potential.

    When I was first app

  • I am willing to help (Score:5, Informative)

    by dexterpexter (733748) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:29PM (#7885248) Journal
    The short answer is that, yes, there are scholarships out there for the technologically-inclined. You can sign up for FastWeb, a free scholarship-search service that allows you to fill out your information and they notify you when a scholarship you qualify for comes up. There are other sources as well, most of which are online. I would suggest you go talk to your guidance counselor, who has more resources for you then they are probably openly offering. Keep in mind, however, that they are limited in what they can do and to find the real jackpot scholarships, you will have to do some searching on your own.

    It would be helpful if you could provide more information to us.

    1) What major are you considering?
    2) Which school are you considering?
    3) Are you parents alumni of that school?
    4) Do you have any interesting quirks?
    Such as, are you left-handed? You might be suprised to know that there are scholarships out there for even that. If your parents are members of unions, they work at large corporations, if you're the first to go to college, etc., then there is probably a scholarship out there for you.
    5) How were your grades, and what within what percentage of your graduating class were you ranked? You don't have to answer this one, but believe me, external-based academic scholarships are out there.
    6) Are you a member of any organizations?
    7) What kind of "technologically-inclined" abilities do you have?

    Feel free to contact me and I would be happy to help you through this oftentimes confusing and scary process. I will set up a temporary entry in my journal that you can post to. I just graduated from a private college (after 3.5 years), so it wasn't too long ago that I was in your shoes. Now, after having seen the admission process, I can give you an idea of what they are looking for, and exactly what you were told all along would count for something but really counts for jack squat.
  • some advice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mzs (595629) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:31PM (#7885262)
    I have two comments to make:

    You wrote, "[i]t's still getting itself off the ground," and that worries me. First of all you want to attend a well established institution. This is not only because of the name recognition when you apply for employment after graduation. You want the school to be around long enough for you to be able to graduate and solvent enough to cover its expenses, or the staff and profs will leave. This is from personal experience. My wife's cousin attended a college that was just starting up, but I do not remember the name. He was studying music. A couple of years later the school declared bankruptcy and that was it. He lost all the tution he paid even for classes that he paid for but never took yet due to the bankruptcy. Later, since the school was a virtual unknown and there was no one there to contact, no other school offered him any credit for the work he did while there. In debt he had to get a job and only now, some years later, is he back in school at UIC and not studying music.

    The $500 scholarships are worthless, do not bother. I won a handful and in two cases I never saw the money. Also, you have to list them when you apply for financial aid and each year the financial aid office calculate 54% (if I remember correctly) of that to reduce your award from the school. In the end I lost more money than I gained from that and I spent many weekends writing annoying essays about topics like the American Revolution and how I will make the world a better place after my college education.

    • Re:some advice (Score:2, Informative)

      by NilObject (522433)

      The $500 scholarships are worthless, do not bother.

      Woah woah woah! I have to disagree with you there. If you go for reputable scholarships in small amounts, they really add up. A bulk of the $5,000 I earned in scholarships was from these small ones. I have to admit though, one I applied for, which wanted a "$5 application" fee and seemed reputable and solid never ever wrote back to me to say if I had won the scholarship or not.

      So it's up to the individual to decide how he wants to spend his time. I spen

  • Haha, I remember those days.....

    What I really recommend that you do is fill out the FAFSA paperwork (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) asap...that is the free app. for federal student aid, then sit down and work out a worst-reasonible-case budget, school expenses, travel, food, rent....everything you can think about. Take a hard look at what is available to you for financial aid from the school and your local community. Write those essays and go for those obscure scholarships, but whatever you do be very careful
  • by Raleel (30913) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:33PM (#7885279)
    I was astonished to find how few scholarships I could apply for as a White Male from a lower middle income family. There wasn't a prayer that my family could pay for all of my college (indeed, they didn't make it far into it). Of course, I got good grades in high school, but, to my surprise, it counted for $1000 for my first year of college. Of course, it helped, but I was pretty much stuck with student loans. Of course, I could not get any _good_ student loans, because my parents made plenty of money to put me through a state school and I was obviously being supported by them

    In the end of it, I suppose it wasn't a too bad a deal, because I ran out of money about the time I was losing interested in the field that I was looking at (pharmacy, thanks for asking). So, I worked my share of crap jobs (fast food) and had my really hard times ($10 for a week, for my girlfriend and me for food, thank you friends and getting a job at fast food place and bringing home waste food). let me tell you, I won't forget that time ever

    In the end, I moved in with the girlfriend's folks, got given a solid car (well, cheap payments) drove pizza and saved a lot of money. By this time I was old enough to be legally independant of my parents (freakin' 25!!!!! come on! I hadn't gotten a red cent from them in 4 years!) and was able to get the _good student loans, and had found my nitch (comp sci, emphasis in networking and security), I worked my ass off to get through in minimum time (summer work, and summer school).

    In short, I made it, but I swore that I was going to make scholarships that were not based on income (with some limit, of course), were not based on race, were not based on sex, and were not based on sports.

    Can you tell I'm _still_ mad?

  • by MurrayTodd (92102) * on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:33PM (#7885280) Homepage
    You sound like you're in a precarious position: not being from a "rich" family, but not qualifying for any magic "poverty assistance" levels. Like a majority of people, college will be a real financial sacrifice for you and your family.

    As people have already mentioned, the following "financial aids" exist:
    1. Student Loans
    2. "University-provided aid" scholarships, usually need-based
    3. Outside scholarships that you have to find yourself

    There are two things I haven't seen anybody warn about here yet, so I'll throw in my two cents.

    First of all, the colleges I looked at (15 years ago) all claimed that the aid they might give me would be decreased by the same amount as any outside scholarships I might find. Hense, if I came up with a $10K scholarship, the school would decrease their aid package by $10K. I think that was stupid and discouraged anybody to find outside help.

    I hope this has changed recently. Of course, if your desired school is NOT offering you any aid, at least you don't stand to get screwed by this behavior.

    Second, schools are NOTORIOUS for giving you a "reasonable" financial aid package for your Freshman year and then cutting it to almost nothing your Sophmore year. This bait-and-switch tactic is great for hooking some students and then BLEEDING them and their families dry. Many of my high school friends had to leave their college of choice after the first year because of this. Talk about a dehumanizing experience!

    But again, if your school is not offering you any aid up front, the independence you are forced to seek in the beginning (by applying to lots of smaller scholarships/grants) will be a blessing in disguise as you find yourself NOT blindsided by the nasty Sophmore-aid-cut-syndrome.

    I agree with the other people who posted saying that there are lots of scholarships out there. You just have to learn how to research and find them. Enlist your high school guidence counselor's help and don't take "no" for an answer. Also don't assume that if you can't find it on a Google search that it doesn't exist. Find a nonprofit org like some already mentioned to find lists of scholarships out there. If you put in a serious continual 3 hours/week into a serious and comprehensive search, you can fund your college education, and that's a hell of a bargain.

    Good Luck
    • "good" colleges (Score:3, Informative)

      A "good" college is one that has a reputation; it's all a huge system for keeping money in the hands of the wealthy and putting the poor on the streets where they belong. The classes that you take at X Community College will be no worse than those at Princeton.

      If you can live at home for free, take some time to read books about society and culture (James Baldwin, W.E.B DuBois, A. Hacker, P.J. Palmer, J. Spring) to understand the world you are participating in.

      Then, live at home and find the cheapest local
  • If you're going to pay for College, then get your money's worth and take classes you don't already know about or can't pickup the details of by reading a book for a week. CLEP or test out of the rest.

    In other words, investigate and take as many CLEP tests as you possibly can. It's cheaper than tuition and you won't have to sit through a semester of English 101 (or even 201 in most cases).

    Even if you have to study a textbook to refresh your memory of biology, it's cheaper and easier (not to mention much less time wasting) to take the CLEP test.

    Along the same lines, if there isn't a relevent CLEP test for you to take or you just need to pad out your number of units, most schools will let you register for a class, then arrange to take the final on the first day of class and be done with the class without attending all semester.

    Taking a "spreadsheet" class this way can seriously help out your GPA if you need it and it's an excellent method for taking care of prereq's when you already know all or most of the material.

    In summary, if you are going to sit in class, do it in an interesting or fun class and skip out of the others.
  • If you are very talented in computers, you could find a job at a tech company who reimburses related educational expenses - i.e. college degree courses in a computer field. It works for me.

    Join one of the armed services. They have a multitude of college options. The Army has a "College First" program where they pay for to go get a degree, in exchange for you serving in the army for two years or something like this. Believe it or not, there are many geek jobs in the military (especially in the Navy).
  • by tie_guy_matt (176397) on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:45PM (#7885394)
    I find that when some people get out of high school they get this idea in their heads that if they don't go to this super snooty college than they will never be able to get a job and all of their hopes and dreams will be crushed. Another unusual thing I find is that high school students often times think that state schools are only cool if they in other states. This is ironic because although you may not think that colleges in your state are cool many people from other states probably do think they are cool. Now I am not going to tell you that there is NO difference between going to a super expensive school and going to a cheap school. However I have had some experience in this matter (undergrad at a cheap state school grad at a super expensive private school that you all have heard of) and I can tell you that the difference in education is very small. All schools use more or less the same text books and they have to meet certain standards in order to be able to keep giving out diplomas.

    My point is that if you can't afford some super expensive school maybe you should think about going to a cheaper state school (one that is in YOUR state.) I think that you will find that when you get out the people who went to the cheap schools will for the most part being working at the same jobs and making the same amount of $$ as those who went for the expensive schools. The cost of state schools are going up much faster than inflation but I think most of the time you can still afford basic tuition by working in the summer and at part time jobs. For room and board I guess you will have to live off mommy and daddy or get student loans. My advice: try to stay for longer than 4 years (compared to college the real world sucks!! who graduates in 4 years anymore anyway?) and try to take as few student loans as possible; if you are lucky the mommy and daddy bank will pay for much of it -- even if that means you have to live in your parent's basement.
  • Huh? You're telling me that every school in the US is reauied to offer some scholarships to minorites and that's it????
  • You don't mention your gender, but if you're a white male without recognized financial hardships you'll find that you'll probably only be eligable for merit based scholorships and those will be rather competitive. Some other people have mentioned strategies for getting more scholorship money and they seem to know about that than I do, so I'll address some other aspects.

    Student loans aren't that bad. The interest rates are insanely low. In fact you can usually make a better return by investing a sum of m
  • While there's certainly no shortage of 'write an essay about us/you and we might give you a scholarship' offerings, I find it hard to swallow that there aren't more and more valuable scholarships to encourage growth in the tech sector. Are there?"

    Those are often very valuable. I wrote at least a half dozen essays for ones like those. I was selected by one of them and awarded a $1000 grant each semester for 4 years. That equates to $8000.

    And yes there are plenty for technology focused majors. I am g
  • The National Science Foundation runs a scholarship for service program for IT Security focused students. Basically, you get a scholarship to major in an IT Security discipline, then you owe a certain number of years work to a government agency such as the NSA or the DHS. You can find more info at this site [opm.gov].

    Note: this is not an endorsement, I have no direct knowledge of, nor experience with, this government program. It might suck ass. It might be great. I don't know. I'm just suggesting that you look
  • Tech scholarships (Score:3, Informative)

    by JohnsonWax (195390) on Monday January 05, 2004 @07:04PM (#7885595)
    Unfortunately, most tech scholarships are awarded by the universities themselves, so a school getting itself off the ground won't have much to work with yet.

    The reason is that engineering/CS are notorious for their high attrition rates, and money given to entering students often goes to future business and psychology majors. Corporations do give quite a bit of merit money, but it goes straight to the engineering/CS schools who are typically quite experienced at identifying who are good candidates and who are not.

    It's important to talk to the specific programs that you are interested, not to the larger campus since the scholarships are often tied to specific programs or to engineering as a whole. These scholarships are often offers, rather than applications, but you can certainly get your name in there.

    Don't overlook working through school, tech majors often have access to some pretty well paying jobs - look at on-campus student tech support positions and off-campus internships and co-ops. You probably won't be able to work as must as some non-tech students because of your study load, but college loans are a very worthwhile investment and are readily available.
  • by i_r_sensitive (697893) on Monday January 05, 2004 @07:11PM (#7885671)
    I went to University looking to get a $DISCIPLINE degree, prior to even registering for classes I started hunting through the scholarships. What I found is that any shcolarship offered to students who intend to major in $DISCIPLINE has some pretty tough competition. I found that out by using the best resource I ever found for the poor student:

    The University Student Panhandling Advisor

    Seriously, a lot of schools will have staff whose sole professional purpose is to keep track of scholarships which students of that institution could compete for. Makes sense, the U doesn't care who pays the bills, just so long as they get paid, so helping economically disadvantaged students to find funding is a win-win.

    My personal experience was that there were literally hundreds of scholarships available to me, once I stopped focusing on $DISCIPLINE.

    So stop worrying about tech scholarships, start worrying about scholarships, period. If that youth-tap-dance-zealot scholarship pays the bills, put on those shoes baby, just put on those shoes...

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