/ January 3, 2024

Washington Space Grant Consortium (WASG) offers $5000 scholarships to incoming first-year students planning to study science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at the University of Washington -Seattle (UW).

Purpose

We aim to create a stronger STEM workforce by nurturing emerging leaders with diverse perspectives. Students with skills such as multilingualism, multicultural perspectives, and unique work and life experience who would like to contribute to innovations should have access to STEM education. This scholarship is one pathway to provide access.

Eligibility

  • U.S. Citizen and Washington State resident
  • A first-year college student: Includes anyone who is currently a student in high school or who has not taken college coursework for credit since obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent credential.
  • Space Grant Scholars should be enrolled in an approved STEM major. Don’t see your degree program listed? You may still be eligible, email us to discuss. 
  • Running Start Students: If you are applying for the autumn quarter of the year you graduate from high school, apply as a first-year student. 

We may renew the award annually contingent on continuing academic excellence.

Key Dates

  • Priority Deadline: March 4, 2024 @12pm
  • Application accepted on a rolling basis until April 1, 2024 @12pm
  • Award notification will begin in late March. 
  • Info sessions via Zoom, @ 3 - 3:30pm

Application

To submit an application, have your unofficial school transcript and three essays prepared to copy and paste into our online application form. We are including our evaluation rubrics for each essay question below. The review committee may reach out to you for additional information.

Essay Tips

  • Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards provides general scholarships application tips. 
  • NASA Space Grant’s objectives include recruiting and training U.S. citizens, especially women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities. In your essay responses, highlight how your experience, professional, and academic goals align with Space Grant’s objective. 
  • We place a strong emphasis on the driving force or motivation behind your academic pursuits. We are not expecting you to explain entirely new original research ideas. 
  • Multiple committee members will review your essays using a series of scoring rubrics. The evaluation categories are: Connection to NASA’s Goals, Clarity of Motivation, Alignment with DEIA Principles, and Cultural Competence.

Criteria Excellent (3) Satisfactory (2) Needs Improvement (1)
Connection to NASA’s Goals Clearly shows thoughtful reflection and connection to one of NASA goals or objectives Shows reasonable reflection on education’s connection to greater world Provides limited or unclear reflection 
Clarity of Motivation  Articulates clear and compelling motivations for pursuing a STEM degree Presents motivation for pursuing a STEM degree, but the explanation may lack depth or clarity  Offers vague or unclear motivations
Sample selection rubric for Academic Goal essay

Essays Questions

  1. Academic Goal 

What are your career goals and how do you think they align with NASA's mission to "explore the unknown in air and space, innovate for the benefit of humanity, and inspire the world through discovery"? (200-300 words) Note: We’re not looking for the most unique research idea! We want to hear how you plan to use your education.

For context, NASA serves society in many ways, including exploring the universe, advancing our understanding of human physiology, monitoring climate change, and developing safe aviation technologies. 

  1. Contribution to Community

Describe your specific contribution to any initiative, projects, or organizations  that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) to your community. (200-300 words)

For context, in 2023, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, “Now, more than ever, NASA is leading all of humanity on an unprecedented journey of discovery, exploration and innovation. To be successful in our missions, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility must continue to be at the forefront.”

  1. Cultural Competency and Professionalism 

Describe how your experiences have contributed to your cultural competence and ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds in an academic OR professional setting. (200-300 words)

For context, the International Space Station is jointly operated by five space agencies from 15 countries. This remarkable achievement demonstrates the strength of collaboration and teamwork.

For more information and/or to apply:
https://forms.gle/RwKNwh32qkSP2sTZ9
Deadline: 04/01/2024 12:00 Pacific Time