NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM)

Cañada College’s Advancing Scholarship Program Initiatives and Resources for Engineering and Science (ASPIRES) program will provide 137 scholarship awards to academically talented, financially needy students working to transfer to a 4-year university as STEM majors.

The scholarship program will provide a unique opportunity for low-income students to focus full-time on their studies and fully benefit from a support system provided through Cañada College’s STEM Center, which aims to increase student success by providing tutoring, Supplemental Instruction and mentoring as well as STEM-related student clubs and professional speaker panels.  Students are engaged in leadership development, scientific seminars, and field trips to industry and 4-year universities. 

Cañada College ASPIRES Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be citizens of the United States, nationals of the United States, aliens admitted as refugees under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or aliens lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence;
  • Must demonstrate financial need for the 2017-2018 aid year as defined by the US Department of Education rules for need-based Federal financial aid. The 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed, see:www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • Must not have previously received a Bachelor's Degree in any field from any US or foreign institution;
  • Must enroll full-time (at least 12 units) at Cañada College each semester of the award*;
    • *Students currently enrolled in fewer than 12 units are encouraged to apply and will receive the funds only when they enroll full-time (12 units). To explore your options for reaching full-time status, come to the STEM Center and talk to a member of the STEM Team.
  • Must be majoring in a STEM field (Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematics, or Physical Sciences including Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy and Materials Science);
  • Must be eligible to take Path to Calculus (Math 225), or College Trigonometry (Math 130), or higher, in Fall 2017;
  • Must have a Grade Point Average of at least 2.7 in math, science, and engineering courses, and 2.5 overall for continuing or returning students; Grade Point Average of at least 2.7 in high school math and science courses for incoming freshmen students. 
    In computing the Math, Science and Engineering GPA only courses in the following list should be included: Math, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics. Courses in Accounting, Business, MultiMedia, or CBOT should not be included, 
    (Here's the link to the GPA calculator:http://collegeofsanmateo.edu/transfer/gpa.asp

The completed online application must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, September 18, 2017.


In order to complete the application, you will need copies of the following documents to be uploaded as part of the online application process:

  1. Transcripts – High school students need to request a copy of their transcripts from their high school. Current Cañada students need to include copies of ALL college coursework at Cañada College and any other colleges they have attended. Unofficial transcripts are accepted.
  2. 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed. For more information on FAFSA, please visit the Cañada College Financial Aid website at http://www.canadacollege.edu/financialaid.
  3. Student Educational Plan (SEP) – showing all completed, in-progress, and future college courses needed to transfer to a four-year university in a STEM major.  If you do not have a current SEP, please see a Cañada College counselor. (Graduating high school seniors must apply for admission to Cañada, take the Math and English Placement Tests, and see a counselor to obtain their SEP).
  4. Personal Statement – Must be typed, double-spaced, and a maximum of 2 pages in length.  Please include information about yourself and your family, your academic and career goals, past experiences/interest in mathematics, science or engineering, details on extra-curricular activities such as involvement in student government, clubs, sports, community service and/or volunteerism, and any honors or awards you have received in the past.
  5. Letter of Recommendation – You will need to provide the contact information (phone number and email) of the math, science, computer science, or engineering instructor who will complete a Letter of Recommendation on your behalf.

Documents 1-4 above may be uploaded after completing the online application form.  Document 5 will be completed by the instructor after you complete the online application.

Scholarship App Button

Fall 2017 NSF STEM Scholarship APPLICATION-Apply HERE!

 For this round of applications, the following is a list of available scholarships:

  • Achievement Level 1: Up to $3,000
    Students eligible to take Path to Calculus (Math 225), Math 130 (Trigonometry), or higher in fall 2017; and have three years of study at Cañada College before transfer.
  • Achievement Level 2: Up to $4,000
    Students eligible to take Calculus 1, or higher in fall 2017, and are within two years of transfer.
  • Achievement Level 3: Up to $4,000
    Students who are within one year of completing their requirements for transfer.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE 1355978. Any opinions expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).