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

Cañada College’s Achieving Success at College: Education, Networking, and Transfer (ASCENT) program will provide 128 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 ASCENT 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 2020-2021 aid year as defined by the US Department of Education rules for need-based Federal financial aid. The 2020-2021 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 (i.e. Biology, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, or Materials Science);
  • Must be eligible to take Calculus 1 (Math 251), or higher, in Fall 2020;
  • 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, Physics, Astronomy, Oceanography, Geology, and Environmental Science. 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, October 12, 2020.


STEP1: Check Your Financial NEED in Websmart. Your NEED must be greater than zero in order for your application to be read and considered for an NSF Scholarship. Your Financial NEED is listed on your Award Overview screen in Webmart. (see this linked document for step-by-step instructions. How to find your financial NEED is on page 3. If your financial need is ZERO or incorrect, please check to see if all of your finiancial aid documents are completed (instructions on page 1)   

STEP 2: Ask a science, math, engineering or computer science teacher to recommend you and input their name and email plus some basic info about yourself in the "Intent to Apply and Recommender Contact Info" survey: https://surveys.smccd.edu/n/NSFStep1.aspx

STEP 3: After you have completed the "Intent to Apply and Recommender Contact Info" survey above, you will use the "Full 2020 NSF Scholarship Application" link below to complete your full application for the NSF Scholarship, including uploading of all required documents.

Full 2020 NSF Scholarship Application & Document Upload: https://surveys.smccd.edu/n/2020NSFApply.aspx

Your completed application must include (NOTE: Have all of these documents ready to upload when you start the application): 

  1. Transcripts – High school students need to request a copy of their transcripts from their high school. Current Cañada College students need to include copies of ALL college coursework at Cañada College and any other colleges they have attended. Unofficial transcripts are accepted.
  2. Financial Aid Screen Shots -- you will be required to upload two screen shots or PDFs of your financial aid information from Websmart. under Financial Aid tab-- Eligibility Requirements screen and Award Overview screen  (see this linked document for step-by-step instructions on how to find these screens in Websmart)
  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. Your SEP can be found on your DegreeWorks, click on the SEP tab and click Print to save as a PDF file for uploading. If you do not have a current SEP, come to the STEM Center and talk to a member of the STEM Team to schedule an appointment with a STEM counselor.
  4. Personal Statement – Must be typed, double-spaced. Your response should be at least 250 and no more than 750 words in length. Include information about you, your family and background; your academic and career goals, and your motivation to pursue these goals.  Describe your educational achievements and experiences; involvement in extra-curricular activities, community service, and volunteerism (both on-campus and off-campus).   Explain how you have overcome any special circumstances or challenges.

STEP 3: Remind the instructor who will be writing the Letter of Recommendation for you that it is due no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 12, 2020.

 NOTE: The completed online application and letter of recommendation must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 12, 2020.

If you need help, or have any questions, please ask a member of the STEM Center Team for assistance. We will announce when we will host workshops to help with your personal statement.

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

  • Achievement Level 1: $5,000
    Students eligible to take Calculus 1, or higher in fall 2020; and have two years of study at Cañada College before transfer.
  • Achievement Level 2: $5,000
    Students eligible to take Calculus 2, or higher in fall 2020, and are within one year of transfer.
  • Transfer Level: $4,000
    Students who enrolled at a 4-year university as a STEM major.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE 1833809. Any opinions expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).