You may be planning to pursue engineering and robotics studies but wondering how you will meet your financial obligations. Courses in this field can be expensive and time-consuming, leaving you with no option for part-time work. The high cost of the engineering course should not be a deterrent in achieving your goals. Several scholarship programs have been established to support prospective students like you, who wish to develop careers in engineering and robotics.

The FIRST Scholarship Program

These scholarships are offered to high school students by several universities, colleges, professional associations and corporations in partnership with FIRST -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The scholarships are merit-based and available to students who have participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition programs. Award amounts range from $500, non-renewable, to full tuition covering all four years. Each college or university that provides the scholarship determines eligibility requirements and application deadlines and procedures.

Robotics Education & Competition Foundation Scholarships

The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation provides qualified high school students up to 70 scholarships, worth over $1.4 million, in partnership with colleges and universities, including Florida Institute of Technology, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, among others. The amount of the scholarship and the number awarded varies by school. Applicants should have intent to pursue a degree in robotics engineering, although some universities will consider degrees related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Scholarships requirements are determined by each school and several expect prior participation in the VEX Robotics Competition.

The Proton OnSite Scholarship and Innovation Program

Applications are considered from high school seniors, college students and adult innovators. You will be challenged to demonstrate creative ways for generating and utilizing hydrogen from renewable resources to meet a real-world need. The winner receives either a $100,000 college scholarship to cover undergraduate tuition or a $50,000 toward developing an idea or product via a business venture. Scholarship recipients are required to remain enrolled full-time and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 while in college. Applications should include a detailed document about your concept and a video or online link that gives a presentation about your idea.

Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship

This scholarship, administered by the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, offers awards of $1,000 and up for one academic year. Full-time graduate students or those in the final two years of undergraduate studies in electrical engineering, computer engineering or computer science with a minimum GPA of 2.5 are eligible. You must be an active member of a student branch or chapter of the Computer Society. Application deadlines are April 30 and Sep. 30 of each year.