Scholarships & Financial Aid

According to the Institute for College Access and Success, 69% of students—that’s 7 in 10 seniors—accrued an average of $28,400 in student loan debt in 2013. Federal loans generally place students on a 10-year repayment track; however, it can take up to 20 years to pay off the debt. Steep interest rates often lead to higher than expected monthly payments, and attempting to stay on the 10-year track can set students back substantially each month. As a prospective computer science student, it’s easy to assume financing your degree will require mountains of debt.

Fortunately, the field of computer science continues to rapidly expand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developer positions alone will grow 22% by 2022. This demand has created ample scholarship opportunities for computer science majors —and these could cover most or even all of your tuition.

Most Likely to Get Job Offers

The National Association of Colleges and Employers listed computer science among the majors most likely to get job offers in their Class of 2014 Student Survey Report.

Lowest Unemployment Rate

According to a 2013 study from Georgetown University, the unemployment rate for computer science majors was 8.7%, lower than the rate for those who majored in the arts, law or public policy.

Best Return Investment

A 2014 study conducted by found that computer science majors have the best net 20-year return on investment out of all of the degrees they researched.


Below you’ll find our curated list of computer science scholarships, as well as our extensive scholarship database. These opportunities will put you well on your way to reducing your tuition burden. We’ve also included an overview of how financial aid works to help you complete the picture and confidently plan your education.

Computer Science Scholarships

Professional Organizations

  • UPE Scholarship Award

  • Amount$1,000 - $2,500

OrganzationUpsilon Pi Epsilon and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)


This scholarship aims to support full-time, undergraduate and graduate students who are ACM members and members of the ACM Student Chapter at their institution. Applicants must supply a comprehensive application which includes academic transcripts, a UPE advisor recommendation letter, personal statements and a description of long-term professional plans.

  • Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship

  • Amount$1,000

OrganzationInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


Sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, this award is given in memoriam of the former president of the organization, Richard E Merwin, to reward student leadership. Undergraduates in their final two years of study and graduate students pursuing electrical or computer engineering, computer science or a well-defined computer degree who are active members of a student branch or chapter are eligible. The reward is non-renewable.

  • Thomson Reuters Information Science Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Scholarship

  • Amount$1,500 / $500 for travel

OrganzationThomson Reuters/Association for Information Science & Technology


Sponsored by Thomson Reuters and administered by the ASIS&T Information Science Education Committee, this award is designed to encourage doctoral students by supporting their dissertation research. Applicants must be active doctoral students in the information science area in a doctoral-granting institution and have already had their dissertation proposals accepted. Students with research already underway may be considered. Recipients may not receive the award more than once.

  • AACE International Competitive Scholarships

  • Amount$2,000 - $8,000

OrganzationAACE International


This scholarship aims to advance the study of cost engineering and cost management through the integrative process of Total Cost Management by supporting full-time undergraduates pursuing degrees in engineering, construction, computer science, business, information technology, quantity surveying and other relevant subjects. Awards are given for use in the fall term of the following academic year.

  • AFCEA ROTC Scholarship

  • Amount$2,000 - $3,000

OrganzationArmed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)


This scholarship supports students enrolled full-time with Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence-related majors. Applicants must be in their sophomore or junior year of their undergraduate degree. Additionally, applications have to be endorsed and submitted by ROTC Professors of Military Science, Naval Science or Aerospace Studies to be considered. Enrollment in ROTC is also required, and students must demonstrate moral character, academic excellence and the potential to become an officer in the United States Armed Forces.

  • AFCEA Cyber Security Scholarship

  • AmountNot yet announced

OrganzationArmed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)


Granted by the AFCEA Educational Foundation, this scholarship is meant for both undergraduate and graduate students majoring in STEM subjects with a focus on Cyber Security, Intelligence and Homeland Security-related disciplines. Only sophomore and junior level undergraduates and graduate students in their second second semester are eligible to apply.

Women and Minorities

  • The Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship: USA

  • Amount$10,000



This scholarship commemorates Dr. Anita Borg and aims to support women in technology. It is nonrenewable and applies only to the upcoming academic year. Undergraduate and graduate women applying to or currently enrolled in computer science, computer engineering or closely related technical fields are eligible for the award. Anita Borg scholars are invited to the Annual Google Scholars’ Retreat at the Googleplex, which includes both academic and social programs over three days.

  • CRA-W Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security

  • Amount$5,000 - $10,000

OrganzationComputing Research Association


SWSIS is sponsored by the Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA), Computing Research Association-Women (CRA-W) and the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP). Applicants must be women in bachelor or master’s programs with information security coursework in their studies, a previously held security-related job or membership of a security-related club. Winners will be invited to security conferences held by ACSA and HP with all expenses paid and have the option to participate in career mentoring programs put together by the CRA-W. Some winners may be offered summer internships with HP.

  • Out to Innovate Scholarships

  • Amount$5,000

OrganzationNational Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals


NOGLSTP created this scholarship for LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM fields. Sponsors for the scholarship vary each year, but next year’s award will be funded by Motorola Solutions Foundation. Students must at least be in their junior or senior year of undergraduate to be eligible.

  • AISES Intel Scholarship

  • Amount$5,000 undergrad/up to $10,000 grad

OrganzationAmerican Indian Science and Engineering Society


The AISES awards this scholarship to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian student members of the organization pursuing degrees in STEM. Created with Intel, this is a non-renewable scholarship for full-time undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in accredited schools who can provide proof of their ancestry.

  • Xerox Minority Scholarships

  • Amount$1,000 - $10,000



This scholarship funds minority students studying technical sciences or engineering disciplines. Applicants must be full-time students pursuing either an undergraduate or graduate degree with an established B average or better. To apply, students complete an application which includes a form filled out by the Financial Aid Office of their institution.

  • Microsoft Tuition Scholarships

  • AmountPartial or full tuition for one year



Microsoft strives to encourage and support underrepresented populations in computer science; all may apply, but women, minorities and students with disabilities will be the majority selected for awards. Recipients will have their tuition for one year fully or partially covered. Applicants are required to apply for a summer internship and complete it at the Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, WA, if invited. Additionally, applicants must be undergraduate students currently enrolled at a four-year institution with a steady grade point average of at least a 3.0 but preferably a 4.0.

  • The Lucy Kasparian Aharonian Scholarship

  • Amount$1,000

OrganzationArmenian International Women's Association


This scholarship is given in memoriam of Lucy Kasparian Aharonian, an active member of the Society of Women Engineers who worked as a software engineer, educator and basket artist. Applicants must be full-time, female students of Armenian descent attending accredited schools. Students must be entering the junior or senior year of their undergraduate degree or attending graduate school.

  • Honeywell Scholarship

  • Amount$5,000

OrganzationSociety of Women Engineers


This scholarship supports women pursuing ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in engineering, engineering technology and computer science. Not all states are eligible for this scholarship, so students should check to see if their state is one of the approved twenty.


  • AfterCollege & NSA Mathematics and Computer Science Student Scholarship

  • Amount$500

OrganzationNational Security Agency


This scholarship is available to students working toward a degree at any level in computer science, computer engineering or mathematics. Applicants must be US Citizens with at least a 3.0 GPA to be considered.


  • Northrop Grumman Engineering Scholars Program

  • Amount$10,000

OrganzationNorthrop Grumman


This award is designed to support promising high school seniors interested in pursuing an education in an approved engineering, computer science, mathematics or physics program who live in communities where Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems are located. These areas include 23 counties in Maryland as well as parts of California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Utah and Virginia. Recipients will receive the scholarship funding in increments of $2,500 over the course of four years. However, they must comply with the ongoing application requirements each year to maintain funding.

  • Future Engineers Scholarship Program

  • Amount$5,000

OrganzationKelly Services


This scholarship is presented by Kelly Services to full-time undergraduate students in their sophomore or junior year who’ve been accepted into a School of Engineering. A minimum of 3.0 GPA is required as well as multiple essays on topics relevant to engineering.


  • The Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology

  • Amount$1,000 - $100,000



Considered the premier math and science research competition, this contest for scholarships is designed to allow high achieving high school students to compete for tuition funding. More than $600,000 in scholarships are awarded through regional and national events presented by the Siemens Foundation each year. Students should be in their senior year of high school with plans to enter a related field at a college or university.

  • The Barry Goldwater Scholarship

  • AmountUp to $7,500 annually

OrganzationBarry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation


Authorized by Congress in 1986 to honor the late Senator Barry Goldwater, this scholarship recognizes outstanding students studying science and mathematics. Two recipients attending four-year undergraduate degree programs are chosen annually, one student in their junior year and another in their senior year. Students are judged on merit and must be planning to pursue research careers in mathematics, science or engineering. A student’s college or university must nominate them through an online nomination process on the Foundation’s website.

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Other Funding Sources

If scholarships don’t quite cover your tuition, there are additional sources of funding. Often, a mixture of financial assistance is needed to cover the entirety of the cost. Below you’ll find an explanation of how to use grants and loans to bridge the gap.



Grants, like scholarships, are awards that don’t need to be repaid. Grants often fund all or part of your tuition and are based off of financial need rather than student merit. These include Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG). Grants may come from the federal government, state government, your college institution or a private or nonprofit organization.

Research grants are another avenue for computer science students. Organizations offering research grants review students’ research proposals, select those which best match their mission and in turn, fund the research and related costs. The National Science Foundation aggregates recently announced computer & information science and engineering active funding opportunities. Additionally, the IEEE Foundation annually invites grant applicants to submit projects that address pre-defined themes.


It’s possible scholarships and grants won’t cover all of your student debt, so it’s important to research and understand how to borrow money. Loans require repayment and can be difficult to navigate.

Federal Loans

Federal aid requires completing and submitting a FAFSA to your schools of choice. The FAFSA application is used to determine your eligibility for federal loans, such as the Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct PLUS Loan and the Federal Perkins Loan Program. All of which offer flexible repayment options. It’s highly recommended students submit their FAFSA online to speed up the process.

In order to obtain federal loans, make sure the program you’re planning on attending has been accredited by a recognized accrediting body. The US Department of Education requires schools that are part of the federal student aid program be accredited. This is also true for your state education agency’s aid programs.


Look for computer science programs accredited by ABET, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). ABET accredits applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology programs at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

Private Loans

If federal loans don’t cover the entirety of your tuition, private loans are the next option. Private loans should only be considered after scholarships and federal loans have been exhausted. It’s important to pay close attention to the interest rates and repayment options for each private loan—it might not be immediately clear, but there’s a chance they aren’t worth the debt. You can use the government’s “shopping sheet” to figure out the financial burden of additional loans.

Loan Comparison Chart

Below you will find a chart to help you easily compare the differences between government and private loans. Remember, interest rates on private loans can be significantly higher than government loans with less flexible repayment options.


Loan Comparison Chart

Below you will find a chart to help you easily compare the differences between government and private loans. Remember, interest rates on private loans can be significantly higher than government loans with less flexible repayment options.

Stafford Graduate Plus Perkins Private

Eligibility Requirements

No previous federal loan defaults; Must attend school at least half time

Must attend school at least half time; acceptable credit

Must qualify as low-income student; income cut-off varies by school

Based on credit






Credit Check





Amount Available

Up to $20,500/year; $138,500 for entirety of degree

Full cost of graduate study, including living expenses

$8,000/year; varies according to college


Interest Rates

Tied to 10-year treasury note + 3.6%; Maximum of 9.5%

Tied to 10-year treasury note + 4.6%; maximum of 10.5%



Fixed Rate/Subsidized




No/No (Usually)


6 months after leaving school

Deferred until 6 months after school or after attendance drops below half time

9 months after leaving school

Immediately (Generally)

Income-based repayment






After 20-25 years; 10 years for public servants

After 10 years if employed in nonprofit or government

Various Cases