FIRST Scholarship FAQs
Q1: What is the FIRST Scholarship Program?
- College scholarships for students who have participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and/or FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) programs
- FIRST Scholarships are exclusive to FIRST students and are funded and offered by colleges and universities for use at their campus, or by corporations, organizations, and professional associations for use at any college or university.
- FIRST Scholarships are not funded or administered by FIRST.
Q2: What kinds of scholarships are available?
- Most FIRST scholarships are merit-based scholarships and may be renewable each year if you maintain an acceptable academic average.
- There are a few need-based scholarships.
- The majority (~60%) are for STEM majors. Others (~40%) are for any major you choose.
- Each scholarship is unique and has its own award amount, eligibility requirements, application requirements, and application deadline.
Q3: What is the amount of a FIRST Scholarship?
- Each scholarship is unique and has its own award amount.
- They range in value from $1,000 non-renewable to full tuition for all four years.
- Some schools offer a range of scholarship amounts, dependent upon your academic average.
Q4: Who can apply for a FIRST Scholarship
- High school students participating on FRC and FTC teams can apply for FIRST Scholarships.
- Most scholarships are for seniors, but there are a few scholarships available to juniors or college students.
- Each scholarship may also have other eligibility requirements, be sure to check carefully that you are eligible to apply.
Q5: When do I apply for a FIRST Scholarship?
- Most scholarship applications are due during January through April.
- Each scholarship has its own application deadline.
Q6: Where do I find the list of FIRST Scholarships?
- The current FIRST Scholarship Opportunities listing is at: www.usfirst.org/about/scholarships/scholarship-opportunities
- List is by school/scholarship provider of all of the available scholarships.
- Follow the "More details..." and "View application..." links to see detailed information specific to each scholarship.
Q7: There are so many scholarships in the list of FIRST Scholarship Opportunities. How do I find the scholarships that are appropriate for me?
- You can refine your search by using the drop down menus and check boxes in the "Narrow the results with these filters" box.
- Once you have made your selection, click the Update button. Also see How to use Scholarship Search Filters.
Q8: I'm on an FTC team, how do I find scholarships for which I can apply?
- Using the "Narrow the results with these filters" box, select FTC from the Program drop down menu - Then click the Update button.
- This will display only scholarships for which FTC students can apply.
Q8: I don’t plan to be an engineer. Are there any scholarships for me?
Yes! Approximately 40% of the scholarships are for "any course of study". The remaining 60% are for special majors such as engineering, math, science, computer science, or technology. When searching the FIRST Scholarship Opportunities list, try using the "For any course of study" option in the "Narrow the results with these filters" box. This will display all scholarships that can be used for any course of study.
Q9: How can I see what new FIRST Scholarships have been added or updated since I last looked at the website?
- To sort the list of scholarships by the date they were posted on the website, select Sort By - Date Posted in the "Narrow the results with these filters" box".
- Then scroll to the bottom of the list to see the most recently added/modified scholarships.
Q10: The college that I want to attend doesn’t offer a FIRST scholarship. Any suggestions?
- Look for FIRST scholarships offered by corporations or associations that are not associated with a particular school.
- To do this easily, check the "Can be used at any school" box in the "Narrow the results with these filters" box.
- You can also call the Director of Admissions or Dean of Engineering at the school you want to attend and ask if they would be intereested in offering a FIRST scholarship.
- If that person is unfamiliar with FIRST, tell them about your FIRST experience and why they are missing out on promoting their school to thousands of talented students like you. (Maybe your contact will be responsible for that school ultimately deciding to offer a FIRST scholarship.)
Q11: How do I apply for a FIRST Scholarship?
- Each FIRST Scholarship has its own unique application process.
- Be sure to read the scholarship description carefully. Click the "More details" link in the description column. If there is a "View application" link, be sure to follow that also.
- You will find instructions on how to apply within the scholarship description.
- You may need to write an essay and/or send a recommendation letter from a mentor. Plan to do this before build season, if possible.
- If you have any questions about the application process, contact the Scholarship Provider directly.
Q12: When should I apply for a FIRST Scholarship?
- Each FIRST scholarship has an associated application deadline date, but it may be to your advantage to get your application in before this date.
Q13: Can I apply for more than one FIRST Scholarship?
- Yes! At the time that you need to apply for a scholarship, you may not know which school you will be attending.
- If you are applying to two schools that each offer a FIRST Scholarship, it makes sense to apply for both of those FIRST scholarships.
- Being offered a FIRST scholarship may affect your decision of what school you will attend.
Q14: I missed the scholarship application deadline. Is there anything I can do?
- That depends upon the school policy and whether they have received enough applicants for their scholarship.
- Contact the school and explain why you missed the application deadline. Unfortunately FIRST cannot assit with late applications.
Q15: It’s late in the spring and I know I have missed many of the scholarship deadlines. How can I easily see what scholarships are still accepting applications?
- To sort the list of scholarships by deadline date, click on the column heading "Deadline". Then scroll down the list until you reach scholarships with future deadline dates.
Q16: What are my chances of winning a FIRST Scholarship?
- There are many factors that affect your chances of being offered a FIRST scholarship.
- Certainly high on the list is how well you match the eligibility criteria for that particular scholarship.
- Some scholarships get many applicants, others get only one or two applicants each year.
Q17: If I win a scholarship offered by a college and then decide not to attend that college, what happens to my scholarship?
- Most colleges and universities offer scholarships for use only at their campus, so you will not be eligible to receive the scholarship if you attend another school.
- If the school has campuses in multiple locations, be sure to check with the school to see if your scholarship can be used at the campus you plan to attend.
Q18: Can I take my scholarship with me if I transfer from one college to another?
- Probably not.
- If the scholarship was provided by a college or university, the scholarship typically is for use only at their campus. However, check with your Scholarship Provider.
Q19: I won a FIRST scholarship last year. Now that I am in college, what do I need to do to renew my scholarship for next year?
- Many of the FIRST Scholarships are renewable, but may require additional paperwork and/or a minimum GPA in college.
- Be sure to check with your college Financial Aid Office or your scholarship donor to see what is expected of you.
- There may be a deadline by which you must file some paperwork, so check with them early in the year.