NSF S-STEM Scholarships

It aims to provide scholarship support for academically-talented, financially-needy science, technology, engineering and math students, and train these students to become effective scientific and technological contributors when entering the STEM workforce. 

Scholarships will be awarded for up to two years. New and current students are eligible to apply. Scholarships vary in amount up to $6,000 per year and can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and other needs. Scholarship recipients will be part of a learning community and will be assigned a faculty mentor with the opportunity to actively participate in faculty-mentored undergraduate research.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • To qualify, students must:
    • Be a United States citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen
    • Have financial need (as defined for undergraduate students by the U.S. Department of Education criteria for Federal Financial Aid)
    • Maintain full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 credits per semester)
    • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
    • Agree to participate in a one credit seminar, which would include an undergraduate research component, and participate in scholarship program activities

Application Process:

  1. Complete and submit all of the following documents directly to College of Southern Maryland by the priority deadline of May 1. Due to the COVID virus, please e-mail the application and reference letter to:  mdosterhouse@csmd.edu.

    NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program
    Dr. Melanie Osterhouse
    115 JW Williams RD
    Prince Frederick, MD 20678
    1. Complete the scholarship application form
    2. An essay written by the applicant (450-500 words, typed, double-spaced) explaining your interest in your field of study, your qualifications, and how you will benefit from this award
    3. Complete College of Southern Maryland’s Placement Exam or submit appropriate SAT, ACT, AP or IB scores or demonstrate completion of college level English and Mathematics courses.
    4. Letter of recommendation**
    5. Official Transcript (high school or college, as appropriate)**

      **Students who have previously submitted letters of recommendations and/or transcripts to the Office of Admissions and Advising do not need to re-submit these documents.

  2. Complete the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority deadline for the FAFSA is March 1, 2021. Students can submit a FAFSA after March 1. The FAFSA may be completed by accessing the Financial Aid Services Website (CSM’s Federal School Code is 002064 and must be included on the FAFSA)*:
    • Log into the FAFSA website at www.fafsa.ed.gov and select “START 2021-2022 FAFSA”
    • Follow the easy step-by-step instructions
  3. If you do not have access to the internet, please use a computer at CSM, your high school, and/or a public library.

Frequently Asked Questions

College of Southern Maryland has been awarded a 5-year grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the S-STEM grant. By applying to the STEM Scholars program you may be eligible for this award. You must be a full-time student intending to pursue a degree in a STEM field.

A STEM field is any discipline pertaining to science, technology, engineering or mathematics. This includes (but is not limited to) astronomy, biology, chemistry/biochemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, geology, mathematics, and physics.

Even though you may be a pre-med, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, Nursing, or Physical, Occupational, or Respiratory Therapy student, the NSF considers these to be “health professions," which makes you ineligible for the STEM Scholars program. These programs are typically supported by NIH and other organizations.

You will no longer be eligible for the program or scholarships.

No, but this score may be one of the criteria used to determine your academic potential.

As a STEM Scholar at CSM, you will receive extensive support services and an opportunity to participate in paid undergraduate research through the S-STEM Grant.

STEM Scholars will also have the chance to explore various STEM career options, interact with experienced professionals in STEM fields, travel to professional STEM-related research conferences and participate in a paid undergraduate research opportunity or internship with faculty mentors. Additional benefits include academic advising and mentoring, peer and professional tutoring, participation in the CSM Summer Bridge Pre-College Program, university visits, and transfer preparation.

The S-STEM program supports the National Science Foundation’s strategic goal to help create a diverse, competitive, and globally engaged U.S. workforce of scientists, engineers, technologists, and well-prepared citizens.

The S-STEM Scholarship is a grant provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the College of Southern Maryland that allows CSMD to provide eligible students with scholarships that last the duration of their two-year associate’s degree. Students awarded the S-STEM scholarship at CSMD who transfer to pursue a bachelor’s degree program in the STEM field at other institutions will be eligible (preferred but not guaranteed) for an S-STEM scholarship (covering tuition and fees). These scholarships are awarded to academically talented, low-income students intending to pursue a STEM career.

  • You must be a full-time CSM student.
  • You must be planning on going into a STEM field (astronomy, biology, chemistry/biochemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, geology, mathematics or physics).
  • Due to NSF requirements, clinical and health-science majors such as nursing, medicine, and dentistry, as well as K-12 education are excluded from this award.
  • Must show evidence of academic potential from high school and maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA while at CSM
  • Must be a US citizen or legal resident (as defined on the STEM Scholars application).
  • Must show financial need (see below for further detail on this) (S-STEM only)
  • Students from underrepresented minority populations (African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian/Native American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, and Native Pacific Islander) are encouraged to apply.

The NSF only allows this scholarship to be awarded to US citizens and legal residents (as defined on the STEM Scholars application).

To meet these criteria a student must demonstrate Pell eligibility. You will need to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as part of your application process so this can be determined.

This scholarship can be added to the other scholarships and/or other grant funding such as Pell.

You will need to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher while attending CSMD. You will need to show continued financial need and remain a STEM major. You will also be required to attend and participate in events that assist in furthering your academic and professional achievement.

Students will be encouraged to participate in studies designed to understand their experiences in the program. Research will follow all ethical guidelines as outlined in IRB Policy of CSM.

  • Scholarships covering tuition and required course materials will be awarded on an ongoing basis for up to 2 consecutive years as long as you meet the financial need requirements and other eligibility criteria.
  • This scholarship can be added to other scholarships and grant funding (such as Pell).
  • You will be given opportunities for involvement in undergraduate research, career counseling, peer and professional tutoring, internships, and other academic activities.

No, but this scholarship is intended to help you work less so that you can study more. We strongly recommend you reduce your work hours as much as possible if awarded this scholarship.

No, it will not. Students awarded the S-STEM scholarship at CSM who transfer to other institutions to pursue a bachelor’s degree program in STEM will be eligible (preferred but not guaranteed) for an S-STEM scholarship (covering tuition and fees).

You can ask for a letter from a high school teacher (STEM teacher preferred), counselor/advisor or a current professor from one of your classes at CSM. The more recently the teacher or professor has had you in their class, the better for the purposes of the letter. Have your letter writer send their letter directly to the STEM Scholars program committee; the e-mail address is on the recommendation letter form.

A PDF of the recommendation letter can be printed off from the link on the application form.

Contact Us

E-mail us at FinAid@csmd.edu

Phone: 301-934-7531
Fax: 301-934-7694


Monday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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