NSF S-STEM Scholarships

This scholarship is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program.

The NSF S-STEM Scholarship is designed to support greater than 1/2 time students majoring in any of the following content areas: Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Life Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Science, Information Technology, Physical Sciences, and Mathematics. 

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. 

New and current students are eligible to apply. Scholarships vary in amount up to $10,000 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 greater than half-time enrollment (minimum of 7 credits per semester)
    • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
    • Participate in scholarship program activities

Application Process:

 A. Complete and submit the completed scholarship application form to:
    • Melanie Osterhouse at mdosterhouse@csmd.edu
    • NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program
      Melanie Osterhouse
      8730 Mitchell Road
      P.O. Box 910
      La Plata, MD 20646
 B. Once your application is reviewed you will be asked to complete the following:
  •  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
  • 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.
  • Letter of recommendation**
  • 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

 C. Complete the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.govCSM’s Federal School Code is 002064 and must be included on the FAFSA.

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 taking at least 7 credits per semester and pursuing 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, cybersecurity, engineering, environmental science, geology, mathematics, and physics.

Even though you may be a 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. However, if you are pre-med, pre-dental, etc. but plan to obtain a biology or chemistry degree for your undergraduate degree before applying to medical, dental, etc., then you may qualify for the scholarship.

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 CSM to provide eligible students with scholarships helping toward obtaining the two-year associate degrees. Students awarded the S-STEM scholarship at CSM 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 maintain greater than half-time enrollment (minimum of 7 credits per semester)
  • 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 CSM. 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.

  • Scholarships covering tuition and required course materials will be awarded on an ongoing basis as long as you meet the financial need requirements and other eligibility criteria or until the grant expires.
  • 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 email 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

Email us at FinAid@csmd.edu

Phone: 301-934-7531


Monday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
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