Thanks to computer programming scholarships, you can turn your coding skills into free money to reduce tuition costs for your post-secondary degree. Scholarships are awarded by national associations and professional firms nationwide to financially support aspiring computer programmers with the goal of creating software programs that run beautifully.
In today's digital age, it's becoming increasingly important to have talented programmers behind the scenes writing the codes in C++ and Python that make innovative software function. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the IT industry will add on to the 300,000 computer programmers employed in America at the average rate of 8%.
If you're looking to specialize within this computer systems design profession, below are 20 of the most lucrative scholarships available for earning a degree related to computer programming.
1. Anne Maureen Whitney Barrow Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 16th
Sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Anne Maureen Whitney Barrow Memorial Scholarship has been awarded since 1991 to provide $7,000 each year for a maximum of five years to female students enrolling in a bachelor's degree program for computer science, computer engineering, or computer programming. Applicants must attend an ABET-accredited institution in America or Mexico, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and not be receiving another renewable SWE scholarship. Applications must be accompanied by official college transcripts, proof of full-time enrollment, two letters of recommendation from STEM professors, and a current resume.
2. Betty Stevens Frecknall Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
In honor of a very successful woman who worked as the manager for a large programmer group responsible for the HUD information systems infrastructure, the Betty Stevens Frecknall Scholarship is granted annually for $2,000 through the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP). Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens enrolled full-time as undergraduate students at accredited institutions in the United States with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in a program for computer science, information technology, computer programming, management information systems, or related fields. Recipients are chosen based on their scholastic achievement, leadership ability, and financial need.
3. Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
In partnership with the Seattle Foundation, Microsoft Corporation has created the Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Scholarships to present $5,000 to two outstanding high school seniors of African descent who will be pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer information systems, computer engineering, computer programming, or other select majors. Qualified applicants must plan to attend a four-year college this fall, demonstrate a passion for technology, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.3, require financial assistance, and show leadership ability. Applications will be incomplete without two letters of recommendation, a current photograph, a resume, an official transcript, and two essays.
4. Codeup Women in Programming Scholarships
Since women comprise just 23% of programmers in America, Codeup has established the Women in Programming Scholarships to provide $1,000 to $5,000 to female college students who are considering a career in computer programming or software development. For consideration, candidates must answer a series of essay questions describing what motivated them to become a programmer, what character traits will contribute to their success, and what benefits women bring to the male-dominated programming world. Recipients will receive a tuition decrease to attend Codeup's Day Full-Stack Bootcamp or Night Front-End Bootcamp for further developing their programming skills.
5. Etsy Hacker Grants for Women
Deadline: May 22nd
As the world's handmade marketplace dedicated to encouraging more women into computer programming and engineering, Etsy offers the Hacker Grants annually for $5,000 apiece to 10 female students wishing to spend three months full-time in New York at the Hacker School to become better programmers. Since Hacker School charges no tuition, the grants are designed for use in covering housing, food, childcare, and other expenses during the immersive learning experience. Women who are undergraduate or graduate students, experienced programmers, career changers, or other computer scientists are all welcome to apply for this opportunity.
6. ExCel Computing Scholars Program
Deadline: February 1st
At selected universities across the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided funding for the Excellence in Computing at Every Level (ExCEL) Scholars Program to present $5,000 annually to academically talented students pursuing a degree in computer science, information technology, software development, network security, bioinformatics, computer programming, computer engineering, and related areas. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program, have at least 15 credits of studies remaining, carry a minimum GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate a strong commitment for starting a career in computing.
7. Google Code Jam Competition Awards
Deadline: April 12th
Offering 26 awards ranging in value from $100 to $15,000, the Google Code Jam Competition is hosted annually as one of the top computer programming competitions in the world consisting of intense algorithmic puzzles and multiple online rounds. Qualified participants must be at least 18 years of age, reside within a participating country, possess extensive programming skills, not be current employees or family members of Google affiliates, and register for the contest. Awards will be granted to participants who make it to the final round and complete a series of algorithm programming problems using Visual Studio or MATLAB within the time limit.
8. Google SVA Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 27th
In collaboration with the Student Veterans of America, the Google SVA Scholarship Program is available annually to grant up to $10,000 in financial assistance to military veterans who are currently pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in computer science, computer engineering, computer programming, and other closely related computer fields. Eligible applicants must attend an accredited university in America full-time, maintain strong academic performance, be honorably discharged from military service, and demonstrate a passion for computer sciences. Selected students will also be invited to attend the Google Scholars' Retreat in Mountain View that summer.
9. IBM Destination Z Enterprise Computing Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
In the amounts of $500, $1,000, and $1,500, the IBM Destination Z Enterprise Computing Scholarship is awarded each year to undergraduate college students who exhibit excellence in their enterprise computing coursework while pursuing a degree in computer science, computer programming, computer engineering, or other computing-related areas. Qualified applicants must have plans for a professional career in the mainframe community, be in outstanding academic standing, and attend a partnering post-secondary school with IBM Destination Z membership in the United States or Canada. A panel of judges from Rocket Software, Innovation Data Processing, Vicom Infinity, and IBM will select the winners.
10. Judith A. Sanders Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
Administered through the Rural Technology Fund (RTF), the Judith A. Sanders Memorial Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to graduating high school seniors who are planning to enroll full-time in a two or four-year college to receive a degree in computer science, computer programming, software engineering, computer engineering, information technology, network security, information systems, and other technology fields. Qualified candidates must reside in Graves County within western Kentucky, have pride in their rural upbringing, and intend to lead a career in computing. Applicants must submit a completed application form with three essay responses showcasing their accomplishments and goals in technology.
11. Knight Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: December 1st
At Northwestern University, the Knight Foundation offers scholarships to cover half of tuition costs for individuals with computer programming and web development backgrounds who wish to pursue a master's degree through the Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications. Eligible candidates must have strong programming skills, wish to use their technological abilities in the journalism world, already have earned a bachelor's degree in computer science or programming, and have worked full-time as a programmer. To apply, students must complete an online application, upload a current resume, and write a 750-word essay discussing how journalism relates to technology today.
12. Lucy Kasparian Aharonian Scholarship
Deadline: April 21st
Through the Armenian International Women's Association (AIWA), the Lucy Kasparian Aharonian Scholarship was established to honor a successful Armenian woman who enjoyed a long career as a software engineer and computer programmer for Raytheon. In order to qualify for this $1,000 award, female candidates of Armenian descent must be entering their junior or senior year at an accredited U.S. institution full-time with a major in computer science, technology, engineering, computer programming, or other technical science fields. Selection will be based on applicants' academic merit, future career aspirations, heritage, and financial need.
Lucy Kasparian Aharonian Scholarship
65 Main Street Suite 3A
Watertown, MA 02472
13. Oracle Scholarship for Excellence in Computer Science
Deadline: March 31st
Sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind (NFIB), the Oracle Scholarship for Excellence in Computer Science is awarded for $8,000 annually to a student pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering, computer programming, or a related field. Qualified applicants must be legally blind in both eyes, reside within the United States, be attending a post-secondary institution full-time, and plan to form a career creating technologies for people with disabilities. Applications should include a 700-word essay, official college transcripts, college entrance exam scores, two letters of recommendation, and proof of legal blindness.
14. P.O. Pistilli Undergraduate Scholarship
Deadline: March 6th
Offered by the Special Interest Group on Design Automation (SIGDA) for a maximum of five years of funding, the P.O. Pistilli Undergraduate Scholarship gives $4,000 annually for two to seven graduating high school seniors from underrepresented groups who wish to pursue a degree in computer science, computer engineering, computer programming, electrical engineering, or a closely related field. Eligible students must show high achievement in science, exhibit substantial financial need, be accepted at an accredited U.S. institution, and carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Applications must be accompanied by three recommendation letters, official transcripts, income tax returns, and a personal statement.
15. Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund
Deadline: June 29th
Annually, the Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund is offered by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences to award $2,500 to two deserving college students majoring in computer programming, engineering, game design, sound design, art, animation, music, computer science, and other relevant fields. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in an accredited American college, have the intent of entering the game industry, carry a GPA of 3.3 or above, and require financial assistance. Candidates will be asked to submit verification of enrollment, two letters of recommendation, official college transcripts, and a two-page essay explaining their goals in interactive entertainment.
16. Samuel L. Gravely Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
Funded through Booz Allen Hamilton, the Samuel L. Gravely Memorial Scholarship is given each year for $5,000 by the AFCEA to full-time undergraduate students currently pursuing a major in computer engineering, computer forensics, computer programming, computer science, computer systems, cyber security, information technology, network security, and related STEM fields. Eligible recipients must be enrolled in an accredited historically black college or university (HBCU) in the United States, have attained sophomore or junior status, and possess a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Online applications should be submitted with a current official transcript and at least two professional letters of recommendation.
Samuel L. Gravely Memorial Scholarship
4440 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033
17. Scott Tarbell Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 1st
Within the Hemophilia Federation of America (HFA), the Scott Tarbell Scholarship Program is hosted each year to distribute $1,500 to college students with a bleeding disorder who are planning to pursue a degree in computer science, computer programming, engineering, or mathematics. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, be accepted for full-time enrollment in an accredited college or vocational school, have severe hemophilia A or B, and demonstrate good academic standing. These scholarships can also be used by recipients to receive computer-related professional certifications, including MCSE, CNE, and CNA.
Scott Tarbell Scholarship Program
201 Great Circle Road
Nashville, TN 37228
(800) 800-6066 ext. 5175
18. The Scobey Scholarship Fund
Deadline: June 1st and December 1st
Named in honor of Dr. Porter Scobey, a beloved professor at Saint Mary's University who teaches computer programming, data algorithms, object-oriented programming, and Internet technologies, the Scobey Scholarship Fund was created to award $500 twice annually through SimplyCast. High school and college undergraduate students can utilize this funding to lessen tuition expenses for earning a computer science, computer programming, or computer engineering degree at an accredited North American institution. The scholarship committee looks for well-rounded recipients who show academic achievement, extra-curricular participation, relevant work experience, and future programming aspirations.
19. Upsilon Pi Epsilon Scholarships
Deadline: October 31st
In partnership with the IEEE Computer Society, the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society awards four scholarships annually for $1,000 apiece to aspiring computer professionals who are pursuing a degree related to computer science, computer programming, computer security, computer systems management, or computer engineering. Eligible candidates must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program, attend an accredited U.S. institution, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have UPE membership, and submit three certified letters of recommendation. Recipients will be chosen based on their academic record, extra-curricular involvement, recommendations, and goals in the computing discipline.
20. Webucator Scholarships for Computer Science
Deadline: March 31st
Each year, the Webucator Scholarships for Computer Science are distributed for $1,000 apiece to full-time undergraduate or graduate degree students who are majoring in any discipline related to computer science, including computer programming. Qualified applicants must attend an accredited university in the United States, have completed at least one college-level computer science class, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and display a good understanding of computer programming. For consideration, students must submit a completed application with a resume, current academic transcript, letter of referral from a computer science professor, and a 350-word statement explaining their career aspirations.
If you're interested in becoming a computer programmer, it's a smart idea to earn a degree to learn the specific programming languages involved in writing code and creating software. While computer programmers earn a high average annual salary of $80,930, you'll first need to invest in four or more years of tuition in higher education to reach this return. Consider applying to some of these excellent computer programming scholarships to reap a good ROI for your training in the complex inner workings of computer systems.