Contests & Scholarships: Detail
|Contest / Scholarship||STEM Academic Competitiveness Grants|
|Description:||New Academic Grants for STEM Majors
In its final budget reconciliation agreement (S. 1932), Congress amended the Higher Education Act to establish several new academic grants as mandatory funding programs for low-income students. The grant programs, to be administered through the Department of Education, are intended to encourage students to major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. First- and second-year undergraduate students that meet the necessary qualifications would be eligible for Academic Competitiveness Grants. Third- and fourth-year undergraduates who, in addition to meeting the qualifications, are pursuing a major in a STEM field or certain foreign languages, would be eligible for National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants. The legislation also creates an Academic Competitiveness Council to help identify, review, coordinate, and improve federal STEM education programs, and continues an increase in the amount of student loan forgiveness available to science and math teachers.
Academic Competitiveness Grants
: In their first two years of higher education, students are eligible for Academic Competitiveness Grants if they are U.S. citizens, eligible to receive Pell Grants, have completed a "rigorous" high school program, and, for the second-year grant, have maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average in their first year. The first-year grant amount is $750; the second-year grant amount is $1,300.
For the Academic Competitiveness and SMART Grants and the Academic Competitiveness Council, the total amounts authorized are: FY 2006: $790 million; FY 2007: $850 million; FY 2008: $920 million; FY 2009: $960 million; and FY 2010: $1.01 billion.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
: Additionally, the budget reconciliation legislation extends a teacher loan forgiveness provision that otherwise would have expired at the end of the 2005 fiscal year. It reathorizes the increase (from $5,000 to $17,500) in the amount of student loan forgiveness available for science, mathematics and special education teachers who meet certain criteria, including teaching in high-need schools for five years.
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|For Residents of:||U.S.|
|Other Requirements:||Applied for with the Pell through the FAFSA. This is need based.|
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