NSF Path STEM Scholarship

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You're interested in engineering self-driving cars. Or perhaps you'd like to research and help develop personalized treatments for cancer – but college tuition will be a stretch for your family. We've got good news for you.

Thanks to generous funding from the National Science Foundation, the Honors College has launched a new initiative to support low-income students, especially those from rural regions of Arkansas, who want to graduate with a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields.

Beginning in Fall 2018, the Honors College will award Path STEM Scholarships that support 18 incoming freshman students pursuing degrees in a STEM discipline. They will receive annually renewable scholarships up to $4,500, or $5,500 if they later join the Honors College.

In addition to scholarships, our Path STEM Scholars will benefit from programs and mentoring offered by the Honors College and our partners across campus. Our goal is to create a community that will equip you with the tools you need to thrive as a future STEM professional. You will commit to:

  • Accelerate Student Achievement Program (ASAP) summer bridge 
  • Living Learning Community in Hotz Honors Hall
  • Peer and faculty mentoring
  • Academic Success Advising
  • Research and Internships
  • Student Development and Engagement

Students from rural geographic areas are encouraged to apply. To be a Path STEM Scholar, students must:

  • Be considered low-income as determined by FAFSA submission. This would include being eligible for subsidized Stafford Loans or Pell Grants. 
  • Have a high school GPA of 3.5 or above.
  • Score between a 23 - 27 composite ACT (1130 - 1300 SAT). 
  • Pursue a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) major.

The University of Arkansas offers STEM degrees in the College of Engineering and the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
College of Engineering STEM majors include:

  • biological engineering
  • biomedical engineering
  • chemical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • computer engineering
  • computer science
  • electrical engineering
  • industrial engineering
  • mechanical engineering

Fulbright College STEM majors include:

  • biological sciences
  • chemistry and biochemistry
  • geosciences
  • mathematical sciences
  • physics

The Accelerate Student Achievement Program (ASAP) is a five-week summer bridge program that gives 100 students the chance to live on campus for the summer, take classes, and make meaningful connections with other students, as well as with faculty and staff.

ASAP is free to participants. The program will cover the cost of living on campus (including meals), classes taken during the program, and program activities and supplies. Students will have the chance to take two courses, plus a one-hour honors course – a total of seven credit hours that will count toward your degree.

The Path STEM Scholarship may be applied towards tuition, room and board, and fees, and may also be used to support other expenses such as study abroad, undergraduate research projects and travel to conferences.

Yes! The NSF Path STEM Scholarship definitely can be combined with other financial awards. This scholarship is meant to supplement, not replace, any existing support you may receive from the University of Arkansas or externally.

NSF Path STEM Scholars are also eligible to receive funding from the Engineering Career Awareness Program (ECAP), the Academic Enrichment Program (AEP), or any other program that offers mentoring and financial support.

Q: What will happen at the Path Interview Weekend? Do I have to attend? A: The Path Interview Weekend will focus on finalists' past experiences, their aspirations towards a career in a STEM field, and other relevant topics. In addition to the interview, you will tour our campus and residence halls, attend a unique event on Friday, sit in on a class, and learn more about your academic college's honors program, student life, undergraduate research and much more. You'll also have the opportunity to meet U of A faculty, staff and current students.

Attendance is to the interview weekend is mandatory for consideration as a Path STEM Scholar.

Q: Do I have to attend the Accelerate Student Achievement Program? A: Students accepted as Path to Graduation Scholars must attend the 5-week summer in-residence bridge program.

Q: What courses will I take at ASAP? A: All Path STEM students will take 7 credit hours (full-time) during this summer session to cover any academic deficit and to ensure that key courses (e.g. algebra, pre-calculus, lab sciences) have been completed so that students are well prepared to start with the rest of their STEM-degree cohort.

If possible, students will be able to take a one-hour honors course.

Q: Can I pursue the pre-med track? A: Path to Graduation Scholars are not allowed to pursue the pre-med track. If a scholar declares pre-med, s/he will forfeit participation in the program and the scholarship.

Q: I'm a current student. Can I apply to be a Path to Graduation Scholar? A: Current University of Arkansas students are ineligible for consideration.


Questions? Please contact Xochitl Delgado Solorzano at xdelgad@uark.edu or (479) 575-3874.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1742496.


Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.