With soaring tuition costs, higher interest rates on student loans and a struggling economy, it’s not surprising that students are looking for creative ways to afford a college degree. According to a recent College Board report, tuition and fees at four-year public institutions are up 8.3%, with the potential to increase as state and federal funding diminishes. For a company like Microsoft looking to hire the best and brightest grads with computer science and related degrees – it’s important to help students afford an education that could be a stepping stone to a fulfilling career in technology.
Each year, Microsoft is honored to award scholarships in the US, Mexico and Canada for up to a full year of tuition. Last month, Microsoft announced award winners in four technical scholarship categories for students for the 2012-2013 academic year: General Scholarships, Women’s Scholarships, Minority Scholarships, and Scholarships for Students with Disabilities.
Scholarship winners are chosen based on eligibility, quality of application, interest in the software industry, commitment to leadership and financial need. Because diversity is encouraged and valued at Microsoft, a large majority of scholarships are awarded to those in underrepresented groups in the software industry. This includes women, minorities (African-American, Hispanic or Native American) and students with disabilities.
“Our 2012-2013 scholarship winners are a creative and talented group of aspiring technologists,” says Jaime Green, a University Recruiting, Diversity Program Manager at Microsoft. “These students already demonstrate the type of informed curiosity and determination we look for. This group will significantly contribute to the field of technology in the years ahead.” This year’s award winners attend 46 schools in the US, Mexico and Canada including Iowa State University, Princeton, University of California Berkeley and University of British Columbia to name a few!
Leah Kim, an information science technology student at Penn State University, is a scholarship award winner and also happens to be an intern at Microsoft this summer. “I was very excited about winning this scholarship! I never take any opportunity for granted.” Kim, originally from Korea, said there were times she nearly gave up studying in the US because of her family’s financial situation, but this scholarship is helping with her education goals. As for the internship, she says: “I am loving my internship experience. Learning the company culture, enjoying all the benefits, and meeting awesome people from all over the world have been a blast. I appreciate everything Microsoft has done for me and I’m very excited to bring something back to the table for them throughout this internship.”
The deadline for the next round of scholarships is February 3, 2013. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com/scholarships.