The Frederick Community College (FCC) STEM Scholars Program provides students who have academic talent and financial need with additional support while they pursue their STEM-related academic and career goals on a full-time basis.
STEM Scholars is designed to serve students with little or no prior college-level experience. The competitive scholarship program offers participants up to $13,000 in financial aid, as well as the training and mentoring needed to be successful in their STEM programs and prepares students to transition to the next stage of their educational and career pathways. The program will consist of three cohorts of ten students starting in Fall 2020, Fall 2021, and Fall 2022.
FCC STEM Scholars is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Please see below for eligibility requirements and additional information.
Who May Apply
To be eligible for the STEM Scholars Program, students must meet the following requirements:
- Student must be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, Permanent Resident Alien, or Refugee Alien.
- Student must apply to Frederick Community College if not an existing FCC student.
- Student must declare their major in one of the following FCC STEM disciplines:
- Biology A.S.
- Biotechnology A.A.S.
- Chemistry A.S.
- Computer Aided Design A.A.S.
- Computer Science A.S.
- Cybersecurity A.A.S.
- Engineering A.S.
- Game and Simulation Development A.A.S.
- Information Technology Specialist A.A.S.
- Mathematics A.S.
- Network Engineering A.S.
- Software Engineering A.S.
- STEM A.S.
- STEM Technology A.A.S.
- Student must demonstrate financial need by being eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, as determined by submitting the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Click here for more information about applying for financial aid.
- Student must demonstrate college readiness in English and place into a Math course appropriate to their STEM major. Click here for more information about placement testing requirements.
- Student should have at least a 2.75 unweighted high school GPA or may demonstrate academic merit through other measures such as SAT or Advanced Placement scores, relevant work or research experience, etc.
- Student must maintain full-time enrollment (a minimum of 12 credits per semester).
- Student must enroll in the one credit STEM Success Seminar during each semester.
STEM Scholars is designed to serve first time college students, including students who have earned dual enrollment and other college credit while still in high school. STEM Scholars will allow students to transfer in up to 30 college credits.
How to Apply
All applicants must:
- Apply for admission to Frederick Community College by August 10th if not an existing student. Please provide all official high school and college transcripts when applying to FCC.
- Submit 2020-21 FAFSA to demonstrate financial need.
- PLEASE NOTE: The School Code for FCC is 002071 (Step 6 of FAFSA)
- You will need specific income information, such as completed tax forms, to complete the FAFSA. If you have questions or need assistance, contact the Federal Processor at 1.800.433.3243 or FCC Financial Aid at 301.846.2480.
- Complete the STEM Scholars Application Form, which includes:
- Uploading of high school, GED, and/or college transcripts.
- A statement describing any extracurricular activities or work experience that you would like to share with the scholarship committee. These activities do not need to be STEM related.
- An essay highlighting your interest and motivations for pursuing a STEM degree. Essay should be written by the applicant and include the student's academic and career plans, motivations for pursuing a STEM degree, and why they are a good fit for the program. Essay should be approximately 500 words, typed, double-spaced, and in a 12 point font.
- Two Letters of Recommendation - One letter must be from a STEM instructor/teacher and one letter must be from a STEM instructor/teacher, Guidance Counselor, or STEM professional. The application form asks you to input your recommenders' contact information (name & email). Contacts will automatically receive an email with instructions to provide a letter of recommendation after you submit the application form. We recommend reaching out to your contacts directly to inform them of the recommendation request and deadline of August 10th.
- Demonstrate college readiness in Math and English by August 10th. Click here for more information about placement testing requirements.
Please Note: Applications must be submitted via the electronic application form above. If you do not have access to the internet, please use a computer at your high school, a public library, or at the FCC Learning Commons.
Deadline: Applications are accepted at any point prior to the start of the fall semester. For best consideration, applications are due by August 10th, program space pending, for the following fall semester.
Program Information & Expectations
Once accepted into the program, students may participate for up to two years as long as they continue to meet the following expectations and requirements:
- Students must be full time (at least 12 credits per semester and 30 credits per academic year)
- Students must maintain at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA and a 3.2 discipline GPA
- Students must regularly attend meetings with assigned mentors
- Students must enroll in one STEM Success seminar per semester
- Students are strongly encouraged to participate in STEM Scholars sponsored events and academic and career development workshops
- Students agree to give FCC permission to report information about choice of major, academic progress, etc. to NSF. No personally identifiable information (PII) data will be shared.
- What if I haven’t determined my STEM major?
Students who are uncertain about which degree program is the best fit for their interests should declare their major as STEM A.S. or STEM Technology A.A.S. on the application form.
- What academic programs are eligible?
Students must declare their major in one of the following FCC STEM disciplines: Biology A.S., Biotechnology A.A.S., Chemistry A.S., Computer Aided Design A.A.S., Computer Science A.S., Cybersecurity A.A.S., Engineering A.S., Game and Simulation Development A.A.S., Information Technology Specialist A.A.S., Mathematics A.S., Network Engineering A.S., Software Engineering A.S., STEM A.S., or STEM Technology A.A.S.
- Can I change my major once I am in the program?
Students who are thinking about changing their major will discuss the process with their advisor. It is possible but may have an impact on financial aid and the amount of time required to complete your degree.
- Can I attend FCC part time and be a part of the STEM Scholars Program?
Full time attendance is required. All STEM Scholar students must take at least 12 credits per semester to be considered full time students. Depending on the number of credits that are transferred in, students may need to take additional courses during the summer term in order to complete 60 credits in four semesters, if fewer than 15 credits are taken per semester.
- What do I need to do to demonstrate college readiness in Math and English?
All Frederick Community College (FCC) students are required to demonstrate that they are ready to be successful in college courses. This can be done by either completing Math and English placement testing through the FCC Testing Center or by demonstrating an alternate measure of proficiency that exempts the student from placement testing. Click here for more information about placement testing requirements.
- Which semesters count towards my high school GPA calculation?
Students should have at least a 2.75 unweighted high school GPA to be accepted into the STEM Scholars Program. Students who have completed high school should submit and will be evaluated on their full high school transcript. Students who are still completing high school should submit a transcript with all grades available at the time of application. Acceptance into the program will be provisional based on the receipt of a full transcript. Final high school transcripts will be requested of any student being considered for the program.
- What happens if my college GPA drops below the 2.75 cumulative GPA and 3.2 discipline GPA required to stay in the program?
Students may be given a semester’s probation with the approval of their mentor and the STEM Scholars program director.
- Is there assistance available for filling out the FAFSA?
If you have questions or need assistance, contact the Federal Processor at 1.800.433.3243 or FCC Financial Aid at 301.846.2480.
- What happens if I withdraw from a course?
Students may withdraw from courses as long as they maintain full time status with a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Any student considering withdrawing should discuss this with their advisor to ensure they understand the implications of their decision.
- When is the STEM Scholars application due, and when will I know if I am accepted?
Applications are accepted at any point prior to the start of the fall semester, provided space is available. For best consideration, applications are due by August 10th for the following fall semester.
- What credits can be transferred in?
Students will be able to transfer up to a maximum of thirty credits into the program, including credits earned as part of the Dual Enrollment Program.
- How many years are students eligible for the program?
Students are eligible to participate in the program for up to 2 years. Students are expected to stay continuously enrolled as full time students, with a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Exemptions will require the approval of the STEM Scholars program director.
- Can you participate in program opportunities, such as seminars and workshops, if you are not accepted into a STEM Scholars cohort?
Program opportunities are open to all STEM majors.
- Can you receive other forms of financial aid alongside the STEM scholarship?
Students are eligible for other forms of aid. Students will receive a STEM Scholars scholarship worth up to $6,500 per year for up to two years, in addition to Federal Pell Grants and any other aid the student may be eligible for, up to a total of $13,000 per year.
- What can the STEM scholarship award funds be used towards?
Scholarship funds are unrestricted and are intended to help support a student's cost of living so that they can focus on their academic coursework.
Request More Information
The Frederick Community College S-STEM Scholars program is funded by the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program. (Award# 1833667)