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News Release 99-019

NSF to Provide $21 Million for Computer Science, Engineering and Math Scholarships

March 26, 1999

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Board this week approved plans by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide some $21 million to fund 8,000 one-year scholarships of up to $2,500 each to low income students who pursue degrees in computer science, engineering or mathematics. These Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships (CSEMS) are authorized by the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998.

The $21-million education fund created during the first year of the program (FY 1999) is derived from a $500 fee that U.S. employers pay to the federal government for each high-technology immigrant employee they employ under terms of an H-1B visa application. Additional funds will be provided in FY 2000 and FY 2001.

Among the eligible institutions to receive and administer the scholarship awards are two-year community colleges, undergraduate and graduate institutions.

According to Luther S. Williams, NSF's director of education and human resources, 100 institutions will receive the two-year scholarship fund grants in the first year of the program. Each will be able to award a total of 80 scholarships (i.e., 40 during each of the two years of the grant).

"These scholarships are not expected to be a 'magic bullet,'" Williams said. "They are but one component of what necessarily must be a multi-pronged approach to ameliorating the nation's current need for people trained in the sciences, math and high-technology in order to aide industry, government and education in the United States," he said.

The program will be managed by NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources, and the program awards will be made to institutions that in turn will award scholarships to economically disadvantaged students, as determined by Department of Education criteria used for Pell Grants or Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need. The first scholarships are expected to be made in January 2000.

Students must be pursuing an accredited associate, bachelors or graduate degree in computer science, engineering, mathematics, computer technology or engineering technology. Students may be supported for up to two years but must re-compete annually. Scholarship recipients must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, refugee aliens or permanent resident aliens.


For Oct. 1999 CSEMS Factsheet/Update, see

Media Contacts
K. Lee Herring, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Norman Fortenberry, NSF, (703) 292-8670, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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