FLORENCE – The University of North Alabama has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation S-STEM program that will fund scholarships to academically promising, low-income students from Alabama’s rural school districts. Known as STEM Scholars, these students will begin their UNA careers in the fall of 2020.

“The STEM Scholars program will provide scholarship recipients with a tailored yet diverse breadth of academic and co-curricular opportunities to promote retention, graduation, and future success in the STEM workforce,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

The collaborative research project is led by several UNA faculty and staff members.

The project team has already started scheduling orientation visits with its rural high school partners to share the STEM scholarship opportunity with prospective students and their families.

The $647,613 grant will allow UNA to offer a scholarship award of more than $25,000 across eight semesters. All STEM Scholar recipients will also be offered a well-coordinated blend of academic and co-curricular activities, including cohort class scheduling, faculty mentoring and institutional advising, community engagement activities, career and entrepreneurial opportunities, University support services, and institutional engagement.

Applicants may also be eligible for additional financial support through scholarships available through the UNA Honors College and/or federal Pell Grants.

In order to be eligible for the STEM Scholars program, students must complete an application to UNA, submit a FAFSA application, and complete a STEM Scholars application packet, which requires applicants to:

• Be a student enrolled in an Alabama high school that meets the criteria for rural status;

• Have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher;

• Demonstrate current year financial need;

• Submit a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher, mentor, or advisor;

• Submit a video (three minutes or less) that describes their intended STEM major, why they would like to pursue that particular degree, and their long-term career goals; and

• Be a United States citizen, national, refugee, or hold permanent resident status.

The STEM Scholars program will begin accepting applications Nov. 1. The deadline for priority applications is Feb. 1, 2020.

For more about the STEM Scholars program or to complete an application, prospective students may go to the program website at www.una.edu/stemscholars.scholarshp.