NACME Scholarship Programs

Scholarship Programs

Expanding Participation for Tomorrow’s Underrepresented Minority Engineers

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Career Center

College-to-Career Engagement by Connecting NACME Scholars with Corporate Supporters

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Corporate Support

Committed to Helping Minority Women and Men Succeed in STEM Education and Careers

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Partner Institutions

Graduating More Than 30 Percent of All Underrepresented Minority Engineering Students

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STEM Scholarships for Under-Represented Minorities

Through partnerships with like-minded entities, NACME’s scholarship program for under-represented minorities serves as a catalyst to increase the proportion of Black/African American, Native/American Indian, and Latinx/Hispanic American young women and men in STEM careers. We inspire and encourage excellence in engineering education and career development toward achieving a diverse and dynamic American workforce.


October 4, 2016

The founding vision of NACME in 1974 was the achievement of parity in the engineering workforce for African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos, the three groups that have been underrepresented historically in the profession. The vision of today’s NACME remains an engineering workforce that looks like America. We are exceedingly proud of the key role NACME has played in the National Minority Engineering Effort during the past 42-years, as measured by the dramatic increase in the number of baccalaureate degrees in engineering awarded to underrepresented minority (URM) students today, over the number of graduates at the time of our founding, but the goal of parity remains elusive.

The number of underrepresented minority (URM) baccalaureate degree recipients in engineering rose to 12,903 in 2014, a 10 percent increase from the prior year. This number represents 13.7 percent of the total number of engineering degrees conferred that year (93,950).  The growth was mainly concentrated with the Latino population, who earned 8,984 baccalaureate degrees, while African Americans earned 3,599, and American Indian/Alaska Natives earned 320.

Despite these gains, more work is needed to diversify the engineering pathway. Even though African Americans constituted 14.8 percent of the college-age population (18 to 24 years old), they earned only 3.8 percent of engineering degrees. American Indian/Alaska Natives constituted 0.9 percent of the college-age population, yet earned only 0.3 percent of engineering degrees. Although they experienced the highest gains, Latinos were still markedly underrepresented in this discipline, earning 9.6 percent of engineering degrees despite making up 21.4 percent of the college-age population.

These trends help to explain the paucity of diversity in the engineering workforce and academia. In 2013, URMs constituted 12.1 percent of employed engineers, which paled in comparison to their representation in the overall population (31.5 percent). They also constituted only 6.6 percent of engineering faculty, which continued a troubling trend of minute minority representation in academic settings. Minority youth pursuing engineering degrees lack mentors from similar backgrounds who can encourage and support them in their journey.  

The U.S. population is becoming more diverse each year.  By 2050, URMs will represent over 40 percent of the population, and there will be no majority race.  The demand for qualified STEM professionals is high, but the supply of STEM workers to fill these positions is at risk if underrepresented groups are not engaged in these fields.  While we can all take great satisfaction in the role that NACME has played in moving the needle for URMs, more work and greater support is needed to achieve our mission of creating a STEM workforce that looks like America.

For more than four decades, NACME has attempted to send a clear and unambiguous message that must be understood and acted upon if this nation is to retain its position of leadership in STEM and keep its competitive edge in the global marketplace of ideas and products.

That message is this: The solution to America’s competitiveness problem is to activate the hidden workforce of young men and women who have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM careers—African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos.



STEM Scholarships & Education

The academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are typically referred to under the acronym STEM. These subjects have become a focal point for educators and policy makers due to the high demand for qualified professionals in these fields. To fill this demand, the pool of students who receive STEM education from K-12 through college must be expanded. NACME works to bring engineering education scholarship funds to underrepresented minorities (URM’s) — African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos — who are expected to comprise 40 percent of the overall population by 2050. The key to U.S. competitiveness in the future global market is engaging these groups to pursue STEM education and careers. 

College Scholarships for Historically Under-Represented Minorities in Engineering and Computer Science

College students have been forced to absorb increasing amounts of debt due to rising educational costs. This issue, which NACME refers to as The College Affordability Crisis, is particularly problematic for underrepresented minority students, who, on average, accumulate higher student loan debt totals compared to their peers (see NACME’s College Affordability Research Brief). Once enrolled, many under-represented minority (URM) students are forced to work in order to support themselves financially, which can often be detrimental to their academic performance. Financial aid and scholarships, in particular, can help to alleviate this burden. 

For the past 40 years, NACME has awarded engineering scholarships to URM students seeking a postsecondary degree. NACME distributes these awards, through the NACME Scholars (block grant) Program, to colleges and universities that, in turn, distribute funding to talented underrepresented minority students enrolled in engineering programs as part of their financial aid packages. NACME annually awards more than $4 million in scholarship funds to underrepresented men and women minority engineering students. 



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