Scholarships for Computer Science and Mathematics Undergraduates
The University of Idaho (UI) Computer Science and Math (CSM) Scholarship project is increasing the number and diversity of well-trained computer science and mathematics students who graduate with bachelor's degrees over the life of the project. Each year, the project awards CSM scholarships of $3,000 ($1500/semester) to 30 Computer Science and Mathematics students who demonstrate academic merit and financial need, with specific efforts to include students from underrepresented groups. The scholarships are a financial incentive that contributes to increased retention and graduation rates compared to non-scholarship recipients. Academic outcomes are improved by coordinating access to student support services; mentoring to guide CSM Scholars in utilizing campus resources, research opportunities, and internships; and outcome-oriented monitoring of student progress. Recipients may retain their CSM Scholarships up to three years, as long as they maintain eligibility. The PIs are working with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, UI Department of Education TRIO programs on campus, the College Assistance Migrant Program, and the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator to identify and recruit students from underrepresented groups into the program. The UI Office of Financial Aid is verifying eligibility of students. CSM Scholars have mentors in their departments to provide academic advising and to ensure that they are progressing in their degree programs. Job and/or intern placement is facilitated through departmental industry contacts and the UI Career Services Office. The departments also maintain student data to track the students' progress, to meet NSF-led data collection requirements, and to do a comparative assessment of the program's effectiveness.