The SME Education Foundation has awarded 323 scholarships — a record number — to students pursuing a postsecondary education in manufacturing, engineering or related technologies. Since 2005, the Foundation has awarded $9 million to 3,469 deserving students.
This year, $722,700 was awarded to graduating high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students as part of the Foundation’s mission to inspire, prepare and support the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists.
Of note, the Foundation awarded a record number of scholarships to women and/or minorities as part of a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. Scholarship awards to female students nearly doubled, and scholarships to minority students and minority female students nearly tripled and quadrupled, respectively.
The SME Education Foundation Scholarship recipients are selected through a rigorous review process: 1,090 students from the U.S. and Canada applied in the 2021-22 academic year, with applications reviewed and evaluated by a team of over 100 academic and industry professionals.
The growth in awards to underrepresented students was made possible, in part, through the creation, by the Foundation board, of the Irving P. McPhail Scholarship Fund — named for the late St. Augustine University (an historically black college/university) president and president of the 2020 SME Education Foundation. The McPhail Scholarship is one component of a multifaceted diversity, equity and inclusion initiative that the Foundation launched earlier this year. Growing the fund remains a key priority for SME and the SME Education Foundation.
“SME and the SME Education Foundation are committed to providing the financial support necessary to enable all deserving and accomplished young people their pursuit of a higher-education journey,” said Rob Luce, vice president of the SME Education Foundation. “Scholarships define our philanthropic efforts and our pledge is to continue this support.”
The increase in awards underscores the interest in and desire among diverse student populations for STEM education opportunities and reflects the Foundation’s work to increase outreach to female and minority students.
Respected as a philanthropic organization, the SME Education Foundation also administers scholarship funds for corporate clients in addition to its own endowed funds: an additional $250,000 in corporate scholarship funds will be awarded later this summer.
Learn more about the Foundation scholarship recipients and their achievements at smeef.org/sme-education-foundation-scholarships/scholarship-success-stories.
The SME Education Foundation will begin accepting scholarship applications for the 2022-23 school year on Nov. 1. For additional information or to register and receive application reminders, please visit smeef.org/scholarships.