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5 Transformative Scholarships With an Impact on Environmental Change in 2024

The call for transformative solutions has never been more urgent in a world facing unprecedented environmental challenges.

As people grapple with issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource depletion, the need for innovative approaches to address these problems is paramount. 

One powerful method for driving positive change lies in education. Scholarships support individual academic pursuits and act as catalysts for environmental change.

Scholarships that support the education of individuals who are dedicated to making a positive impact on the planet can have a significant influence on the future of conservation and sustainability.

1. Ventana Ocean Conservation Scholarship

Students who are high school seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students and are interested in ocean conservation, marine science, environmental science, marine biology, or related fields are eligible to apply for the Ventana Ocean Conservation.

To qualify for the scholarship, the candidates are required to write an essay in which they must demonstrate their commitment to ocean conservation and explain how their preferred course of study can contribute towards this goal.

Ventana Surfboards and Supplies is dedicated to becoming the most environmentally conscious surf company globally.

It allocates a portion of its profits to support conservation initiatives through its commitment to sustainability.

Ventana aims to instill its mission in young minds by demonstrating a profound passion for inspiring future generations.

The Ventana Ocean Conservation Scholarship has been established to assist students who share this passion.  The deadline for applications is July 15, 2024. 

An environmental marine science student wearing scuba diving suit under the water, and coral reefs.

2. Samsung@First Scholars Program

Samsung Semiconductor Inc. introduces the Samsung@First Scholars program, designed specifically for undergraduate or master’s students specializing in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).

It embodies the theme of “Collaborate. Innovate. Grow” and underscores the company’s dedication to driving technological innovation in Silicon Valley for the next three decades.

Samsung Semiconductor Inc. aims to nurture the next generation of innovators through this scholarship program that seeks to sustain the valley’s position as a high-tech innovation and growth hub.

The objective is to support exceptional individuals poised to lead the global landscape in STEM fields for the next 30 years. 

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

● Students who are currently in their second, third, or fourth year of undergraduate studies in the upcoming academic year, as well as those who have completed their undergraduate degree and have been accepted into a master’s program or are currently pursuing a master’s degree.

● Planning to enroll full-time in a California public four-year college or university

● Students who plan to enroll in a school within the larger Bay Area, encompassing Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Solano, and Sonoma, will be given priority.

● Declared STEM major, with preference given to computer science and engineering (CISE) and engineering majors

● Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

A male student observing environmental specimen in a laboratory microscope


3. Watermark Scholars Program

The Watermark Scholars Program is an initiative offering financial support to female college students engaged in STEM studies.

Eligible applicants included U.S. citizens and legal residents aged 18 or older who identified as women. They also had to be enrolled in a STEM program. 

The 2021 essay prompt focused on who inspired the applicants to pursue a degree in science or technology. Alternatively, applicants could create a video response limited to two minutes or less.

The scholarship committee evaluated submissions based on criteria such as the quality of response, effective communication skills, and the polish of their presentation. 

Erin Shy, the CEO of Watermark, stressed the importance of promoting STEM education, especially for women who are usually underrepresented in the science and technology industries.

STEM careers contribute directly to addressing environmental challenges through innovation and problem-solving.

For instance, engineers develop sustainable solutions for energy production, waste management, and water conservation.

Technological advancements in renewable energy and precision agriculture enable more efficient and eco-friendly practices. 

The program so far has seen several outstanding recipients. One of them is Kristen Palmer, who is majoring in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.

Another is Elise Ogden, who is majoring in biochemistry/molecular biology and chemistry at Bethel University. They were chosen from a pool of over 300 applicants. 

Female students doing scientific experiments

4. Future Climate Leaders Scholarship

In line with its commitment to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) has introduced a novel initiative — the Future Climate Leaders Scholarship.

Every year, a scholarship program is offered to support three undergraduate students who are currently enrolled at historically Black colleges or universities (HBCUs) located in the mid-Atlantic or southern regions.

To be eligible, students must enroll in environmental, clean energy, and climate policies courses. 

This scholarship is administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), a philanthropic organization with a 77-year history of raising over $5 billion to support 37 member HBCUs and fund scholarships for deserving Black students. It’s a significant step toward promoting inclusivity in the environmental sector. 

Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens, hold a minimum GPA of 2.75, and be sophomores or juniors enrolled full-time at HBCUs in specific states.

Preference is given to those pursuing degrees in relevant fields such as biology, chemistry, engineering, environmental science or policy, history, physics, political science, and sociology. 

Although applications for the scholarship are presently closed, the program exemplifies a proactive approach to creating opportunities for underrepresented voices in environmental studies and policy. 

Watch this video by the University of Plymouth to learn more:


5. American Society for Enology and Viticulture Scholarship Program

The American Society of Enology and Viticulture offers a President’s Award for Scholarship for students studying enology or viticulture. Students must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible:

● Applicants must be existing ASEV student members.

● Students who wish to apply need to be enrolled full-time in a four-year college or university that is accredited and recognized.

Additionally, they must be pursuing a degree in the field of enology or viticulture. Please note that this opportunity is only open to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students.

● To be eligible to apply for undergraduate studies for the next academic year, the applicant must have attained the status of a junior and completed a minimum of 45 semester or 60 quarter units.

● Submission of an acceptance letter from an academic institution is mandatory. 

● Applicants must reside in North America during the academic year.

● To be eligible, the minimum cumulative GPA required is 3.6. However, grades for the current quarter or semester that are yet to be determined will not be taken into consideration. 

● Students must be accepted and/or enrolled in a major, graduate group, or curriculum emphasizing enology or viticulture of a science relevant to the wine and grape industry.

● An ASEV professional member mustn’t nominate applicants for this award.

● Individuals who have previously received the ASEV President’s Award aren’t eligible for consideration. 

The recipients of the ASEV scholarship are announced each year in June. 

Last year, ASEV awarded scholarships to 25 students across the United States and Canada. A further 23 students received the ASEV traditional scholarship. 

A handful of fresh grapes

Environmental Scholarships Are Providing a Greener Future

Scholarships are proving to be invaluable tools in advancing environmental change. As people witness the alarming consequences of environmental degradation, it’s evident that a proactive and collaborative approach is necessary to secure a sustainable future.

Scholarships contribute to a ripple effect of positive change by empowering individuals with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to address environmental challenges head-on. 

As scholarship recipients become leaders, innovators, and advocates for the environment, the impact of such initiatives extends far beyond the individual, creating a collective force for positive transformation. 

References Unlocking the Benefits of STEM Education for Every Student Climate Policies with Real-World Results 7 Sustainable Living Ideas That Will Elevate Your Life Watermark Scholars Program Awards Women Studying STEM

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a sustainability scholarship?

Sustainability scholarships are financial awards provided to students who are committed to promoting environmental, social, and economic sustainability through their academic pursuits. These scholarships aim to support individuals dedicated to positively impacting the planet through their studies. 

How much do you receive for an environmental scholarship?

The amount awarded for an environmental scholarship varies widely and depends on the specific program. The cost of the scholarship can vary greatly, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the sponsoring organization, the level of study, and the qualifications of the applicant.

Who is eligible for an environmental scholarship?

Organizations and institutions typically award scholarships to individuals who show a strong commitment to environmental conservation and related fields. Eligibility criteria vary but often include students pursuing degrees in environmental science, ecology, conservation, or a related discipline. Other requirements include academic achievement and community involvement. 

How do you apply for environmental scholarships?

To apply for environmental scholarships, research eligible programs, review their specific requirements, and submit the necessary documents. These may include academic transcripts, recommendation letters, proof of address, and personal essays. It is important to keep an eye on the deadlines and carefully follow the application guidelines provided by each scholarship provider.

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