ASPIRE: Application Information


To be eligible for the ASPIRE scholarship, an applicant must meet all of these eligibility requirements:

  • Financial need: Students must have demonstrated financial need, as evidenced by the FAFSA. The operational definition of financial need for this program is the Cost of Attendance (COA) minus Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Academic talent: Students must have an ACT composite score of 26, or a high school GPA of 3.50 to be considered viable candidates. Citizenship: Per NSF guidelines, students must be a citizen of the United States, nationals of the United States, admitted as refugees, or permanent residents to be eligible.
  • Enrollment Status: Students must be registered (or plan to be registered as incoming freshmen) as full time students, progressing satisfactorily towards a baccalaureate degree in AE or IE. Full time student status is defined as twelve credit hours per semester, for both the fall and spring semesters.

Application Process

Eligible students who wish to apply must submit a complete ASPIRE scholarship application. Priority consideration will be given to applications received by December 1. Final application deadline is February 1. Applications may be considered at other times as deemed necessary by project staff. Students who wish to apply for an ASPIRE scholarship must complete a General Scholarship Application online through the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships To access the scholarship application, log-in to your myState account, click on the Scholarship tab and select "Submit/Revise General Scholarship Application".. For the ASPIRE program, a complete scholarship packet must include:

  • A personal resume addressing high school, college and community activities and employment history.
  • Three brief essays, each with a maximum length of 200 words.
    The three essay prompts are:

    • Essay 1: State your major field of study and why you are interested in this area.
    • Essay 2: What are your career aspirations? What position or opportunities do you hope to obtain by obtaining a degree in your selected major?
    • Essay 3: How will this scholarship benefit you and help you succeed as a student in MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering?
  • As part of the application process, you will need to provide the names and email addresses of two references who can speak to your academic or leadership abilities. For example, a high school teacher, guidance counselor, community mentor, coach, or job supervisor.

Additional information about the student applicant (e.g. high school GPA, completed coursework, contact information) will be gathered from the applicant’s MSU student record.

Undergraduate applicants must have submitted to the Federal Processor for the Department of Education an Award Year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application must have been received by the Federal Processor by such time as necessary to make information available to MSU’s Department of Student Financial Aid for scholarship consideration. All applicants meeting stated eligibility requirements are considered for the scholarship regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status. Applicants from populations typically underrepresented in STEM are encouraged to apply.

Selection Criteria

Financial NeedLevel of financial need will be determined by the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships. By calculating unmet need, each applicant will be rated as high, medium, low, or no need.35%
Academic TalentStudent transcripts will be analyzed for relevant coursework, high school GPA, and class rank.30%
Interest in FieldStudent essays will be evaluated to determine the level of interest in AE or IE, and motivation to succeed in the field.15%
ReferencesReference forms will provide insight into the student’s interests, abilities, and motivation.10%
ExtracurricularStudent resumes will be reviewed to determine breadth and depth of involvement, effective time management, and student interests.10%


  • October 15: Applications Open
  • December 1: Priority Application Deadline
    • Students that apply by December 1 will be given priority in the selection process.
  • February 1: Final Application Deadline
    • All applications must be received by February 1 for full consideration.
  • March 15: Notify recipients

Award Information

ASPIRE scholarship awards will be given each semester in the amount of $2,500 per semester. ASPIRE Fellows can receive up to eight semesters of scholarship support, for up to $20,000 in total support per student. Fellows who participate in a co-op semester will not receive the scholarship in that semester.

Twelve scholarships will be given for AY 2016-2017, eighteen will be given for AY 2017-2018, and twenty-four will be given each year for AY 2018-2019, AY 2019-2020, and AY 2020-2021.