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Frequently Asked Questions

2019-20 NSF Aspire Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

 

Q: Can I apply for AugSTEM and the NSF Aspire Scholarship?

A: If you apply to be an AugSTEM scholar, you will automatically be considered for a 2019-20 NSF Aspire Scholarship if you are not admitted to the AugSTEM program.

Q: I am planning to go into the health field. Can I apply? 

A:  If your major is one of the following STEM majors (biology, biopsychology, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, mathematics, or physics), you are eligible to apply.  However, in accordance with the NSF grant, preference may be given to those whose career goals are related to the advancement of STEM (vs. healthcare).  
Q: I am not sure what my major GPA is. How do I find out?
A: Your major GPA is located in the degree progress tab in Records and Registration when you run a major progress report.
Q: My current GPA is under a 2.75.  Should I still apply?
A:  If you are currently below a 2.75 in your major, you are not eligible to apply.
Q:  How do I know if I qualify as having “financial need”?
A:  To help us verify your eligibility, you can send us your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR). This form will be sent to you after you complete your FAFSA, as long as you enter a valid email address.  If your SAR has not come yet, you may use last year’s report by following these simple instructions:
1.            Go to fafsa.gov
2.            Click Login & enter your information
3.            Click on the tab for the previous year’s taxes
4.            Click ‘View Processed Information’
5.            Enter your pin number (or request a new pin if you’ve forgotten)
Q: I am studying abroad next year. Can I still be an AugSTEM scholar?
A: Yes, as long as you are able to commit to being an active member of the cohort.
Q: Are international students eligible?
A: No. Because scholarship funding is from the national government, unfortunately, international students are not eligible. 
Q: Who should I have write my recommendations?
A: You want to pick faculty members who have had you in a STEM class or have worked with you on STEM-related research.  Faculty who have taught you in more advanced major courses are particularly good choices. 
Q: I am not sure if I want to go to graduate school. Can I still apply?
A: Absolutely. The purpose of the grant is to prepare students for success in the STEM workforce.  Some students may choose to go to graduate school before entering the workforce, while others may prefer to go into the STEM field immediately.
Q: I will be student teaching next year.  Can I still apply?
A: Yes.  
Q:  I am really busy.  How much time will I need to commit to NSF Aspire?
A:  Our goal is to help you succeed as a student so we hope the required events further your plans are not excessively burdensome.  Scholars are expected to attend workshops each semester, meet with faculty mentors, and participate in scholar meetings.  Each semester you will be required to complete surveys in support of our reporting to NSF. We will also hold some interviews and focus groups as part of the grant process. NSF Aspire scholars often contribute to events that support other STEM students at Augsburg as well.
Q: Do I need to do anything to keep my scholarship?
A: Yes.  You need to maintain a 2.75 GPA in your major and take steps to raise it to a 3.0, participate in required NSF Aspire events (see previous question), and demonstrate financial need spring semester as well.
Have more questions?  E-mail stem@augsburg.edu.