Affirmative Action: IOScholarships is Uniquely Connecting Students of Color to STEM Scholarships

STEM ScholarshipsThe Supreme Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina does not change what college applicants are allowed to do, meaning students can bring up ethnicity/race in the admissions essays.

What the ruling does say is that, while universities can’t admit students based on race, they can make decisions about applicants based on their individual life experiences, which could include their cultural background. 

“Tell your story. Don’t think that this rule will suddenly silence you,” said María Fernanda Trochimezuk, Founder of IOScholarships said. “I think it is a must to speak up and talk about what has made you you, specially coming from a unique cultural background.”

Writing about your ethnic background can be a way to share your unique experiences, perspectives, and cultural heritage. It allows you to express your individuality and allows you to provide insights into your identity, values, and the impact your background has had on your life, education and future career path.

It is important to articulate in your essay your understanding of diversity and inclusion in education and the importance of being part of the STEM pipeline. Share any initiatives, STEM projects, or experiences where you have actively applied your racial background. Explaining how you plan to utilize your education and ethnic background to contribute positively to your community and the workforce and to address social inequalities in your chosen field and beyond will make you a strong candidate.

Admission committees often value diverse perspectives and background and showcasing your unique experiences can help you stand out among other applicants.

Also writing about your ethnic background empowers your self-reflection and personal growth. It allows you to explore your own roots, identity, heritage, and the experiences that have shaped you. Through this process you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself, cultural roots and how they have influenced your perspectives and values.  


When writing a scholarship essay for STEM majors, consider the following tips to effectively showcase your skills, passion, and potential in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math:


  1. Highlight your academic achievements: Emphasize your excellent grades, coursework, and any relevant academic honors or awards you have received. This demonstrates your commitment and proficiency in your STEM field. Showcase your passion for STEM: Explain why you are interested in pursuing a STEM major. Discuss any personal experiences, challenges, or moments that sparked your curiosity and passion for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Share specific examples that demonstrate your enthusiasm and dedication.
  2. Connect your goals to the scholarship: Clearly articulate your long-term goals and how the scholarship will help you achieve them. Discuss how the financial support will enable you to pursue your STEM studies, engage in research opportunities, or participate in relevant extracurricular activities.
  3. Highlight relevant experiences: Describe any internships, research projects, or volunteer work you have undertaken that are related to your STEM field. Discuss the skills and knowledge you gained from these experiences and how they have shaped your academic and career aspirations.
  4. Showcase problem-solving skills: STEM fields often require strong problem-solving abilities. Provide examples of challenging problems you have faced and how you approached them, including any innovative or creative solutions you developed. Demonstrating your ability to tackle complex issues effectively will showcase your potential as a STEM major.
  5. Demonstrate teamwork and collaboration: Many STEM fields involve collaborative work. Highlight instances where you have successfully worked in teams, emphasizing your communication skills, adaptability, and ability to contribute positively to group projects.
  6. Discuss your commitment to diversity and inclusion: Address the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields and how you plan to contribute to creating a more inclusive environment. Also, writing about your ethnic background can empower and inspire others who may share similar experiences or backgrounds. Your essay can serve as a source of encouragement for individuals who are navigating similar challenges or who may be seeking representation and validation.
  7. Tailor your essay to the scholarship requirements: Read the scholarship guidelines carefully and ensure that your essay addresses the specific criteria outlined. Pay attention to any word limits, prompts, or themes provided and make sure your essay aligns with them.
  8. Edit and proofread: Once you have written your essay, revise it carefully for clarity, grammar, and spelling errors. Consider seeking feedback from teachers, mentors, or peers to ensure that your essay effectively communicates your ideas.
  9. Be authentic and genuine: Ultimately, let your true self shine through your essay. Admissions committees appreciate honesty and originality. Write in your own voice and convey your unique perspective and experiences.
  10. Remember to start your essay early to allow enough time for multiple drafts and revisions. Good luck with your scholarship application!

Remember that these tips are meant to provide guidance and the specific requirements or expectations of the scholarship organization should be considered. Universities are looking for dedicated minority students who contributed to their community and are interested in being part of STEM organizations or mentorship opportunities. They want to see how diverse students face obstacles with resiliency and dedication. 

While these qualities can be reflected in a GPA, they mostly shine through extracurricular activities. As the Founder of IOScholarships, I found that the process of preparing and applying for scholarship opportunities was much less intimidating when I seek the help of mentors and other students applying for scholarships and careers in STEM. 

There’s $100 million that goes unused every year, students just have to search for it. Using IOScholarships allows diverse students to apply for opportunities which they already qualify for, and their ethnic and cultural background is valued.

Again, it’s a huge myth that only students with a 4.0 GPA can get a scholarship. Register at today. There are many just waiting for your interest regardless of your GPA. Happy hunting!

If you need more information to help you win big scholarships read the following article.


Affirmative Action: IOScholarships is Connecting Students of Color to STEM Scholarships