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Scholarship Program

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation was created to ensure that the United States would maintain its leadership in science and technology by supporting some of the very best science, technology, engineering and math college students.

About the Scholarship Program

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awarded its first seven scholarships in 1986. Each founding Mercury 7 astronaut sponsored a $1,000 scholarship and they then began to fundraise to support future scholarships. Each astronaut would donate proceeds from their speaking engagements and shared the ASF mission wherever they went to raise awareness of both the mission and the scholarship program.

Today, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awards fifty scholarships valued up to $10,000 to each selected scholar. The ASF scholarship award is just the beginning for our Astronaut Scholars, and their selection is the beginning of a life-long relationship with astronauts, alumni, and great leaders who span academia, technical research, and corporate leadership.



  Scholarship candidates must be nominated by faculty members. Students may not directly apply for the award.

  Outstanding academic achievement, especially in the major, as indicated by course grades. The Foundation does not require a minimum GPA, but recent Astronaut Scholars have had a GPA of at least 3.7 and usually have 3.9 or above.

  Applicants must demonstrate their role in laboratory research and/or related work experience or similar projects. Must be actively conducting graduate level research as an undergrad. ASF is looking for students with a depth of experience in research and a capacity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

  Applicants will demonstrate their creativity, initiative and work ethic through awards, personal statements and letters of recommendation.

Note: Special consideration is not given to aeronautical/astronautical engineering students or those intending to pursue careers as astronauts.

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is committed to a policy against discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental status, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability or any other characteristic protected by law.

Application Process

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation only accepts nominations for the Astronaut Scholarship from its affiliated and participating universities. If a student is interested in being nominated, they should contact a member of their university’s faculty regarding consideration. Students may also contact the university liaison for more details regarding the internal process.

Students nominated for the scholarship will need to assist the nominating faculty member with the following:

  Ensure eligibility requirements are met,
  Provide two letters of recommendation,
  Provide a personal statement,
  Provide a copy of academic transcripts,
  Provide a copy of birth certificate, naturalization form, or U.S. passport to authenticate and confirm,
  Provide a C.V. or resume.

The deadline for liaisons to submit nominations for the 2019 Astronaut Scholarship is March 25, 2019.


If a student is awarded the Astronaut Scholarship the recipient will receive:

  A scholarship up to $10,000 (full amount awarded unless scholar is “over-awarded” based on federal guidelines),

  A paid trip to ASF’s Innovators Weekend in the Fall,

  Life-long engagement with the astronauts, Astronaut Scholar alumni, and the Foundation.

Note: The ASF Scholarship Selection Committee reserves the right to not award a scholarship at every university if it is deemed that the submitted candidates have not met the criteria or standard.


Can I apply for the Astronaut Scholarship directly to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation?

No. A faculty member must nominate each applicant for the scholarship.

Does financial need have bearing on being selected as an Astronaut Scholar?

No. This scholarship is merit-based.

Can I speak with a faculty member at my university to ask if they would consider nominating me?

Yes. They can look at all the criteria and determine if they feel you are an appropriate candidate for the scholarship.

Can I be enrolled in a BS/MS program where I am completing both a BS and MS during my senior year?

No, this scholarship is for undergraduate course completion only.

If selected, can I transfer the award to another university/school?

An awarded scholarship may not be transferred to another degree program or institution.

Are graduate level students eligible for the award?

Students may not be nominated for this scholarship to use the funds for graduate level programs; thus, fourth year students dual-enrolled in an undergraduate and graduate degree simultaneously their senior year are not eligible.

Is student financial need considered when selecting awardees?

Student financial need is not a criterion for consideration of this merit-based scholarship award; but may be considered given equally qualified nominees.

Are Medical Students eligible for the scholarship program and award?

Scholarships shall not be awarded to pre-medical studies; therefore, students who are actively pursuing a M.D. program should not be nominated, however students who are conducting research to support a related field not in pursuit of a M.D. to practice medicine can be nominated.

What is considered when the nominations are evaluated for award consideration/selection?

When selecting students to receive this award, the members of the selection panel may consider the following criteria:

  Nominee’s display of creativity and ability to move into unknown territory,

  Nominee’s potential, ability, and drive to do research, develop new ideas, pursue inventions, and pursue innovative technologies,

  Nominee’s exhibition of motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in their field of academics and/or research,

  Nominee’s conveyance of intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world around them, from both, or either, within the classroom or in their community,

  Nominee is recognized as a leader through their activities on campus or in the community.

2019 Scholarship Nomination
2018 Astronaut Scholar Class


    The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) is proud to welcome the 2018 Astronaut Scholar Class. This year ASF has awarded 50 scholarships to students from 36 different universities across the nation. Astronaut Scholarships are awarded to students in their junior and senior year of college studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics with the intent to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degree. Astronaut Scholars are among the best and brightest minds in STEM who show initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.

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