NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program

Opportunity for incoming STEM (biology, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science) majors to finish STEM degree and enter STEM workforce or enter STEM graduate programs

Students avail $5,417/year scholarship for 4 years

Fulfill program requirements, including but not limited to:

  • Travel to conference

  • Research

  • Career mentorships

NSF S-STEM Scholarship Program

Supporting Retention and Graduation of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computer Science Majors in Rural Central Louisiana

This project will contribute to the national need for highly skilled scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians. It will do so by supporting the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students at Louisiana State University at Alexandria, the only state-supported undergraduate institution in Central Louisiana. Over its five-year duration, the project will provide scholarships to 18 full-time students who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. These Scholars will be admitted in two cohorts and receive four-year scholarships.

The project aims to increase persistence of the Scholars in STEM fields by linking scholarships with both proven and innovative supporting activities, including near-peer, faculty, and professional mentoring, supplemental instruction, early alert intervention pathways, monthly workshops focusing on career and interpersonal skills, a living/learning community, early undergraduate research exposure, cohort common coursework and specialized computational and writing courses, and participation in research conferences. With assistance of faculty mentors, the Scholars will identify specific challenges, motivations, and successes in their STEM education journey. The introduction of advanced computational courses such as bioinformatics, chemometrics, and multivariate statistical analysis will enable Scholars to gain a deeper understanding of STEM content. The University is one of the most racially diverse institutions in the state: about 30% of the student population are first-generation college students and 65% requiring federal, state, and/or institutional aid. As a result, this project has the potential to broaden participation in STEM fields and to increase knowledge about how to improve educational outcomes for low-income, high-achieving STEM students.

The overall goal of this project is to increase STEM degree completion of low-income, high-achieving undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. The specific aims include: 1) strengthening student support services to increase retention and four-year graduation rates; 2) establishing and administering tier-level mentorships, research opportunities, and enhanced career services to increase STEM career readiness; and 3) establishing a data monitoring system to analyze student information in order to identify STEM student needs and determine the impact of various activities on their success. The project will implement evidence-based practices for increasing undergraduate graduation in STEM, including academic support in introductory STEM courses, financial assistance, faculty mentorship, and innovative curriculum.

This project aims to provide the Scholars with a holistic program of support services and opportunities for engagement in STEM. In addition to advancing understanding of challenges and motivations affecting students’ retention and graduation in STEM fields, this project has the potential to create future STEM leaders who can contribute to the economy of the underserved rural areas of Central Louisiana. The project will be evaluated using data from formative and summative assessments. Comparative techniques will be used to analyze qualitative data and parametric tests will be used to analyze quantitative data. The results of these efforts will be disseminated locally and nationally for the benefit of other institutions with similar goals. This project is funded by NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program, which seeks to increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who earn degrees in STEM fields. It also aims to improve the education of future STEM workers, and to generate knowledge about academic success, retention, transfer, graduation, and academic/career pathways of low-income students.

How to Apply

Step 1: Preliminary screening (please save all files as PDF)​

  • Completed application form - Download Application Here
  • Most recent transcript showing degree and GPA 
  • Documentation of citizenship status (photocopy or scan of passport, birth certificate, permanent resident card, etc.)

  • Personal statement articulating STEM interests, accomplishments, and motivations to pursue a STEM degree (typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font, 2 pages maximum)
  • A complete recommendation form (part of downloaded file above) from a high school science or math instructor
  • Send to Ms. Shelly Gill (stemscholarships@lsua.edu), Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management as a PDF attachment email. The title
 of the email should be 'Lastname - S-STEM application - Date of submission.' For example, if your last name is Smith and the date of submission was June 1, 2022, then the title of the email should be 'Smith - S-STEM application - June 1, 2022.'

Step 2: Final screening

  • Committee reviews each application
  • Interview
  • Determination of scholarship winners (will be notified via email and/or phone number)

For More Information

Dr. Guoyi Ke, LSUA Principal Investigator & Director
gke@lsua.edu | 318-767-3979



  • $5,417/year per scholar renewable for 4 years
  • Paid travel to National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Asheville, NC
  • Research opportunities
  • Career mentorships
  • Supplemental instructions
  • Specialized STEM courses
  • Unforgettable fun and experience!


  • US citizen, permanent resident alien, refugee
  • Majoring in STEM (biology, chemistry, math, computer science)
  • Incoming freshman/current freshman
  • Demonstrated financial need (Pell-eligible), as defined by the US Department of Education rules for Federal financial aid and the LSUA Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
  • Enrolled at LSUA full time
  • Overall GPA of at least 3.00* or top 25% of the class
  • Minimum composite ACT score of 24* or higher is preferred
  • Goal of pursuing a STEM graduate degree program or a STEM career after graduation
  • Those planning to pursue a “pre-professional” degree (e.g. Pre-medicine) will not be eligible
  • *Will consider slightly lower scores