National Engineers Week was first celebrated in 1951, dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing interest in careers in engineering and technology. This week, VA is celebrating engineers, engineering technicians and their positive contributions to the quality of life by promoting the importance of a technical education.

In support of the growing economic demand for STEM fields, the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship was created as an extension to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. It gives Veterans or Fry Scholars the opportunity to use an additional nine months (or $30,000) of benefits beyond their original entitlement to complete an undergraduate or dual-degree STEM program, certain clinical training programs in the health care field, or to earn a teaching certification if they have a post-secondary degree in a STEM field.

As technology continues to advance, the need for professionals that are innovative and critical thinkers is at an all-time high. Engineering stands as one of the most popular and lucrative majors that a student can pursue. This STEM field includes an array of industries, such as medicine, transportation, pharmaceuticals, electrical and computers. Earning the title of an engineer also comes with a great salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineering professionals earn $40,000 more than the median annual salary for all jobs in the U.S. The ability to earn over $80,000 yearly is a great incentive for those whose strengths lie in math and science and enjoy solving problems.

You may be eligible for the scholarship and not realize it, because it’s a benefit that you are eligible for once you’ve used a certain amount of your existing benefits and reached a certain point in your educational journey. If you are a Veteran or Fry Scholar currently studying in a STEM field, such as engineering, we encourage you to visit our website to learn how to apply!

As of October 2021, VA has awarded over $65 million in STEM scholarships, and nearly 3,400 eligible STEM Scholars have utilized the program since its inception. Celebrate this week with VA by acknowledging how vital engineers are to creating a better world. Promoting engineering through use of the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship is another way VA is empowering our Veterans to become visionary citizens of tomorrow.

By Jennifer Gillan is a management analyst for VBA’s Education Service

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Published on Feb. 21, 2022

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