Computer Science Education

Amazon Opens Up Scholarship Applications for Future CS Engineers

High school seniors who want to study computer science have until Feb. 18, 2021 to apply for one of 100 $40,000 scholarships being offered through Amazon's Future Engineer scholarship program. The money comes with a guaranteed paid internship offer at Amazon. Of special interest are students from under-represented groups, including young women and students of color.

Amazon Future Engineer is a program that works to increase access to CS education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities.

Applicants need to:

  • Complete a CS course in high school;

  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;

  • Plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in CS; and

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a high school senior in a U.S. school.

(Those immediately related to employees of Amazon or its subsidiaries can't apply.)

The recipients of the scholarships are selected on the basis of their academic performance, experience with CS, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience, short answer responses, unusual personal or family circumstances, financial need, racial/ethnic/gender diversity and an educator appraisal (preferably a CS teacher).

Those who receive the scholarships will get $10,000 each year as long as they maintain full-time enrollment at an accredited school.

Internships run for 12 weeks during the summer and take place after students' freshman years of college. Interns are embedded with a software engineering team and paired up with another intern, a manager and mentors to work on projects, which may be for Amazon Web services, Alexa or the retail platform.

Among the latest recipients of the scholarships was Ashley Chu, who currently attends the University of California, Berkeley. As she explained in a profile on the Amazon Future Engineer website, "I did not have a direct path to computer science: I first got hooked on CS after seeing how it was used to create my favorite films and video games!" Chu noted that the Amazon Future Engineer program "has changed my life. This past summer, I worked for Amazon Web Services, and despite the remote format, I had an unforgettable experience. One takeaway I had was to stand up and speak out. I've always lacked confidence, but especially with the support of my co-AFE interns, I now feel so much more confident and proud of who I am."

To learn more and begin the application process, visit the Amazon Future Engineer scholarship website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.