The environment is a hot topic at the moment; in addition to new careers in the environmental sciences being created every day, environmental studies majors are also on the rise.
Lucky for the aspiring environmentalists out there, scholarship dollars for college are also increasing in the field of environmental studies. There are many ways to approach an environmental science degree. In some cases, a major in biology is equivalent to an environmental science degree, and can point you in the right direction towards saving the planet. Some schools offer environmental studies degrees to students who are more interested in the activism than the science of making the world a better place.
Advanced degrees like MBAs and public policy degrees even have environmental studies concentrations that focus on the business of making environmental changes.
Just as potential majors are diverse, the types of organizations that give out scholarships for environmental studies also run the full gamut. Civic organizations, foundations, local activist groups, government agencies and corporations all put aside money to help students pay for college. Many of these scholarships offer as much as full tuition, so that the best and brightest students can enter the workforce and start implementing new policies and ideas to protect the environment as soon as they are done with school, without having to worry about student loan debt.
There are a certain colleges and universities in the United States that have leading environmental studies programs, and as a result have somewhat large endowments to offer scholarships and fellowships to many of their students. Students at Sterling College in Vermont can compete for the Environmental Steward Scholarship, worth up to $80,000 over four years if they have participated in environmental causes and clubs throughout their high school careers.
Similarly, students at Washington State University in the School of Economic Sciences are eligible for a number of policy and economics related scholarships that offer big awards.
On the national level, the National Environmental Health Association is one of the leading providers of scholarships to college students. Some of the awards, like the Mangold Award, require a nomination by your academic department, so be sure to contact your dean and favorite professors as you search for scholarships.
The key to finding scholarships for environmental studies to be diverse and to look everywhere. You never know what kind of sources might offer scholarships, and starting early and being persistent is the key to getting a environmental studies degree that you can afford.