FOSSI Scholarship: Guide To Receiving Funding

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI), established through collaborative efforts by chemical manufacturers and related industry stakeholders, is an influential scholarship program designed to break down financial barriers in higher education for historically underrepresented groups who aspire to pursue degrees in STEM fields. With the provision of significant funding, FOSSI aims to elevate diversity in the chemical industry and create a more inclusive future. This scholarship presents a strategic opportunity for students to transform their academic journeys.


Applicants and potential recipients of the FOSSI scholarship are selected based on a comprehensive set of criteria, ensuring that every scholar has the necessary support resources and opportunities to succeed in their STEM-related fields. Beyond the financial assistance, the FOSSI program integrates mentorship and internships that enhance the educational experience and foster real-world skills critical within the STEM community.

Key Takeaways

  • FOSSI offers financial aid to underrepresented students in STEM, along with industry-specific resources and support.
  • Eligible candidates are meticulously chosen to receive assistance that extends beyond monetary benefits.
  • The program underscores the impact of inclusive education on the future of the STEM industry.

Overview of the FOSSI Scholarship

The FOSSI Scholarship represents a strategic initiative aimed at promoting diversity within STEM fields through substantial financial support and partnership with key stakeholders. This program specifically targets students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), offering them not just funds but also the prospect of building essential leadership skills in their chosen STEM disciplines.

Mission and Vision of FOSSI

FOSSI, or the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative, is grounded in its mission to create pathways for underrepresented groups within STEM fields. The initiative envisions a future where equity, diversity, and inclusion are the cornerstones of the scientific community in America. By providing financial support and developmental opportunities, FOSSI aims to enhance the representation and success of minority scholars in STEM.

Key Partners and Sponsors

FOSSI is the result of a collaborative effort among several organizations. The American Chemistry Council, Chemours, and the HBCU Week Foundation stand out as founding partners. These key sponsors along with other industry stakeholders support FOSSI in its mission to finance and mentor future leaders. They commit not only to fostering the next generation of talent but also to strengthening the linkages between HBCUs and the broader STEM community.

Eligibility Criteria


The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) scholarship program offers a transformative opportunity for students, focusing on those who are planning to enroll in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The scholarship sets specific criteria that students must meet to be considered eligible.

Academic Requirements

The FOSSI scholarship places a high priority on academic performance. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale to maintain the scholarship annually. This demonstrates a consistent level of academic achievement and is imperative for eligibility.

Participating Colleges and Universities

Eligible candidates must plan to attend participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). These institutions play a crucial role in the FOSSI program by partnering to facilitate opportunities in STEM fields for scholars.

Degree Programs and Majors

The scholarship supports students pursuing degrees that are integral to the chemical industry and related sectors. Applicants must be interested in majors such as Chemical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, among other preferred STEM majors. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) underscores the importance of these fields in fostering innovation and impact within science and engineering.

Application Process

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) offers a valuable opportunity for high school students to secure the financial support necessary to pursue STEM degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This section outlines the essential steps and requirements of the application process.

Application Timeline and Deadlines

The FOSSI Scholarship application timeline is structured with specific milestones. The process opens annually and has a deadline usually set early in the year. For example, students must submit their applications by the specified deadline, which in previous years was February 15, 2021. This may vary year to year, so applicants should confirm the current year’s deadline on the FOSSI Scholarship page.

Required Documentation

To apply for the FOSSI Scholarship, candidates must prepare a package of Required Documentation. This includes:

  • A completed application form
  • The applicant’s high school transcript
  • A letter of academic reference from a guidance counselor or teacher
  • A letter of reference from an employer or community leader (if available)

These documents collectively demonstrate the candidate’s academic commitment and potential contribution to STEM fields.

Selection Process

The Selection Process is thorough and competitive. Candidates are evaluated based on academic performance, demonstrated leadership, community involvement, and financial need. The goal is to identify students with the potential to excel in STEM majors and who would greatly benefit from the scholarship funding. The results are typically announced a few months after the application deadline. For exact details regarding the decision process and when applicants will be informed, it is best to review the FOSSI FAQ section.

Scholarship Benefits


The FOSSI scholarship provides substantial support to students through financial assistance, leadership training, and professional growth opportunities. Each element of the scholarship is designed to bolster success for scholars pursuing STEM careers.

Financial Awards

  • Amount: Scholars receive $10,000 per year.
  • Duration: The award is renewable for up to four years.

This significant financial commitment aids in reducing the barrier of college expenses, ensuring that scholars can focus on their studies without the burden of financial stress.

Leadership and Career Development

  • Leadership Programs: Scholars gain access to leadership development programs.
  • Career Advancement: Corporate sponsors and industry stakeholders frequently offer career opportunities.

Investing in the future leaders of STEM, the scholarship ensures students are not only supported financially but also equipped with the necessary skills to succeed and lead in their chosen fields.

Mentoring and Networking Opportunities

  • Mentoring: One-on-one mentoring opportunities are provided.
  • Networking: Scholars become part of a vast network of professionals.

Through mentoring, scholars receive valuable guidance, enhancing their academic and professional journey. Networking introduces them to a community of industry experts, giving them a head start in building professional relationships.

Internship Program


The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) not only offers substantial financial support but also paves the way for students to engage directly with the industry through a robust internship program. These internships are integral for bridging the gap between academic knowledge and practical application in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Internship Placements

Students involved with FOSSI have the opportunity to secure internship placements with participating companies across the chemical industry. These placements are designed to correspond with the students’ field of study, ensuring relevance and fostering a productive learning environment. Internship hours are carefully structured to provide ample exposure to real-world challenges and solutions.

Industry Exposure

Through FOSSI’s internship program, scholars are immersed in the industry, obtaining critical insights into the workings of engineering and chemical companies. This exposure includes not just an understanding of the technological aspects but also the business acumen needed to navigate the corporate landscape. Scholars experience the dynamics of teamwork and leadership in a professional setting.

Practical Skills and Training

Internships coordinated by FOSSI offer hands-on training, empowering students with practical skills that complement their academic learning. Scholars get to work on projects that enhance their problem-solving abilities and technical prowess, connecting academic concepts to real-world engineering and IT applications. Collaborating with established engineers and professionals, they develop a skill set that prepares them for the workforce.

FOSSI and Community Impact


The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) is specifically tailored to elevate participation from historically underrepresented communities in STEM fields. Through financial support and crucial networking, FOSSI aims to create a more diverse and inclusive chemical industry workforce.

Promoting Diversity in STEM

FOSSI targets equity and diversity by providing substantial scholarships, enabling students from underrepresented groups to pursue STEM degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This initiative is part of a broader movement known as the Doing a World of Good Campaign, which focuses on enhancing diversity in STEM education and careers.

Building the Talent Pipeline

By directly addressing the financial barriers many students from underrepresented communities face, FOSSI cultivates a talent pipeline. Recipients are granted $10,000 per year for four years, fostering an environment where future industry leaders can thrive without the burden of education-related debt.

Partnerships with Corporate Sponsors

Key to FOSSI’s mission are the partnerships with corporate sponsors from the chemical industry. These sponsors understand the importance of nurturing a diverse talent pool and the long-term benefits that sustainability and diversity bring to the industry. Through collaboration, they ensure that the program provides not just scholarships but also mentoring and networking opportunities for the scholars.

Successful Applicant Profiles


This section takes a closer look at what constitutes a promising FOSSI scholarship applicant, delving into true accounts of prior recipients and the attributes that set them apart as formidable candidates in the fields of STEM.

Previous Student Success Stories

FOSSI scholars are typically those who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their academic pursuits, especially within STEM disciplines such as chemistry, engineering, science, and mathematics. These students often possess a history of leadership, whether through school projects, in their communities, or in other extracurricular activities. For instance, the inaugural class of FOSSI scholars included individuals who had served as leaders in science clubs at their high schools, had completed noteworthy science fair projects, or had participated in community service that promoted STEM education.

Attributes of a Competitive Candidate

A competitive candidate for the FOSSI scholarship displays a strong academic background, particularly in STEM areas. They showcase excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and often come with recommendations from teachers or mentors that speak to their potential as future leaders in the chemical industry or as scientists. High school students aspiring to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and pursue a career in STEM are the main focus of this initiative. These candidates convey a clear comprehension of the significance of diversity in STEM fields and an eagerness to contribute positively. Parents and mentors play a pivotal role in guiding these students toward achieving the necessary credentials, often overseeing participation in relevant programs and supporting the development of a robust academic and extracurricular profile.

Additional Resources and Support


The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) provides more than just scholarships; it encompasses a robust framework of resources and backing that propels scholars towards academic and professional success in various STEM fields.

Participating Organizations

Key players in the FOSSI program include chemical manufacturers and corporate sponsors committed to corporate social responsibility. These entities not only fund scholarships but also contribute to leadership training and career mentoring, ensuring progress in fields such as chemical engineering, environmental health, and computer science.

Supplementary Financial Aid Options

In addition to the financial support from FOSSI, scholars may explore other financial aid options. This can include grants, fellowships, or other scholarships specifically targeting students in disciplines like mechanical engineering, medicine, or physics, complementing the FOSSI offering with a comprehensive financial aid package.

Career and Internship Advising

FOSSI’s support extends into practical career preparation, offering internship advising to students. Scholars in electrical engineering, material science, environmental science, or biology have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their respective fields through internships, bolstering their research capabilities and fostering professional growth.

Frequently Asked Questions


This section addresses some common queries related to the FOSSI scholarship, providing clear and precise information to assist applicants.

What are the eligibility requirements for the FOSSI scholarship?

The FOSSI scholarship seeks high school students interested in attending an HBCU and pursuing a degree in the STEM fields. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to community service and leadership potential. More details on eligibility can be found on their application page.

What are some tips for making a scholarship application stand out?

To enhance a scholarship application, students should maintain a strong academic record, showcase their involvement in STEM-related activities, and highlight leadership experiences. Personal essays should be well-crafted and authentic, reflecting the applicant’s dedication to making a positive impact.

How much financial aid is provided through the FOSSI scholarship?

FOSSI scholars are awarded scholarships of $10,000 per year, which can be renewed annually for up to four years, totaling a potential $40,000. This information is further detailed in a FOSSI PDF guide.

What timeline should applicants follow when applying for FOSSI or similar scholarships?

Applicants should start by reviewing specific timelines and deadlines for the FOSSI program or similar scholarships. Typically, the application process involves planning for essays, recommendation letters, and other materials well in advance of the submission deadlines.

Which HBCU-specific scholarships are available in 2023 similar to FOSSI?

In addition to FOSSI, there are other HBCU-specific scholarships available, such as AIChE’s Henry and Melinda Brown Scholarships. These provide educational and vocational support, including leadership development opportunities, mentoring, and internships. Interested applicants can research King Philip Middle School’s FAQ for more information on related scholarships.

How can applicants contact the FOSSI scholarship program for further information?

For more information on the FOSSI program, inquiries can be directed to the contact information listed on the FOSSI FAQ page. This provides prospective applicants with a resource for additional questions about the application process or program details.

Helpful Resources

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