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The Astronaut Scholarship is funded by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), a nonprofit orgarnization created by the Mercury 7 astronauts in 1984.  The foundation strives to aid the U.S. in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships to the very best and brightest college students pursuing degrees in STEM majors.  The foundation selects member institutions based on their history of producing significant numbers of professional scientists, academic scientists, engineers, and researchers.  Purdue is one of 27 institutions included by ASF and thus eligible to nominate students for the Astronaut Scholarship.  One nominee from each institution is granted an Astronaut Scholarship annually.

Eligibility Requirements

    • be a U.S. citizen 
    • be working toward a degree in engineering, math, or natural or applied sciences
    • entering junior or senior year of study in the application year
    • should have conducted a considerable amount of research in their specific field
    • must be nominated by a faculty member

Application Components

    • nomination form with accompanying nomination letter
    • letter of support/nomination from a second faculty member
    • financial summary form
    • resume
    • one-page statement of personal interests, activities and career goals
    • official transcript from all institutions attended
    • proof of citizenship (birth certificate, US passport or naturalization papers)

Characteristics of a Competitive Application

Successful nominees must demonstrate the following in their application  and nomination materials

    • participation in a considerable amount of research in their field
    • a special drive or talent that foreshadows a creative career leading to the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology (clearly identified and discussed in the faculty nomination)
    • motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in their field
    • intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world around them, both in and out of the classroom

Application Procedure

Step 1 is to indicate intention to apply for the Astronaut Scholarship here no later than November 4, 2013

This questionnaire includes submission of your nominating faculty and letter of support writer and should not be submitted until you have identified those individuals.  In response to this submission, you will receive application materials upon their arrival in November, and your recommenders will receive an email from NISO with information about the scholarship, submission instructions, and tips for writing a strong Astronaut Scholarship nomination/support letter.

All applicants must be nominated by their college or university.  As such, Purdue applicants are reviewed by an internal committee.  Purdue must review at least eight student nominations, two of which will be chosen for nomination to the ASF who will ultimately decide which Purdue nominee receives the Astronaut Scholarship.  Students applying must submit application materials to the National and International Scholarships Office as follows:

All materials should be submitted via email to the NISO Director by the campus deadline for inclusion in the campus selection process.  Both the applicant and nominating faculty member should review the nomination instructions prior to beginning the application/nomination process

    • Students must submit
        • financial summary form
        • transcripts (Note:  Purdue transcripts should be ordered via MyPurdue and sent directly to the NISO Director)
        • resume
        • statement of personal interest
        • proof of citizenship
    • Nominating professor must submit the nomination form and nomination letter
    • Professor providing the second letter of support must submit the letter

The campus committee will meet following the campus application deadline, review applications, and determine 2 students for formal nomination.  Students and their nominator will be notified of the student's nomination status via email.  Nominees will receive feedback and additional applications instructions for the national competition upon selection.

All application materials must be submitted by the campus deadline of December 3, 2013