The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. The creation of this program pays tribute to the leadership, courage, and vision of Senator Goldwater and establishes in his name an endowed recognition program to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics.
The purpose of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, as stated in the enabling legislation, is to alleviate a critical current and future shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. A more realistic statement of the purpose, in today's terms, is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified individuals to those fields of academic study and research.
The Foundation is supported by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Fund, which has been established in the Treasury of the United States. Funding for awards and administrative expenses derives from interest on the Trust Fund, invested in U.S. securities.
The Foundation will award undergraduate scholarships to outstanding students, to be known as Barry Goldwater Scholars, in the spring of 2013 for use during the 2013–2014 academic year. The awards will be made on the basis of merit to two groups of students—those who will be college juniors and those who will be college seniors in the 2013–2014 academic year—who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Four-year institutions are eligible to nominate up to four students who are in the sophomore or junior class during the 2012–2013 academic year. Two-year institutions may nominate up to two students who are sophomores during the 2012–2013 academic year. To be considered, a student must be nominated by his or her college or university using the official online nomination process on the Foundation's website.
Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. Scholarship monies not used during one academic year are not transferable to the succeeding academic year. Junior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of two years of scholarship support, and senior-level scholarship recipients are eligible for a maximum of one year of scholarship support. Scholars may opt to study abroad, but their Goldwater funding will be based on their U.S. institution's budget. Scholars must consult with the Foundation prior to signing up for an overseas program, as there may be some costs associated with being overseas that are prohibited from being covered by this scholarship.
The Trustees intend to award up to 300 Goldwater Scholarships. The number of scholarships to be awarded per state will depend on the number and qualifications of the nominees from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and, considered as a single entity, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The word "resident" as used in this context refers to a person who has legal residence in the state from which he or she is a candidate. This status might be indicated by parents' place of residence. If that criterion of residence is not relevant, the candidate's legal residence will be determined by his or her eligibility for in-state tuition rates (where applicable) and place of voter registration.
Career in Mathematics, the Natural Sciences, or Engineering
The Barry Goldwater Scholarship Program was created to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields.
In awarding scholarships, the Foundation Board of Trustees will consider the nominee's field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field.
Nominees for Goldwater Scholarships must include in their online application a statement of interest in a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering, detailing how their academic program and their overall educational plans will prepare them for their chosen career goal. It is expected that students selected as scholars will pursue advanced degrees.
Students who plan to study medicine are eligible for a Goldwater Scholarship only if they plan a research career rather than a career as a medical doctor in a private practice.
Conditions of Eligibility
To be considered for nomination as a Goldwater Scholar, a student must:
Be a full-time matriculated sophomore or junior pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education during the 2012–2013 academic year. "Sophomore" is defined as a student who plans two more years of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2013. Sophomore nominees can expect to receive a maximum of two years of support. Students in two-year colleges who plan to transfer to a baccalaureate program at another institution may be nominated. "Junior" is defined as a student who plans one more year of full-time undergraduate study beginning September 2013. Junior nominees can expect to receive a maximum of one year of support.
Have a college grade-point average of at least "B" (or the equivalent) and be in the upper fourth of his or her class. Be a United States citizen, a permanent resident, or, in the case of nominees from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, a United States national. Nominations from permanent residents must include a letter of the nominee's intent to obtain U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as the Alien Registration Card).
A scholar may seek postponement of his or her award because of ill health or other mitigating circumstances, upon application to the President at: