RIT offers support, scholarships for women in STEM

Posted on December 13th, 2013

At most colleges across the nation, the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields have been increasingly dominated by men, with the number of women enrolled in STEM falling 10 percent in the last 15 years.

One Western New York college, however, goes against this trend, making it a great choice for women interested in these fields.


Thanks to an initiative to recruit young women, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has seen a large increase in the number of female first-year students in STEM, according to the Rochester Business Journal.

Bucking the national STEM trend

RIT is one of the few colleges nationally with growing enrollment for women in STEM.

In fact, from 2007 to 2013, the number of women enrolled in a STEM major increased 30 percent. And their engineering program has seen the number of female enrollees triple during this time.

A study released last year by the National Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that while more women graduated from college than men, they received just 27.5 percent of associate degrees and occupational certificates in STEM fields.

The need for women in STEM

While fewer women are earning STEM degrees, the need for this expertise continues to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that STEM employment could increase by some 20 percent from 2008 to 2018-almost double the rate of overall job growth.

Harvey Palmer, dean of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT, says it’s important for colleges to make women interested in STEM a priority and create a supportive atmosphere.

This says to students that here you will be immersed in an environment that supports women in engineering.

What I hear from women who join our college is that it was this environment that turned their heads and made them come to RIT.

Scholarships for women in STEM

To help with outreach, RIT offers several scholarships specifically for women in STEM fields.

By offering scholarships that can make college more affordable, we’re glad to see that RIT has made such a concerted effort to recruit women for STEM degrees, which often lead to stable, good-paying careers. We hope to see other colleges do the same and offer financial aid, scholarships, and a supportive environment for women in these fields.

photo credit: pennstatenews via photopin cc

Category: Choosing a College

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