Student Opportunities

First2 Scholars: Resourcing our Students’ Time and Expertise

We value our students as experts in their own experience and as irreplaceable partners on this journey of change. Any student who receives funding through the First2 Network is a First2 Scholar.

First2 Network financially supports our scholars’ participation as researchers, mentors, educators, network leaders and more – to enable students to invest their time and focus on leveraging STEM pathway success for themselves and for others.

What Scholars Do

All scholars complete activities that include experience in STEM research, career immersion, education and outreach, peer mentoring, and First2 Network participation through a variety of programs. Scholars will pick a focus area to spend the majority of their hours (research, career immersion, education and outreach, peer mentoring, First2 Network-related activities).

First2 Scholars can apply for support to:

  • Conduct lab or field research on campus or off campus, especially in their first 2 years of college.
  • Explore STEM career immersion including STEM career work (for example, interning in programming at a tech company.)
  • Serve in community outreach and education programs in STEM.
  • Mentor peers in STEM.
  • Plan and implement First2-related programs and initiatives, including early immersive experiences in STEM.

All First2 Scholars will:

  • Be provided with mentoring and leadership development through the program.
  • Have the opportunity for paid travel to conferences and other events.
  • Apply for mini-grants to do Ambassador presentations.
  • Participate in First2 Network campus meetings, the monthly Student Leadership State-Wide Working Group monthly meeting, and statewide events.
  • Make at least one presentation of their research and/or the First2 Network per funding cycle (fall, spring, summer).
  • Serve as a peer mentor.  

Who can Apply for First2 Scholar Funding?

Active student  members of the First2 Network may apply for funding.  An active member is participating in First2 Network activities and programs. 

First2 Academic Year Scholars are undergraduates who are granted an average of $1500 per academic semester in an educational stipend to do research, outreach, career immersion, mentoring, and First2 activities. This is based on an estimated average of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks each semester. Participation will be resourced at $10/hour. We expect that scholars may not be logging hours during midterms or finals, but will make up this time during other weeks, including weeks following a semester before the next semester begins. ….Read More and apply!

First2 Summer Scholars are rising freshmen who are accepted at a First2 2-week immersive summer research internship. This internship is approximately 2 weeks long. Summer Scholars receive $600. Travel, room and board are provided for residential immersive experiences. …Read more and apply!

First2 Summer Mentor Scholars have completed at least one year of college, and will plan and mentor during summer immersive 2-week experiences for rising freshmen. Each Summer Mentor Scholar will be expected to do 40-70 hours of planning and wrap-up (including final reports), in addition to being a residential mentor for a 12 day internship. Summer Mentor Scholars receive $1600. Travel, room and board are provided for immersive experiences. …Read more and apply!

First2 Student Directors serve as the leaders of the First2 Scholars, as the staff for the network and campus clubs, and as campus and network liaisons. Students can serve in a Director capacity in addition to doing research or being summer mentors. Our Student Directors are thought partners in leading the network, and work to coordinate student voice and participation in the network. Student Directors will receive up to $750 per academic semester for their additional leadership responsibilities. Students should plan to spend 5-7 hours per week, and 2-3 full days of conferences and other in-person meetings with the First2 Network per semester. Student Directors will remain minimally active in the summer term, as we expect Directors to be fully immersed in career-advancing research internships of their own.

First2 Scholar Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

First2 Scholars funded through National Science Foundation INCLUDES grant monies must be first-generation college students or other underrepresented students in STEM intending to major or majoring in traditional STEM majors or in STEM education majors.

National Science Foundation funds must be used to support US citizens and permanent residents. International students, please contact us about getting involved through other means at 

First2 scholars are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA each semester. If a scholar’s GPA falls below 2.5, a written plan for improvement maybe submitted, and continue as a scholar on an improvement period for one semester. If a scholar with a previously low GPA finishes a semester with a 2.5 GPA, the student become eligible to receive funding as a First2 scholar again.

Application, Funding, and Payment Cycle

There will be a new application for First2 Scholars for each Fall Semester, Spring Semester, and Summer Term. Scholar money awarded that is not used by the end of each term will be forfeited and returned to the funding pool to fund other scholars.

Applications will generally be available before the start of the semester, and scholars will be notified as applicants are selected. We would like to notify as many scholars as possible before classes begin or in the first week of school, so that students can get right to work in labs and in campus programs. Payments will be made to students monthly. At the end of the month, students will turn in a monthly report and activity log, signed by their professional ally. First2 will process student stipends by the 15th day of the next month.

Taxes and FAFSA

First2 student stipends are considered educational stipends. See a tax advisor for income-reporting requirements. Generally speaking, educational stipends are not subject to taxes unless the amount of the stipend exceeds qualified educational expenses. In general, if an educational stipend does not exceed the amount of qualified educational expenses, it would also not be reportable as income on taxes or FAFSA.