NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Collegiate Award
The Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Collegiate Award honors the outstanding computing accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate women, genderqueer, or non-binary students. Conferred annually, the award recognizes technical contributions to projects that demonstrate a high level of innovation and potential impact. Past projects include: software and app development, machine learning, big data, bioinformatics, cybersecurity, space, and more.
The multi-tiered award structure includes Winner and Honorable Mention.
The NCWIT AiC Collegiate Award is sponsored by Qualcomm and Amazon.
Applications for 2023-24 season open October 10, 2023 and the preliminary round closes November 20, 2023.
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or individuals who meet the requirements of the substantial presence test and are women, genderqueer, or non-binary students are eligible to apply, if they also meet all of the following criteria:
- They are a high school graduate or equivalent.
- They are a member of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community.
- They are enrolled in a post-secondary institution (community college, college, university, or early college program) in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands during the 2023-2024 academic year with a major or minor in a computing or engineering discipline.* U.S. citizens who are studying at an institution in Canada, but whose permanent residence remains in the United States are also eligible to apply.
- Please note dual enrollment/concurrent enrollment programs (i.e. completing high school and starting a post-secondary education simultaneously are not eligible for the NCWIT Collegiate Award, as the individual must have already graduated from high school to be eligible.)
- Please note that students who graduate early during the 2023-2024 academic year (e.g., December 2023) are still eligible to apply.
- The applicant is one of the following:
- U.S. Citizen
- Permanent resident (meets the requirements of the green card test)
- Individual who meets the requirements of the substantial presence test
- They must reside in the U.S. or on a U.S. overseas military base, or be a U.S. Citizen residing in Puerto Rico, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- They have a valid U.S. Social Security or Tax Identification number.
- They will be 18 years of age or older by May 1, 2024.
- They are not an NCWIT employee and have no immediate family relationship with employees, extended staff, contractors or board members of NCWIT (including spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren, and persons residing in the same household).
* Related degree programs are considered at the sole discretion of NCWIT.
- Past applicants and past Collegiate Award Honorable Mentions are eligible for consideration.
- Past Collegiate Award Winners are not eligible to win again.
Each Finalist receives:
- a Finalist certificate
- a $150 Electronic Visa Gift Card
Each Award Winner and Honorable Mention receives:
- public recognition for their achievement
- an engraved award, computing resources, gadgets, sponsor-branded swag, and more
In addition to the prizes listed above, each Award Winner receives $10,000 in cash, and each Honorable Mention receives $2,500 in cash.
To the extent required by law, NCWIT will report the value of the gift/reward/travel expenses to the IRS on Form 1099. Taxes, where applicable, are the responsibility of the Award recipient.
Applicants must first create or update an aspirations.org account as a college student here, and complete the Community Application.
The 2024 Aspirations in Computing Collegiate Award will be conducted in two rounds. Preliminary and Finalist.
Students may apply online, beginning on October 10, 2023, and submit completed applications no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, November 20, 2023.
A recommendation letter from a project advisor is REQUIRED and due no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, November 20, 2023.
Top Preliminary Round applicants representing three categories below will be selected to participate in the Finalist Round:
- freshmen, sophomores, and two-year college students
- juniors and seniors
- graduate students
Students selected for the Finalist Round will be invited to complete their Finalist Round application online beginning December 22, 2023, and must submit no later than 11:59pm ET on Monday, January 29, 2024.
Top scoring applicants representing the three categories above from the Finalist Round will be selected as Honorable Mentions and Winners.
For more information regarding the Award Application, review the Applicant Guide.
Additional Rules and Processes
- The Preliminary Round application includes essays, short answer questions, and letter of recommendation from a project advisor; The Finalist Round application includes a project presentation.
- All applications will be reviewed by industry technical professionals, using a scoring rubric.
- Applicants must acknowledge all teammates involved with the project.
- Applicants must be the sole creator of their project presentation.
- NCWIT requires paperwork including an affidavit and IRS W9. Failure by award recipients to return required paperwork in the allotted time may result in forfeiture of all awards hereunder.