NCWIT Collegiate Award

NCWIT Collegiate Award LogoThe NCWIT 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 Collegiate Award is sponsored by Qualcomm and Amazon with additional support from Palo Alto Networks.

Applications for 2021-22 are closed.


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 currently 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 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.)
  • The applicant is one of the following:
  • 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, 2022.
  • 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.

Application Details

Applicants must first create or update an account as a college student here, and complete the Community Application.

The 2022 NCWIT Collegiate Award will be conducted in two rounds: Preliminary and Finalist.

Preliminary Round

Students may apply online, beginning on September 1, 2021, and submit completed applications no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, October 15, 2021.

Finalist Round

Applicants representing three categories will be selected from the Preliminary Round 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 application online, beginning on December 7, 2021, and must submit no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, January 14, 2022.

A recommendation letter from a project advisor is REQUIRED and due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

For more information regarding the Award Application, review the Applicant Guide.

Additional Rules and Processes

  • The Preliminary Round application includes essays and short answer questions; the Finalist Round application includes a project presentation and letter of recommendation from a project advisor.
  • All applications from the Preliminary and Finalist Rounds 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 and/or book travel in the allotted time may result in forfeiture of all awards hereunder.
  • NCWIT provides round trip, domestic, economy class airfare, as well as lodging. NCWIT will not be responsible for airline change fees after the initial booking.



Lifetime Partner
Strategic Partners
Investment Partners