Collegiate Award

NCWIT Collegiate Award Logo

The NCWIT Collegiate Award honors the outstanding computing accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate women. Conferred annually, the award recognizes technical contributions to projects that demonstrate a high level of innovation and potential impact.

The NCWIT Collegiate Award is sponsored by Qualcomm and Palo Alto Networks.

Applications for the 2019 Collegiate Award are closed. Click here to be reminded when Applications open in the fall.


Any U.S. woman is eligible to apply, if she also meets all of the following criteria:

  • She is a high school graduate.
  • She is a member of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community.
  • She is currently enrolled as an undergraduate (at a two- or four-year institution) or a graduate student pursuing a degree in computer science or a related degree program* at an NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) member institution. (View the full list of AA member institutions.)
  • She is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who resides in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen residing in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or on a U.S. overseas military base.
  • She has a valid U.S. Social Security or Tax Identification number.
  • She will be 18 years of age or older by May 1, 2019.
  • She is not an NCWIT employee and has 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; however, past Collegiate Award winners may not win again.


Each Award winner and honorable mention receives:

  • a trip to the NCWIT Summit on Women and IT in Nashville, Tennessee in May 2019, including a private networking reception and award ceremony
  • an engraved award, computing resources, gadgets, sponsor-branded swag, and more

In addition to the prizes listed above, each 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

The 2019 NCWIT Collegiate Award will be conducted in two rounds: Preliminary and Finalist.

Preliminary Round

Students may apply online, beginning on September 1, 2018 and no later than 8:00 p.m. MDT on Monday, October 15, 2018.

Endorsement from a project advisor is REQUIRED and due no later than 8:00 p.m. MDT on Monday, October 22, 2018.

Finalist Round

Applicants representing three categories will be selected from the Preliminary Round to participate in the Finalist Round:

  1. freshmen, sophomores, and two-year college students
  2. juniors and seniors
  3. graduate students

Students selected for the Finalist Round will be invited to complete their application online, beginning on December 10, 2018 and no later than January 18, 2019.

A recommendation letter from a project advisor is REQUIRED and due no later than 8:00 p.m. MST on Friday, January 25, 2019.

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 a project endorsement; 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 Awardees 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.


View all NCWIT Collegiate Award recipients here.