The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) honors women in grades 9 through 12 who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Award for AiC recipients are chosen for their demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post‑secondary education. To date, more than 12,000 women have been honored with the Award for AiC.
The multi-tiered award structure includes winner, honorable mention, and certificate of distinction designations at national and regional levels, serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and all U.S. overseas military bases. Regional Affiliate Award programs are hosted in 79 locations nationwide by NCWIT Alliance member organizations -- a powerful, national network of universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations working to increase the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing.
Applications for the 2019 Award for Aspirations in Computing are closed. Applications for 2020 will open in September.
Any U.S. woman in grades 9 through 12 is eligible to apply and will be considered for both the National and Affiliate Award, if she also meets all of the following criteria:
- She is 13 years of age or older at time of account creation.
- She is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who attends school in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen attending school in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or on a U.S. overseas military base.
- She has a U.S. Tax Identification or Social Security Number.
- 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).
- Applicants may reapply each year; however, National Award winners are not eligible to win again.
- Regional Affiliate Award programs allow repeat recipients at their own discretion.
Each National and Regional Affiliate Award winner, as well as each honorable mention, receives:
- recognition at a Regional Affiliate Award event (at the discretion of the Regional Affiliate Award program)
- an engraved award for both her and her school
- scholarship and internship opportunities
- entry to a peer-network of technical women in the NCWIT AiC Community
- various prizes, such as computing resources, gadgets, swag, and more
In addition to the prizes listed above, each National Award winner receives cash and a trip to the National Award Celebration in March 2019, hosted by Bank of America.
Each recipient with a Certificate of Distinction designation receives various prizes and entry to the NCWIT AiC Community.
Any prize that is classified as taxable income must be reported to the IRS. Taxes, where applicable, are the responsibility of the Award recipient.
Applicants must first create or update an aspirations.org account here.
Then, students can apply online, beginning September 1, 2018 and no later than 8:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) on November 5, 2018.
The application includes several short essays and multiple-choice sections:
- You may want to review the application Application Step-by-Step Guide.
- Parents can review the Approval Step-by-Step Guide as well.
- Have your educator follow the Endorsement Step-by-Step Guide to complete his or her endorsement.
- For frequently asked questions about applying, approvals, and endorsements, please visit our FAQ page.
Winners of the National Award are required to submit additional paperwork, including a notarized travel waiver and tax ID information. Failure by National Award recipients and/or her parent(s) or guardian(s) to return required paperwork, book travel within the allotted time may result in forfeiture of all awards hereunder. To the extent required by law, Bank of America will report the value of the gift/reward/travel expenses to the IRS on Form 1099.
NCWIT may require additional hard-copy, notarized paperwork, at its discretion.
Applications are reviewed anonymously by technology academics and industry professionals. Selection of the National recipients is made by NCWIT and Bank of America representatives at their sole discretion; selection of the Regional Affiliate Award recipients is made by each Affiliate at their sole discretion.