NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) honors 9th-12th grade students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary for their computing-related achievements and interests, and encourages them to pursue their passions. Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education. Since 2007, nearly 14,000 students have received an Award for AiC.
The multi-tiered award structure includes Winner, Honorable Mention, Rising Star, and Certificate of Distinction designations at National and Regional Affiliate 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 influence and meaningful participation of girls and women from every community.
The NCWIT Award for AiC is sponsored by Apple, Bank of America, Microsoft, and Motorola Solutions Foundation.
Applications open September 1, 2020.
Applicants who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary in grades 9 through 12 are welcome to apply. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements outlined below will be considered for both the National and Regional Affiliate Awards:
They are 13 years of age or older at the time of account creation.
They attend a school in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or on a U.S. overseas military base.
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).
In addition to the aforementioned eligibility requirements, to be considered for a National Award (National Winner or National Honorable Mention designations), the applicant must meet the additional criteria:
They are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or individual who meets the requirements of the substantial presence test.
They have a U.S. Tax Identification or Social Security Number.
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.
Prizes vary by award designation:
National Award Winner
National Honorable Mention
National Certificate of Distinction
Regional Affiliate Award Winner
Regional Affiliate Honorable Mention
Regional Affiliate Rising Star
cash and a trip to the National Award for AiC Celebration in March 2020, hosted by Bank of America
recognition at a Regional Affiliate Award event (at the discretion of the Regional Affiliate Award program)
an engraved award for the recipient and the recipient’s school
a personalized award certificate
scholarship and internship opportunities
automatic induction into the AiC Community—a national network of peers, supported by professionals and volunteers
various prizes, such as computing resources, gadgets, swag, and more
Applicants must first create or update an aspirations.org account here.
Then, students can apply online, beginning September 1, 2020 and submit a completed application no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 5, 2020.
The application includes several short essays and multiple-choice sections:
You may want to review the 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 their endorsement.
For frequently asked questions about applying, approvals, and endorsements, please visit the FAQ page.
Definition of Award Designations
Every applicant is eligible to receive awards at both the National and Regional Affiliate tiers. The Award levels for 2019-20 include:
Winner: Highest-achieving students selected to represent the rich diversity of applicants. Prior National Award Winners may not win this award more than once.
Honorable Mention: High-achieving students selected to represent the rich diversity of applicants.
Certificate of Distinction (CoD): Students who merit recognition and entry into the AiC Community.
Regional Affiliate Awards
Winner: Students who have significantly demonstrated interest and aptitude for computing.
Honorable Mention: Students who have demonstrated interest and aptitude for computing.
Rising Star: Students who may be starting out in their pursuit and study of computing. Rising Stars embody the idea of aspirations and are encouraged to continue their exploration of the field.
Winners of the National Award are required to submit additional paperwork, including a notarized travel waiver and tax ID information. Failure by National Award Winners and/or her parent(s) or guardian(s) to return required paperwork or 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 Award Winners 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.