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Scholarships for Marine Biology Majors

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Enjoy the beauty of ocean life and all that it entails? Consider a major in marine biology. Not sure you can afford a marine biology college education? Think again. Marine biology students have many options for financial aid and scholarships.

Most universities and colleges offer general scholarships based on merit and/or financial need through the financial aid office. These institutions also offer departmental scholarships through the marine biology department. Note that marine biology is a major area of study oftentimes under a larger department such as biology, biological sciences, or marine sciences.

The search for marine biology scholarships doesn’t have to stop here. Students can find outside scholarships by using the Internet. Some national organizations, corporations, and foundations offer scholarships specific to the field of marine biology.

Where to Find Free Money for Marine Biology Students

College students hope for free money. Why not achieve that goal through scholarships and grants? Many colleges and universities offer awards on-campus through the financial aid office and through various departments.
Marine biology majors can also seek outside scholarships on their own by using the Internet. National organizations, corporations, and associations provide scholarships specific to marine biology majors.

Here are examples of marine biology scholarships:

College Scholarships

Bowling Green State University offers departmental scholarships through its Department of Biological Sciences. The Cynthia Collin Stong Marine Biology Scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding marine biology majors. Award amount varies.

The University of North Carolina—Wilmington offers several marine biology scholarships:

  • The John & Belle Shishko Scholarship which is awarded to marine biology or biology majors in their junior year of schooling. Award is based on financial need and merit. Recipients receive paid tuition, fees, books, and other supplies.
  • The Charles and Kay Bolles Marine Biology Scholarship awards $2,500 to qualifying, full-time students majoring in marine biology.
  • The Preyer Family Scholarship awards $750 to marine biology majors who demonstrate outstanding academic achievements.
  • The John Colucci Jr. Memorial Scholarship—$3,500 is awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student majoring in marine biology. This scholarship is based on merit and financial need.

The University of West Florida has several marine biology scholarships to offer undergraduate students majoring in marine biology or biology. Award amounts differ each year and typically cover the cost of textbooks.

Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania offers the Marine Biology Scholarship which awards $2,000 to a qualifying student each year.

Other Scholarships

Some organizations also offer marine biology scholarships and grants to qualifying students. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program. This scholarship is awarded to seven outstanding graduate students doing research in marine biology, oceanography, or maritime archeology. Preference is given to females and minority students. Award amount varies.

Seaspace offers marine-related scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students must be in their junior or senior year and demonstrate financial need. Graduate students should have a minimum grade point average or 3.3 and show financial need.

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories administers eight distinct scholarship programs to provide students with financial support. Each scholarship awards $2,500 and is typically based on academic achievements.

California Marine Sciences Scholarship is administered by the Central California Diving Council. This scholarship awards $1,000 to qualifying students majoring in an aquatic-related field, including marine biology. There are strict requirements for this award.

The Marine Technology Society (MTS) offers several scholarships for students majoring in marine-related fields:

  • Charles H. Bussman Undergraduate Scholarship—awards $2,500 to students enrolled full-time who are members of MTS.
  • The MTS Student Scholarship for Graduate and Undergraduate Students—this scholarship awards $2,000 to students enrolled full-time who are also MTS members.
  • John C. Bajus Scholarship awards $1,000 to MTS members who demonstrate the commitment of community service. Applicants must be enrolled full-time as a graduate or undergraduate student.

Tips about Marine Biology Scholarships

  • When seeking scholarships, start early and note all deadlines.
  • Contact the financial aid office at the college/university you are attending to find out what scholarships are available.
  • Inquire with the marine biology department for scholarship availability specific to your career interests.
  • Use the Internet to seek outside scholarships offered by national organizations, associations, and foundations.

Additional topics

Financial-Aid Articles