Biology scholarships are designed to meet many different needs, from promoting the top scoring students to helping minority or disadvantaged students access a college education. Regardless of the scholarships for which a student qualifies, the competition will be tough. Students should focus on building the best credentials they can and worry about which scholarships to apply for later.
Academic performance is important in all college scholarships. Students seeking scholarships should focus intensively on getting good grades throughout high school. High school study areas that are important to a career in biology include biology, mathematics and chemistry. The importance of mathematics and chemistry cannot be understated. Students with a strong background in these areas will have an advantage in the scholarship market, an edge over their friends in college, and a huge advantage in the job market.
Students should research career opportunities in the field and develop an understanding about what is necessary to succeed. If possible, they should choose an area of specialization and get involved in extracurricular activities in that area. It's alright if their interests change later. The idea is to show scholarship committees that they are both willing and able to plot a plan for success and to act on that plan.
Relationships are also important. Recommendation letters from teachers and, especially, professionals in the field often carry extraordinary weight with scholarship committees. Students can meet professionals by volunteering or working. Summer science camps help students gain exposure to professionals and to possible volunteer, internship and job opportunities.
Biology is a field rich with career potential. At the most general level, there are three career areas in biology. Medicine is one of the most well-known. From doctors to surgeons to pharmaceutical researchers, opportunities in medicine are abundant. Agriculture is another major area of employment for those with biology degrees. It includes everything from animal husbandry to researching the best new gene to making rice farming more productive. Last, but not least, are the natural sciences, such as ecology, wildlife studies and botany. While these offer fewer opportunities in industry careers, academic research in these areas will continue to grow.
Aside from other aspects, success in science depends on curiosity and a desire to learn. Biology, with its bright employment future, is a practical field of exploration for students to consider. They can compete for scholarships by expressing their academic and other qualities.