WPI is a longtime supporter of the FIRST program. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational, nonprofit organization that aspires to transform culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today. The following scholarships are awarded to FIRST participants only.

The FIRST Scholarship Program enabled me to attend the best engineering institution in the country; a feat that would have been a pipe dream otherwise.
Adam Cyran
WPI sophomore, Mechanical Engineering

WPI Design Innovation Scholarship

Each year, WPI awards a full-tuition, four-year undergraduate scholarship (valued at approximately $190,000) to a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) or FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team student participant. Each team participating in one of the challenges may nominate one of its student members for the WPI Design Innovation Scholarship.  

In addition to the full-tuition scholarship, WPI offers three $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year for four years of undergraduate study) to applicants to the Design Innovation Scholarship who are not selected for the full-tuition award, but whose applications are deemed by the selection committee to be particularly meritorious.

WPI FIRST Community Scholarship

WPI awards the FIRST Community Scholarship, a full-tuition, four-year undergraduate scholarship (valued at approximately $190,000) to a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) or FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team student participant to attend WPI in pursuit of a career in engineering, science, or business. Each team participating in one of the challenges may nominate one of its student members for the WPI FIRST Community Scholarship during the year the scholarship is being offered. This scholarship is intended to be awarded to a student who is Native American, African American, Latino American, and/or female.  

FIRST Dean's List Summer Program Scholarship

The FIRST Robotics Dean’s List Winners are offered the opportunity to attend either session I or session II of the WPI Frontiers Program. The scholarship will cover the full tuition of either session for the 2020 Frontiers Program, pending approval of his/her Frontiers Application. For those Deans List Winners who are unable to take advantage of the summer offer, but who may be admitted to and enroll at WPI, $2,500 would be applied towards the tuition for undergraduate enrollment in the fall of the freshman year at WPI. The scholarship will be available to any Dean’s List Winner. Contact frontiers@wpi.edu with any questions as it relates to this particular scholarship.

Application Process

To apply for all FIRST scholarships (not including the FIRST Dean's List Summer Program Scholarship):

  • Both Scholarships: Candidates should apply to WPI through the standard admissions process no later than February 1, 2020, and must be active participants on a FIRST (FRC or FTC) team in their senior year.
  • Both Scholarships: Apply to the specific FIRST scholarship when the application opens on January 3, 2020, which closes on March 9, 2020. More information will be provided at a later date.
  • Candidates must submit the following  materials via SlideRoom* when the application opens:
    • Both Scholarships: Scholarship Application.
    • Both Scholarships: Letter of nomination from the adult team leader who is nominating the candidate describing their demonstrated enthusiasm for engineering and science. The letter should also offer examples of demonstrated ability and innovation necessary to excel as an engineer or scientist. Note: You will have the opportunity to invite your nominator to submit his/her letter of recommendation via Slide Room.
    • WPI Design Innovation Scholarship ONLY: Presentation produced by the student that focuses primarily on, and describes, one or more of the design innovations in his/her team's current year robot. Presentations should not be longer than five minutes in length. Presentations should be videos (.mov, .wmv, .flv, .mp4), or links to media and should be submitted through SlideRoom. Additionally, the presentation should touch upon one of the following:
      • How their team builds spirit
      • How their team demonstrates sportsmanship
      • The importance of teamwork in developing the robot
    • WPI FIRST Community Scholarship ONLY: An essay not longer than two pages in length (approximately 500 words) describing:
      • How the candidate feels his/her future as a leader in science, engineering or management might personally improve that impact.
      • The candidate's thoughts on the role of science and technology on our society.
      • How the candidate has demonstrated leadership in his/her school through specific activities and especially through participation in FIRST.

*SlideRoom is a web-based service where you can upload your presentation, link to media, and solicit a letter of nomination. Please be sure to select the correct scholarship you are applying for.

FIRST Scholarship Eligibility

FIRST scholarship candidates must be high school seniors and active FIRST (FRC or FTC) team members. Students nominated by their teams must be capable of meeting WPI admissions standards, have demonstrated enthusiasm for engineering and science, and possess the ability and innovation necessary to excel as an engineer, scientist, or manager. For additional details regarding FIRST Scholarship application requirements and deadlines, please contact admissions@wpi.edu.