Valpo STEM Scholarship Program
Apply for the EPIC program to be eligible for more scholarship money, get a jump start in your first year to prepare for your future career, and join a supportive community with other students and faculty from the start of your time at Valpo!
What is the EPIC Program?
EPIC stands for Establishing Practices for Integrating Commuters. The program seeks academically talented, low-income students who wish to pursue one of the Valpo majors listed below. Both those who intend to live on campus and those who intend to commute to campus are welcome to apply to be part of an integrated cohort throughout their four years.
If you’re interested in studying any of the majors listed below, you already know there are outstanding career opportunities awaiting you whether you’re interested in medical, graduate, or other professional school, or going straight into a job after college. STEM occupations are expected to grow 8% in the next decade! STEM employees also earn, on average, almost a third more than their non-STEM counterparts*. But, how do you help yourself stand out from other future job applicants? This is where the EPIC program comes in!
EPIC provides scholarship money above your initial Valpo financial aid award and academic and social support to successfully navigate STEM starting in your first year of college. This program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #2129206).
Any low-income, admitted Valpo student intending to major in one of the following areas is encouraged to apply for the EPIC Scholarship Program:
- Computer Science
- Data Science
- Environmental Science
- Geography Bachelor of Science – Earth Science, Geospatial Analysis, or Geospatial Science
Preference will be given to students who are among the first in their family to attend college, coming from challenging educational and economic backgrounds who have an ability and/or willingness to overcome adversity in spite of those backgrounds.
*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021
Why apply to be EPIC at Valpo?
EPIC creates a smaller family-type atmosphere within Valpo that provides an immediate, friendly support group as you tackle challenging first-year STEM coursework. The program provides substantial scholarship support beyond your initial Valpo financial aid to help ease the worry of paying for college. Starting in your first-year, you also have unique opportunities to help prepare you for life beyond Valpo such as access to undergraduate research. Finally, EPIC students who live on campus are able to help commuters get more involved in the campus community and commuters are able to help residential students take advantage of all the great things the Northwest Indiana region has to offer!
EPIC students receive:
- An additional scholarship beyond your Valpo financial aid award of $1,000-$10,000 (dependent on financial need) renewable for up to 4 years,
- A faculty mentor as an excellent resource for navigating college life,
- A cohort of other students with similar interests,
- Social and educational activities including an annual retreat, monthly gatherings, and field trips, and
- The opportunity to participate in a research group and other career preparation opportunities beginning the first year which sets you apart from other future job candidates (don’t worry, you don’t have to know how to do it! We teach you!).
How To Apply For EPIC
For prospective first-year students who are interested in joining us at Valpo in August 2024:
- If you have not already been admitted to Valpo, complete all parts of the admission application (valpo.edu/apply) as soon as possible and await your admission decision.
- After you’re admitted to Valpo, apply here for the EPIC program starting in December 2023. From the applications received, we’ll select finalists who will be invited for a 20-minute interview either in-person at the February, March, or April Admitted Student Visit Days, or via zoom. The interview serves to get to know candidates better before choosing who will be offered a spot in the program.
- If you have not already completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), do so at studentaid.gov no later than the date you apply for EPIC. All applicants must file the FAFSA since this is a need-based scholarship program.
What to Expect After Applying
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis starting mid-January through April. From the applications received, we’ll select finalists for a 20-minute interview either in-person at the February, March, or April Admitted Student Visit Days, or via zoom. The interview serves to get to know candidates better before choosing who will be offered a spot in the program.
We can only review an EPIC applicant if they have been both admitted to the university and Valpo has received their FAFSA information.
If you have questions or need assistance, contact EPIC Leadership Team members Dr. Kristi Bugajski or Assistant Dean Bonnie Dahlke Goebbert at email@example.com.
Outstanding Research Facilities
Center for the Sciences and Neils Science Center
The stunning Center for the Sciences contains wet labs and state-of-the-art instrumentation for chemistry, biochemistry, and biology. Recently renovated Neils Science Center provides updated space for the biology microscopy, molecular, and cadaver laboratories.
Gellersen Center for Mathematics
Geography, environmental science, and meteorology students work with excellent instrumentation in the Weather Center, Geographic Applications Laboratories, and more.
No matter which career Valpo students are pursuing, they graduate with critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of the scientific process. From the first year, Valpo Biology engages students’ curiosity and allowing you to see yourself as a scientist. After all, science isn’t a set of facts — it is a method for discovery.
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Valpo chemistry students explore the fundamental nature of matter, investigate changes in energy, and identify properties accompanying compositional changes in matter. Chemistry students also get to participate in a number of chemistry-related opportunities for service, community-building, and the application of classroom knowledge. All EPIC students have the opportunity to present their research both on- and off-campus.
Valpo computer science students work closely with their professors to build skills at the heart of computer science: analyzing and understanding processes. This solid grounding in the logic, science, and design of computing prepares you for the future of technology regardless of what new languages, operating systems, and applications emerge.
Data Science, Mathematics, and Statistics
Valpo data science, mathematics, and statistics students discover the elegant power of mathematics and statistics. An inclusive approach, flexible programs, and a welcoming faculty ensure that students master quantitative and communication skills that serve them well for the rest of their lives.
Environmental Science and Physical Geography
Students who study Environmental Science or Physical Geography at Valpo get equipped for the global challenges of the 21st century. These are hands-on fields, and Valpo’s programs emphasize practical experience. You get to use the diverse environment around Valpo and beyond as your classroom and lab.
Valpo meteorology students get to use digital tools that help map and analyze atmospheric data, weather balloons, Doppler radar, a storm-chasing vehicle and equipment, and more as they determine their future career path. At Valpo, you’d even get to be an important contributor to the National Weather Service’s Skywarn program while gaining real-world experience as an active member of one of the meteorology student organizations.
Monthly, EPIC students get together just for fun! EPIC students are also supported and encouraged to enjoy co-curricular Student Life activities of interest outside of the EPIC program.