Science students at Saint Joseph’s College will get additional financial aid, thanks to a new five-year, $647,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

The grant will fund the college’s Science Scholars Program for academically talented students who need financial assistance. The first group of scholars, selected from first-year students entering Saint Joseph’s in fall 2018, will qualify for $5,000 to $7,200 in scholarship aid for each of their four years in college.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, education in science, technology, engineering, and math has never been more important,” said Maine’s U.S. senators Susan Collins and Angus King in a joint statement. “This grant will be instrumental in giving students the opportunity to pursue promising STEM careers and become the next generation of trailblazers in their respective fields. Saint Joseph’s College has been a leader in equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century, and we are pleased that these scholarships will provide more motivated young people with access to this quality education.”

In addition to the scholarships, the Science Scholars will have a one-week field experience before they enter college; use of a laptop for four years, mentoring and access to seminars, conferences and research experiences, officials said.

“This National Science Foundation grant allows us to recruit and graduate some of the best science students from New England and beyond,” said President James Dlugos.

Saint Joseph’s College, a private Catholic college located in Standish, offers majors in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, environmental science, and marine science with additional offerings in ecology, geology, and climate change. Tuition, room and board costs are approximately $40,000 a year.

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