VEX Scholarships

During the Event Partner summit, Paul mentioned (as closely as I can remember) that “one of the most frequent reasons people tell me they won’t switch over to VEX is because other platforms are offering more scholarship opportunities for the students. This is not true, as we offer essentially exactly the same scholarship opportunities.” (I’m assuming this is referring to FRC and FTC) Paul also acknowledged that the way current scholarships are communicated to students is the reason people don’t know about them, and that something will be done about this soon. I can tell this is the case. In the FIRST online tool, scholarships listed for Texas show UT Austin and Rice University. Using the REC Tool, there is not even a Texas category, even though I know UT Austin and Rice are interested in students who have participated in VEX. This makes me question how many scholarship opportunities students have missed that they did not see and were not obvious.

Is there anything current students can use in the mean time as a resource for finding scholarships? Perhaps some sort of PDF with a bunch of links; something simple would totally work.

Thank You,
Team 285
Carnegie Vanguard High School

Look here for the scholarships available through Robotics Education and Competition Foundation:

This is what I have referred to as the “REC Tool”.

I’d like an official answer from VEX on this one, but it didn’t seem fit to post it in the “Official Technical Support” category.

Your perception of what universities are looking for is flawed, and possibly a bit biased since you are a Texas resident.

Every school that offers an engineering program is looking for students who have had some sort of experience to prove the passion for their desired major, and robotics is a great indicator.

The problem is that not every school can sponsor scholarships relative to VEX, especially some of the more prestigious like the ones you have listed. How often do you hear of a VEX competitor attending MIT for undergraduate?

I am just surprised that schools like Purdue don’t sponsor any scholarships even when their VEX organization is so well established.

Perhaps. I think that’s why my wording about those universities ‘wanting’ VEX students was a little misleading :P. I am not certain if UT Austin and Rice offer VEX specific scholarships.

But here’s the thing: What in the world was Paul referring to when he made the claim that VEX Scholarship opportunities are identical to competing platforms? He may have just been twisting the wording so he could refer to a program like MATE or something random like that, but I do not believe this is the case and I’m pretty sure he was referring to FIRST. In this case, why has the REC never updated their scholarship tool to make it easy for students to find those scholarships?

What’s even more interesting is when you compare the scholarship opportunities that both share in common. Guess what, the majority of them are practically identical!

Look at the Illinois Tech REC Application:

(its the first one)

Then the FRC one:

My guess is that most universities just have a general grant for “robotics competitors” and VEX and FRC are designated to make their own application pages.

This leads me to believe that both VEX and FRC truly do offer close to identical scholarship programs. I just want to know how our students can access them in reasonable time.

[Edit: Rephrased last line.]

I can name a few off the top of my head…

well… may not be MIT, but I do have some of my ex-students who are attending top notch universities now :slight_smile:

My mistake @tabor473 @meng, I was not attempting to say that VEX competitors are not qualified to attend MIT, however it is not often that we see some sort of VEX representation from them. Of the students that attend, the number who had any sort of involvement in VEX is relatively small compared to some less selective schools.

With this being said, I would love to see some scholarships being provided through VEX for that level of selectivity, perhaps the ivy leagues :wink: ?

Im not sure if this is based on facts or not, but maybe this is due to the fact that MIT accepts only like 1600 kids from the entire world? So like there’s not a ton of space to have a bunch of kids who have done Vex

This isn’t a fair assessment. Maybe the schools don’t want to throw money at you, but a state or world ranked robotics competitor really stands out on an application to a prestigious engineering school.

I can think of ex robotics competitors attending MIT, WPI, Purdue, Stanford, UT Austin, and plenty of other top notch schools. Granted, these competitors are from 21, 62, 400x, and so on, but excelling in robotics is certainly a big factor in terms of college admissions.

Sounds like Paul’s statistics have 99.5% reliability…

Does anyone know someone that received a VEX scholarship with RPI? I had a student apply, but never heard anything either way about it since…

As an MIT alum, I am pretty happy to support VEX teams, as, I am sure, there are many other alums coaching, mentoring, judging, and teaching with VEX platform. Just because you do not see MIT at VEXU competitions does not mean there is no involvement by the MIT community. Pretty sure we like robotics.

If I am not mistaken, the scholarship list by the RECF gets updated throughout the year. So keep an eye open.

One of my best friends in HS is an MIT alum and we did VEX together for years.

A lot of friends I have and kids I coach have gone to CalTech, GT, MIT, Carnegie Mellon (Where I went) , Purdue, and other great engineering schools and have done VEX.

Exothermic Robotics in Washington has sent 3-4 team members off to MIT, plus Caltech, Georgia Tech, CMU, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Harvard, U of Washington, Princeton, Brown, Purdue, Dartmouth, Washington University, etc. I’m not sure what your point is? Robot kids (in my experience) tend to do well after high school, whether they choose to become astronomers, welders or engineers.