Governor McKee reopens applications for the Wavemaker scholarship program

Governor Dan McKee and Rhode Island Commerce today announced the reopening of applications for the Wavemaker Fellowship, a competitive student loan repayment program for recent graduates working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and in some areas of the design.

More information on the press release provided by McKee’s office;

The Wavemaker Scholarship awards graduates working in STEM and design fields in Rhode Island with a refundable tax credit that can cover student loan repayments of up to $ 6,000 per year for four years. More information, including the app, is available at wavemaker.commerceri.com.

“Student debt is one of the biggest burdens facing our university graduates,” Governor Dan McKee said. it is also an excellent recruiting tool for our local businesses. “

“The Wavemaker Fellowship Program is a proven differentiator in the fight for STEM and design talent,” said RI Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “Companies constantly tell us that it is a top priority for them to attract a skilled workforce in the fields of STEM and design. This program gives our business community a competitive edge while providing individuals with student debt relief. Additionally, this program has helped develop a strong cohort of Wavemaker Fellows who have established strong and lasting ties with the Ocean State. We are delighted that the program is making apps available again. “

Again, the program will also grant applicants an “early action” opportunity, which allows senior graduates with a pending job offer to apply to the program. Previously, the program required the candidate to have already accepted a job offer or started working in Rhode Island.

In addition to student loan relief, the program also provides educational and networking opportunities, spawning increased connections and opportunities in Rhode Island. Past events include home buying 101, personal finance classes, and volunteer opportunities.

“We are delighted to reopen the application period to welcome new Wavemakers,” said Senator Ryan Pearson, sponsor of the bill that created the Wavemaker scholarship program. “This program has enabled 893 people to live and work in Rhode Island in high demand fields like science, technology, engineering and math. Retaining these talents is critical to Rhode Island’s future and this program is a key part of our strategy. “

This is the sixth round of Wavemaker Fellowship. In the first five iterations, 893 professionals have secured student loan repayment for at least two years, with an average allowance of about $ 3,700 per year. Applicants were assessed on a variety of criteria, but primarily by their pursuit of careers in key advanced industries and the impact of the award on applicants’ decisions to stay and work in Rhode Island. The full list of past winners can be found here.

The Wavemaker Scholarship Program was first adopted by the General Assembly in 2015 to provide a financial incentive for Rhode Island graduates to stay in the state for employment or to start a business. Any candidate with graduate loan debt who is employed in a STEM-related or design-related field in the state is encouraged to apply.

The program was named “Most Promising Initiative” in 2017 by the National Institute of Science and Technology (SSTI), as part of their “Better Future Awards” celebrating outstanding economic development initiatives across the country. SSTI is a national non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing initiatives that support prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.The Wavemaker Scholarship is available to graduates who have incurred student loan debt while earning an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree and are pursuing a career in STEM or design-related fields, including life sciences, natural or environmental sciences; computer, computer or software technology; advanced mathematics or finance; engineering; industrial design or other trade-related design area; or the technology of medical or medical devices as they are.

The maximum annual credit is $ 6,000 for graduate degree holders, $ 4,000 for bachelor’s degree holders and $ 1,000 for associate’s degree holders. The program is part of the governor’s larger effort to make education more affordable and develop a workforce with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy.

To apply for the Wavemaker scholarship, please visit wavemaker.commerceri.com. For more information, email [email protected] or call (401) 278-9100.


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