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Computer Science Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECRS)

Thanks to a generous donation from ECRS Software Solutions, Boone, NC, the Department of Computer Science at Appalachian State University made its initial ECRS scholarship awards in Fall 2015 to students who intended to major in Computer Science at App State. ECRS has provided funding to support eight undergraduate students and one graduate fellow since then. The new program provides $5,000 per year to eight undergraduate scholars and $12,000 to one graduate fellow starting Fall 2023. The scholarship is an exceptional opportunity aimed at students interested in pursuing degrees in computer science and expresses an interest in development of innovative, and/or entrepreneurial ideas. Students who are residents from Western North Carolina, and or those who have demonstrated desire and interest to stay and make contributions to the Boone community are especially encouraged to apply.

The program provides mentoring opportunities to academically talented undergraduate and graduate students in CS.
Highlights: Weekly seminars, Study groups for core classes, Mentoring and tutoring corner, Leadership workshop series, Peer-mentoring, Resume writing and internship/job search workshop, internship opportunity at ECRS, and Community building

Accepted undergraduate recipients and graduate fellows will receive a $2,500 and $6,000 scholarship, respectively, in their first semester. Scholarships can be renewed upon availability of funding and scholars' satisfactory performance. ECRS Scholars will work closely together in academics, research, and collectively participate in STEM seminars as a part of the interdisciplinary cohort of STEM scholars. Recipients will have many opportunities to collaborate and share research ideas with each other. The groups and recipients will work closely with faculty members and report on their research during the STEM seminars. Scholars will participate in internships and part-time or full-time employment provided by ECRS and other companies.

Applications for open scholarship positions are accepted at any time. New students will be selected to begin every Fall Semester. Finalists might be invited to campus for an interview.

The scholarship is open to incoming CS undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants will be evaluated on academic merit, including performance in high school, involved in innovative projects, and class rigor with a focus on a student’s aptitude in Mathematics and creative problem solving. Preference will be given to applicants who are residents of Western North Carolina. Other preference factors, which will be considered in the application process include; those who currently serve in the United States National Guard or Reserve, honorable discharged status with a military branch of any member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, foreign nationals with U.S. asylum or refugee status who express intentions of seeking U.S. citizenship, academic competitions, experience in research through internships or other opportunities, strong demonstration of entrepreneurial activities, and a strong interest in living and serving the Western region of the state including the Boone community after graduation.

Selected recipients must maintain a 15-hour average course load per semester, demonstrate academic progress in recommended course work and maintain a minimum 3.0 overall GPA. In addition to these requirements, recipients will participate in STEM seminar courses and actively participate in all program activities.

To apply, you need:

  • A cover letter providing a summary on your interest in the scholarship and on your financial need,
  • An essay describing your career goals and how the scholarship can help you achieve your goals. Provide details on your entrepreneurial and innovative projects and how you plan to pursue creative and innovative ideas in CS at App State. Your essay should explain how you plan to serve this region of the state after graduation.
  • Two reference letters that can also be directly sent via e-mail to the program director.
  • A copy of high school transcript.