Flickr user Ash Photoholic

Everybody loves an inventor. It’s exciting to see what unexpected invention they will come up with next. However, inventions take time and money, and lack of any one of these results in many potential inventors giving up their pursuit. To encourage student inventors to pursue higher education and hone their skills, several organizations and colleges offer financial support by way of scholarships.

If you love experimenting and inventing, check out these few scholarships that are awarded to student inventors:

The Collegiate Inventors Competition

Amount: $10,000; $15,000; $25,000

This is among the most prestigious of scholarships for student inventors. Sponsored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, this scholarship aims to encourage students to think out of the box and further their interests in science and technology to develop unique and useful inventions.

Applicants for this award must satisfy these three requirements:

  1. The invention must be patentable and reduced to practice.
  2. The product must NOT have been published, patented or mass produced and available to the public commercially for more than one year before the date of application for the award.
  3. Up to four students can be a part of the team, but there will be only one prize per entry.

All submissions are judged based on their originality, functionality, complexity and the value they can potentially create for the society either economically, environmentally or socially.

There is a grand prize of $25,000 and two prizes of $15,000 and $10,000 each for the Graduate level category and the Undergraduate level category.

The Lemelson Foundation Scholarships

Amount: $500,000

The Lemelson Foundation has been known to promote innovation and scientific zeal and enable the next generation of inventors to push themselves in the pursuit of science.

It was established by the famous US inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in the 1990s. The Lemelson Trust has also partnered with MIT to form the Lemelson-MIT prize, one of the prizes under the Lemelson-MIT partnership, is the world’s largest single cash prize for any invention at $500,000.

The foundation has handed out over $185 million in grants to date and hopes to increase that amount considerably in the future.

The Washington State Science And Engineering Fair

Amount: Varies

The Washington State Science And Engineering Fair has been promoting innovation, invention and scientific growth since its inception. It has handed out more than $1 million worth of scholarships and prizes in the last year itself in their pursuit of promoting future scientists and engineers to push the envelope and create something worthwhile.

This fair has helped several inventors get off their feet and values innovation, creativity, futuristic thinking and overall benefit to the society while deciding upon the prizes.

Hammacher Schlemmer Search For Invention

Amount: Varies

Known for supporting inventors who have utility patents, Hammacher Schlemmer has been instrumental in introducing a wide range of products including the first steam iron, the microwave, the portable DVD player and even the robotic sweeper vacuum.

They accept entries in four distinct categories: Personal Care, Recreation, Utilitarian Home and Garden and Personal Electronics. The criteria for selection include ingenuity of the product, originality of the invention, the feasibility of production, safety and potential benefit to society.

Cash prizes worth thousands of dollars are handed out and participation is totally free.

And when scholarships aren’t quite enough to cover the cost of college, use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates!