Financial Resources for Beginner Astronomers

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Find yourself stargazing often? You could be an astronomer in the making.

But the potential costs could bring you back down to Earth.

Instead, let these 140 astronomy resources below help curb the cost of your study, including STEM scholarships, free astronomy courses, internship programs, and astronomy-focused news sites.


If you already know you want to study Astronomy or a related STEM discipline in college, be sure to consult this ultimate list of scholarships from universities around the world.

Remember: each organization has different scholarship requirements, so check carefully.

  • Virginia Space Grant Consortium: Scholarship for rising juniors and seniors who are enrolled full-time in a STEM program and have a specific faculty-mentored research project that has NASA or aerospace relevance.
  • Greater Kansas City Community Foundation: Scholarships for students interested in Astronomy, or a related field, and that have been accepted into the Department of Physics at University of Missouri-Kansas City.
  • University of Alabama: Department of Physics and Astronomy offers the Alabama High School Physics Contest scholarships and the E. Scott Barr Scholarships.
  • Eastern Michigan University: Various scholarships from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Northern Arizona University: Various scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students at NAU from the Department of Astronomy & Planetary Science.
  • University of Ohio: Scholarships and financial aid for students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Minnesota State University: Scholarships for students in Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Ohio State University: Scholarships, fellowships, and awards for undergraduate students from the Ohio State Department of Astronomy.
  • Aerospace States Association: Two $2,000 scholarships for students majoring in aerospace-related education.
  • Barry Goldwater: Scholarship for full-time junior or sophomore higher education students interested in natural science, mathematics or engineering.
  • North Dakota Space Grant Consortium: Scholarship funding for outstanding students at North Dakota's public two- and four-year colleges and universities pursuing STEM that support NASA research and technology needs.
  • National Space Club: Scholarship for high school senior, undergraduate or graduate student with definite plans to pursue a career in the STEM fields.
  • Iowa Space Grant Consortium: Scholarships for undergraduate students pursuing a degree in STEM disciplines that support NASA's mission.
  • PixelPlex: $2,000 scholarship for students who pursue further education in the fields of STEM, as well as economics and business.
  • AFCEA Washington, DC: STEM scholarships for graduating high school seniors.
  • Foundation for The Carolinas: Scholarships for eligible college-bound students from North and South Carolina who are pursuing a STEM major, or in accounting, finance or business administration.
  • Council of the Great City Schools: $5,000 scholarships for students who continue education in a STEM related field.
  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship: $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 scholarships to gifted and high-achieving students (18 years old or under) interested in STEM or literature, music, philosophy, or an outside the box field.
  • GeneTex: $2,000 scholarship to students pursuing a STEM undergraduate or graduate degree.
  • Heinlein Society: Several scholarships for students who pursue education in engineering, math, or biological or physical sciences.
  • The Explorers Club: $1,500 scholarship for high school and undergraduate students interested in sciences.
  • NAVSEA: Scholarship for outstanding incoming college freshmen (i.e. graduating high school seniors) intending to pursue a degree in STEM.
  • Mensa Foundation: Dr. Peter M. Kendall Science Scholarship is granted for undergraduate students majoring in natural sciences (including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, environmental science, forestry, pre-med, pre-dent).
  • Mensa Foundation: David Mann Scholarship is granted for undergraduate students majoring in aeronautical engineering or an aerospace field.
  • Scholarship America: The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program is an opportunity for students pursuing bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D. program in STEM (including Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering).
  • Interstellar Research Group: Scholarship is granted for undergraduate students who were high school seniors in the southeast United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia) who plan to pursue their first undergraduate degree in a STEM related field at any accredited, four-year American college or university.
  • USRA: The USRA Distinguished Undergraduate Awards provide college scholarships to students interested in science or engineering (space research or space science education, and aeronautics-related sciences are preferred).
  • Alaska Space Grant Program: Alaska Space Grant Program provides scholarship for undergraduate students who majoring in STEM or STEM related field.
  • ASM International: Scholarship for local students who are embarking on a career in Metallurgy, Materials Science or other engineering/science disciplines.
  • California Capital Airshow: Scholarships to graduating high school seniors planning to pursue a degree in Aviation, Aeronautics, Airport Management, Aerospace, Science, Technology, Engineering or Math.
  • Charleston Engineers Joint Council: Scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior from the Lowcountry, who plans to pursue an engineering or technology degree.
  • Daedalians Foundation: Scholarship for students interested in military aviator (pilot, navigator, combat systems officer, Naval flight officer, air battle manager, astronaut, RPA pilot, or flight surgeon).
  • First Responders Children's Foundation: The Vincent Bennett, Jr. Memorial scholarship is awarded annually to an incoming freshman who is the child of a law enforcement officer or firefighter who was killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty majoring in engineering.
  • Indiana Society of Professional Engineers: Scholarship program to aid Indiana students interested in pursuing engineering careers.
  • National Space Grant Foundation: LaSPACE Undergraduate Research Assistantship (LURA) Program is directed at undergraduate science and engineering students who are interested in space/aerospace science and technology.
  • Lockheed Martin: Lockheed Martin offers scholarship for high school seniors who are going to enroll full-time at an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. majoring in engineering.
  • North Carolina Space Grant: NC Space Grant awards Undergraduate Research Scholarships to students who are pursuing careers in STEM fields that support NASA's Mission Directorates.
  • NSHSS Foundation: NSHSS Foundation offers scholarships to students who are majoring in engineering (eligible major listed on the website).
  • SBB Scholarship: Scholarships to students who are majoring in STEM fields.
  • Edison International: $40,000 college scholarships to 30 high school seniors who are going to major in STEM fields.
  • Texas Space Grant Consortium: STEM scholarship program from the Texas Space Grant Consortium and the Aviation and Space Foundation of Texas in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Freemont Foundation: Scholarship for undergraduate students who are major in sciences.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company: Scholarships for Californian students majoring in STEM.

Scholarships for Specific Groups

  • ABC Wild Life: $2,000 scholarship for graduate and undergraduate women enrolling or continuing in STEM fields.
  • Morelli Foundation: Scholarship for dyslexic undergraduate students who major in STEM.
  • JVS Chicago: Scholarships for eligible Jewish students.
  • KLJ Way: Kearns Louis-Jean Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students of color within Boston, and neighboring cities/town, entering their first year of college, and pursuing a degree within STEM.
  • Phoenix Aises: Scholarships for Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian college students attending in Arizona college or university as a full-time undergraduate student in a STEM-related major or course of study.
  • Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium: Scholarships to underrepresented undergraduate students in STEM.
  • Souder Miller & Associates: $1,500 per academic year scholarship opportunity for Native American students pursuing a four-year degree in in STEM.
  • Chicago Scholars: Elevating Futures Scholarship is offered to qualified Chicago Public School students from low-income households in pursuing a STEM four-year college degree.
  • Collabera: $2,500 scholarship to a female STEM student.
  • LULAC National Educational Service Center: Scholarship for outstanding Hispanic high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in engineering at U.S. post-secondary institutions.
  • Women in Aerospace Foundation: Scholarships for women interested in a career in the aerospace field to pursue higher education degrees in engineering, math or science.

If you're gearing up for college, it's a smart idea to start keeping track of your finances. Any of the programs in our round-up of online budgeting tools will help you start off on the right foot.

Astronomy Internships and Research Opportunities

Already studying astronomy? This list of internships and research opportunities is great for both undergraduate and graduate students looking to dive deeper into the field.

Have some extra cash from your paid internship? It's never too early to start investing - and it doesn't require as much money as you'd think.

Free Astronomy Courses from Universities

You'd be surprised how many prestigious universities offer free online astronomy courses to the public. Pick a few from the list below to start learning.

More Free Courses

  • Udemy: "Astronomy - State of the Art" free course.
  • Khan Academy: "Cosmology and Astronomy" free course.
  • Khan Academy: "Unit: Stars, black holes and galaxies" free course.
  • Planetary Society: "Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy Course" free course.
  • edX: Various free astronomy courses.
  • OpenLearn: Various free astronomy courses.
  • Royal Observatory Greenwich: "Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science" free course.
  • Udemy: "Astronomy for VCE Physics" free tutorial.
  • MEPhIX: "From Atoms to Stars: How Physics Explains Our World" free course.

With courses and extracurriculars, it can be hard to find time for a job. Our comprehensive guide of online jobs for teens and young adults offers over 50 ideas for earning extra cash in your spare time.

Astronomy News and Tools

Whether you're hoping to get into the field of astronomy or just think of it as a personal hobby, these publications and stargazing tools are sure to open your mind and deepen your knowledge.

News, Journals and Data

Stargazing Tools and Software

  • Fifth Star Labs: An app to help beginners to identify stars, planets, constellations and more.
  • Celestia: A free space simulation that explores the universe in three dimensions.
  • Google Earth: Explore the night sky with Google Earth.
  • Stellarium: A free open source planetarium that shows a realistic 3D sky.
  • Night Sky App: A powerful "personal planetarium" app available on the iPhone App Store.

Tip from the writer…
The Night Sky app is stunning! I'm no astronomer but I can easily spend hours searching through the constellations and stars - highly recommended!

Bottom Line

We hope this list of resources can enable all aspiring astronomers to discover the wonders of space and make the field of study just a little more accessible. Shoot for the moon, stargazers!

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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