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Construction Management Scholarships

In today’s competitive job market, most construction managers aren’t workers who have climbed the ladder from swinging a hammer to overseeing projects. While this may have been the case in the past, employers now want their construction managers to have degrees — preferably a master’s degree in construction management or a bachelor’s degree in a building-related field and an MBA (master’s of business administration). Many larger corporations don’t even accept application from candidates who don’t have degrees.

All of that schooling can be expensive, though. If you’re working a minimum wage construction job, you likely don’t have the cash on hand for a master’s degree or even for a four-year education. According to U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistic, public four-year colleges cost an average of $13,424 per year for the 2007-08 school year; private institutions were even pricier at an average of $30,393 per year. That’s a lot of nails to hammer.

One of the ways you can help pay for college is through scholarships. Different than loans, scholarships go directly to your education costs, but they do not have to be repaid. Colleges themselves may offer scholarships to students based on academic merit or certain talents, and you can also seek scholarships from outside sources, like construction organizations, private funds, and the government. Scholarships can knock the cost of your education down to a reasonable price, making it possible to pursue a construction management degree.

Where can you find construction management scholarships? Start by checking with your college of choice. Many institutions offer scholarships based on your grades and SAT scores, and some offer additional scholarships based on your performance in sports or the arts. Your specific program within the college may offer scholarships as well, using funds set aside specifically for construction management majors.

After exhausting the scholarship options at your college, try contacting construction organizations. The Construction Management Association of America awards a number of $3,000 scholarships every year, for example. Other organizations that have offered scholarships for construction management students over the past few years include the Foundation of Wall & Ceiling Industry, the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, and the Associated General Contractors of America. There are also private scholarship funds specific to this industry, including the Jerry Junkins Construction Management Scholarship in Texas, Clark Construction Group’s Joe H. Smith Construction Management Scholarship, and the Alphine Cabinet Company Construction Management Scholarship. Some of these private scholarship funds are specific to certain colleges, while others can be used no matter where you choose to attend.

Apply for as many scholarships as you can in the months leading up your entrance into college. The skills you’re learn as a construction management major are invaluable for your career, but without scholarships, you may never get that education in the first place. Remember, you may qualify for scholarships in other areas as well, based on your high school grades, SAT scores, and even factors like your ethnicity, gender, and family’s military history. Apply for all of the scholarships you can find. Every dime helps when you need to pay for college!