At Ball State, 80 percent of our students are eligible for financial aid. The Department of Biology offers many scholarships to help you pursue your bachelor’s degree.

Except for the I-ASCEND Program, listed first below, these scholarships and awards are merit-based and nominated by faculty members.

I-ASCEND Scholarships in Chemistry and Biology

The I-ASCEND program aims to provide scholarships to academically talented first-year students with demonstrated financial need majoring in chemistry and biology and those wishing enter the workforce or transfer to a graduate program upon BS degree completion. This program has been made possible by a grant entitled “Pathways to STEM Degrees through Integrated Academic Support, Career ENhancement, and Personal Development (I-ASCEND)” from the National Science Foundation to Ball State University. You may receive scholarship support for up to $10,000 per year based on your financial need as determined by the BSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The scholarships are renewable for up to four years as long as you maintain a GPA >2.8 each semester, remain a full-time student and continue to have an unmet financial need.

The I-ASCEND scholarships will be awarded after you have qualified for and received other scholarships such as a Pell Grant, grants and scholarships from the State of Indiana, the Ball State University Foundation, Office of Admissions, private organizations and donors. We hope receiving the I-ASCEND scholarship on the top of other scholarships would eliminate or substantially reduce your need to work, so you can focus on your course work, graduate in a timely fashion and pursue your career goals. As a part of this program, you will receive 1-on-1 support from a faculty mentor as well as a peer mentor who can help you navigate college life. You will also have the opportunity to participate many activities such as study-tables, interactive seminars with top Indiana employers, undergraduate research, social events, story-telling using  photographs and workshops for career advice as well as personal/mental well-being. 

Award Amount

Up to $10,000 a year and renewable for up to four years.

Note: The scholarship amount is based on your unmet need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and can vary from year to year. 


  • Must be US citizens, refugees or permanent residents.
  • High school GPA 2.83.
  • Be enrolled full-time at Ball State University.
  • Have demonstrated financial need – completed FAFSA.
  • Freshman majoring in chemistry or biology.


  • Obtain 1-on-1 academic support and career guidance from a faculty mentor.
  • Get a peer mentor to help navigate college life.
  • Participate in study-tables with other I-ASCEND Scholars.
  • Engage in research with faculty and get paid.
  • Build connections with top Indiana employers.
  • Partake in career development and personal growth workshops.
  • Enjoy social activities such as movie nights, field trips and picnics.
  • Share stories and experiences through photographs

How to Apply

Step 1: Must have applied to Ball State University and completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Step 2: Students admitted to Ball State University will be contacted in February 2023 with a request to submit the following two items:  

  • One recommendation letter (preferably from a high school science teacher commenting on your aptitude for chemistry or biology discipline).
  • One-page essay (450-500 words, double spaced typed) addressing the following five questions:
    • (i) Why are you interested in chemistry or biology?
    • (ii) What career you want to pursue with a chemistry or biology degree?
    • (iii) Why are you interested in the I-ASCEND program - particularly, how the program will help you achieve your goals, other than providing scholarship support to offset financial burden?
    • (iv) Share any volunteer work, leadership experience, extracurricular activities, awards, recognitions employment history/skills
    • (v) Share any challenges/extenuating circumstances that you have faced and how that affected your education and personal development.

Step 3: Students who pass the initial review will b invited for an interview the selection committee, in-person or via Zoom. 

Application Review Date

The review of applications will begin on February for Fall 2023 cohort of I-ASCEND Scholars.

Program Contacts

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Sundeep Rayat or Dr. Gen Mager.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2211149. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

To provide awards to Ball State University students in accordance with the following preferences:
a. Students majoring in the Department of Biology and pursuing a degree in the Genetics Concentration.  If there are no qualified students, the second preference would be students pursuing a degree in Life Science Education or another area of study within the department;
b. Advanced undergraduate students with 60 or more credit hours;
c. Students who have a grade point average of B+ or 3.33 on a 4.0 scale; and
d. Awardee must give evidence of promise in his/her chosen career as judged by the departmental committee. 
e. The Donor prefers an award amount of $2,500 per student. Awards may be made each year for up to 3 students per the discretion of the selection committee and subject to the amount available. This may be reviewed and adjusted over time to allow for inflation and other factors. 

To provide awards to students as outlined in the criteria. 
a) Minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale plus one or more of the following (demonstrated leadership/group activity related to a laboratory discipline; measure of productivity or timeliness of completing work toward thesis; work ethic; faculty evaluations of GA assignments; demonstrated initiative/innovation; service/membership/leadership in organizations.)
b) Demonstrated scholarship/research related to a laboratory discipline such as grantsmanship; presentation/participation at conference(s); submitted/published article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal; c) Other accomplishments or recognitions.

To provide scholarships to Ball State University students in accordance with the following preferences: 
a.) sophomore or above in the Department of Biology pursuing the undergraduate Aquatic Biology and Fisheries option or graduate studies in Fisheries; 
b.) student who has demonstrated an interest in fisheries biology through activities such as one, or preferably more, of the following: 1.) professional experiences such as on-the-job training with a fisheries agency or firm 2.) membership in the American Fisheries Society or Indiana Chapter of AFS 3.) completed biology coursework in aquatic biology and fisheries such as ichthyology, limnology, and fish management;
c.) minimum gpa of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  

The purpose of the Fund is to support, reward, and promote academic excellence by offering a scholarship to a Ball State University undergraduate student in the Department of  Biology in accordance with the stated preferences.
a. One or more 3rd or 4th-year undergraduate students with a major in the Department of Biology;
b. Minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale;
c. Recipient has plans to pursue his/her Ph.D. degree after graduation from Ball State University; and
d. Special criteria for the Biology awardee: The applicant should have plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the fields of microbiology or immunology. It is preferable if the candidate has some research experience in experimental biology.

To recognize a graduate assistant in anatomy and/or physiology who has demonstrated excellence in teaching in accordance with the following preferences: 
a.) The recipient must be a Ball State University student enrolled in a master's degree program in physiology and in good standing with the Graduate School; 
b.) the recipient must have a graduate assistantship in anatomy and/or physiology in the Department of Physiology and Health Science for at least one semester. 

To support a research project of a BSU student currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in physiology. Dr. Henzlik is a retired professor emeritus of the physiology and health science department. He began his retirement in 1994.

The purpose of the Fund is to provide financial support to undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in research projects in the field of environmental biology.  

The purpose of the fund is to assist BSU undergraduate students, either full or part-time, with a major in either the departments of Biology or Chemistry to complete their degree programs. 
1) Awards will be made to undergraduates with majors in the Biology or Chemistry Departments; 
2) the recipient must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; 
3)  preference will be given to juniors; 
4) financial need is considered; 
5) the awardee should reflect the personality, spirit, attitudes, and potential exemplified by Velvet Day:  perseverance, drive for self-improvement, contagious optimism, humane values, altruistic service, and professional potential.  

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