As the world’s leading innovator in wireless technology, it may come as no surprise that Qualcomm supports scholarships for San Diego college students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM disciplines. As part of its corporate social responsibility program goal to inspire the next generation of inventors, the company supports scholarships with The San Diego Foundation’s Community Scholarship Program in addition to those at individual universities and colleges.

“As a company of inventors, we are committed to nurturing and equipping future innovators with the skills and knowledge to solve global challenges,” said Angela Baker, Qualcomm’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “We work to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce by advancing STEM education for students at all levels and from all backgrounds. A steady, diverse pipeline of STEM professionals is vital for Qualcomm’s continued leadership in technologies such as 5G and beyond.”

$500K for Students

Since 2006, the Qualcomm San Diego STEM Scholarship with The San Diego Foundation has supported 121 local college students studying electrical engineering, computer engineering or computer science with $2,000 to $2,500 in scholarships each academic year. In total, the company has awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships to San Diegans.

Additionally, students can renew the scholarship for up to four years of undergraduate education at University of California San Diego, San Diego State University or California State University San Marcos. The four years of support – which requires students to maintain a 2.0 out of a 4.0 GPA and a good citizenship record – is not the norm but can help students stay dedicated to their studies through graduation. Research shows that for every $1,000 in grant or scholarship support, students are 5% more likely to continue their college education.

Building the Workforce

While the scholarships are part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program, there’s a business imperative at play – the scholarship also helps keep local minds and talent in San Diego. In addition to Qualcomm, other technology companies and San Diego’s economy depend on a highly educated and highly skilled workforce.

“Demand for engineering talent continues to multiply, and with many factors of the current talent market being uncertain, having a pipeline of local talent provides stability that allows us to keep innovating,” said Courtney Lach, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Qualcomm.

According to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the region must double its number of locally produced talent to 20,000 new skilled workers in San Diego per year by 2030, as measured by degree or credential completions. With a national competition to attract talent and an increasing cost of living in San Diego, attracting talent from other locales is increasingly challenging. To ensure the region’s technology industries and economic future, San Diego needs to build a strong local talent pipeline.

By offering scholarships like these, Qualcomm – and other technology companies like it – are helping nurture local students studying STEM disciplines in hopes that they stay here and continue to support innovation in the region.

Community Scholarships Program

The 2022 Qualcomm San Diego STEM Scholarship will open for applications when The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program launches in February 2022. Students can apply through the program’s common application, which can help students apply for more than 100 locally funded scholarships. In 2021, The San Diego Foundation awarded a historic $3.4 million in scholarships to 1,025 college students.

The Community Scholarship Program is made possible through the generous donor support of 146 unique charitable funds at The San Diego Foundation and is the largest in the region outside of the university system. Since 1997, the program has awarded almost $40 million to more than 10,000 college students from San Diego.

If you are interested in opening a scholarship fund to support students pursuing higher education and growing San Diego’s workforce, please contact Danielle Valenciano, Director of Community Scholarships, at