This is one piece of equipment that students use in geomatics. The drone takes pictures of, for example, a farmland that has had drought for weeks, of which the students analyze the problem and come up with potential solutions.

By Gunnar Wagner

Getting through higher education is difficult for many students. Some may have to use student loans; others must find jobs in order to support their goal of attaining their degrees. Yet, through all the difficulties, there is another solution. GeT-STEM, a new scholarship for the geomatics program at the University of Florida (UF) at Plant City, is available for low-income students.

For those unaware of Geomatics, it is the field of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographical information to special equipment that analyzes the acquired data. This scholarship is unique because eligible students transferring to the UF geomatics program can receive up to $10,000/year to cover unmet financial needs.

The scholarship is realized through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program grant to fund a six-year project led by Dr. Amr Abd-Elrahman, a professor of the geomatics program.

Dr. Abd-Elrahman said, “This academic year (2023-24), we have awarded more than $70,000 to 11 qualified students.” Dr. Abd-Elrahman added that four of the awarded students graduated this spring.

Professor Ali Gonzalez, a specialist in the geomatics program and a co-worker of Dr. Abd-Elrahman, stated that “graduates have salaries that start from $60K annually in addition to rewarding benefits packages. Students can also work while completing the program, gaining from $25/hour for field work to $20/hour or more for office work.”

Gonzalez also mentioned that students are typically given several options: They can either study full time or they can find a job in the geospatial industry to gain experience and earn a substantial income.

So, what are the requirements for this brilliant scholarship? For one to be eligible, they must be enrolled in the geomatics program for at least six credit hours during the semesters the scholarship is awarded, demonstrate academic merit by meeting program requirements and maintaining a 2.5 GPA, be low-income students with unmet financial need based on the information provided in their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be a U.S. citizen.

To learn more about this scholarship or others like it, visit or The University of Florida at Plant City campus is located at 1200 N. Park Rd.

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