Garmin to give away $10 million in scholarships!

by Rachna Mehracost-of-education.jpgMin H. Kao, the chief executive of Garmin Ltd. will give away $10 million in scholarships to electrical and computer engineering students through six universities.

Garmin is the largest manufacturer of navigation gear in America and currently holds about 50% of the US Market share. Kao, the co-founder and an electrical engineer himself, is concerned the U.S. was loosing its engineering edge. He said, “Compared to Asian countries the career of engineer is somewhat overlooked, in the United States”.

The Kao Family Foundation gift will be used to fund 100 scholarships every year, offering students $5,000 annually. The endowment will tie in with Garmin’s internship program, which will offer 75 or more summer jobs that include a furnished apartment and health and dental benefits.

The two-step program is being named the Garmin Electrical and Computer Engineering Education Initiative and universities that will promote this program include University of Kansas, Kansas State University, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-Rolla, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Oklahoma State University.

Various other groups and business leaders have also expressed concern about Asian countries putting more emphasis on high-tech education than the United States The National Academies maintains that for every 2.5 engineers/computer scientists graduating in China there is only one graduating is U.S.

Garmin currently has more than 1000 engineers on staff. The company added more than 250 engineers in 2006 alone.

Rachna Mehra is a freelance writer from New York. For more information on scholarships and financial aid, please visit Rachna Mehra may be contacted at

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