Justin Foss '10
Mechanical engineering major Justin Foss '10 is a prime example of how getting involved in high school can make all the difference for college, at least when it comes to financial aid.
Justin, who attended Suffield high school, in West Suffield, Conn., knew Clarkson was near the top of his list of potential colleges when he first started looking. What he didn’t know was that Clarkson would become his top choice after he received his acceptance letter and financial aid package, which included the FIRST scholarship.
The FIRST scholarship is open to any student who participated in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics as an extracurricular activity in high school. With the scholarship, Justin received an extra $6,000 per year on top of his already solid financial package.
“Receiving the FIRST scholarship was great and it certainly factored into my decision to come to Clarkson, but it wasn’t the only factor,” says Justin. “I chose Clarkson because it’s a small private university where I can have real hands-on opportunities through programs such as SPEED and I can continue with FIRST robotics. I also really love the tight-knit community atmosphere and the location.”
Justin’s experiences with FIRST robotics at Clarkson have already taken him to collegiate competitions across New York state, including Rochester and New York City. In FIRST competitions, teams have only six weeks to design and build a remote-controlled robot that competes in a sporting-like event.
On campus, Justin is also involved in the FIRST Living Learning Community (LLC), where he is a peer mentor for other FIRST scholarship winners and team members. He is also a member of the Official Bonesaw Brigade, which accounts for a large portion of the spirited student cheering section at Clarkson hockey games.
He says, “I will never regret choosing to come to Clarkson."
After graduation, Justin plans on finding a position in either automotive or defense engineering and working towards his Professional Engineering license. His long-term goal is to become a high school technical education teacher. “I know Clarkson will prepare me well with both the background knowledge and experiences I need to be successful,” he concludes.