Scholarships and Recognition

Teams determined to have the best solution papers receive special recognition in the form of tuition scholarships for college education. Each scholarship is shared equally among the members of a team and is paid directly to the college or university at which winning students enroll, in one payment, and preferably in the first year of post-secondary education. Scholarship awards may be used for tuition, fees, or placed in school-sanctioned (flexible) spending accounts that are administered by the institution and used for educational materials. Schools of the six M3 Finalist teams will also be awarded prizes to support their mathematics or other related programs. 


All students who submit a viable solution paper receive certificates of participation, which are mailed to their teacher-coach. Coaches also receive certificates. The certificates display the contact information provided at the time of registration, or revised by the deadline. Certificates will not be re-printed for teams who neglect to keep their team record accurate. Teams may login to the M3 website to make changes to their registration information up until 3:00 p.m. EST on the Tuesday immediately following Challenge weekend. This allows teams to verify accuracy and allows adjusting for no-shows or last minute substitutions. If you miss this deadline, changes may be sent via email. 

The six M3 Finalist teams' schools are awarded trophies.

Participating schools may use M3 Challenge press releases or portions thereof to promote their students' hard work and achievement. All releases for the current Challenge are in the Newsroom.

Scholarship prizes are as follows:

Six M3 Finalist teams and the M3 Technical Computing Awardee Teams will be identified and invited to New York City to present their paper, answer questions about their models, and receive awards. There may be overlap! Travel, accommodation, and meals are paid for by the Challenge, according to the Team Travel and Expense Reimbursement Guidelines. The coach plus one additional chaperone are invited to join the team in NYC, with expenses paid. Final event and associated travel may be affected by or canceled due to local, regional, or global factors such as pandemics. Scholarship awards are as follows for overall M3 Challenge prizes: 

M3 Challenge Finalist Awards honor the top six teams overall for outstanding mathematical approaches to the three main prompts in the Challenge problem. Teams should create mathematical models; justifying assumptions, defining parameters, describing their process, analyzing effects of change, and describing results.

Award Amounts:

  • M3 Challenge Champions (Summa Cum Laude Team Prize): $20,000
  • M3 Challenge Runner Up (Magna Cum Laude Team Prize): $15,000
  • M3 Challenge Third Place (Cum Laude Team Prize): $10,000
  • M3 Challenge Finalist (Meritorious Team Prize): $5,000 (3 teams)
M3 Challenge Technical Computing Award honors teams for an outstanding use of computer programming in their solution for the Challenge problem. To be eligible for the award, teams must use a programming platform other than spreadsheets. Writing code is not required to participate in or to win M3 Challenge. *This award may be overlaid and added onto M3 finalist, semi-finalist or honorable mention distinction and prizes. New to technical computing? Learn technical computing.

Award Amounts:

  • M3 Challenge Technical Computing Winner (Team Prize): $3,000
  • M3 Challenge Technical Computing Runner Up (Team Prize): $2,000
  • M3 Challenge Technical Computing Third Place (Team Prize): $1,000

Outstanding Communication of Results Award is determined on-site at the final event and given to the team delivering the "best" presentation of the day. Judges will look for clarity, presence, and polish. This award adds $500 to the team prize amount.         

School Awards:
Prizes of $500 each will be made to the six finalist teams’ coaches, for a total of $3,000, and paid at their discretion to a department, club, or activity within the school district.

Other Awards:

M3 Challenge Semi-finalist (Team Prize): six prizes of $1,500 each are awarded to teams whose papers were highly ranked and underwent in-depth, specific discussion by judges. 

M3 Challenge Honorable Mention (Team Prize): 22 prizes of $1,000 each are awarded to teams whose papers are judged to be worthy of recognition for their superior efforts. 

Summer Internship Programs; Other opportunities

Winners of the Challenge (finalists, semi-finalists, and honorable mention teams) may be invited by SIAM to submit applications for summer internships, or in future years for entry level and other STEM jobs or opportunities that may appeal to students like you. Keep your email up to date with M3 Challenge (message [email protected] if your email has changed).