Featured Partner Scholarships: September 2021 - Scholarship America

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Featured Partner Scholarships: September 2021

By Matt Konrad

School is back in session—and that means scholarship season is ready to ramp up! For our September featured programs, we’re highlighting a STEM scholarship that provides full tuition and much more (including a guaranteed job placement!), along with two important Scholarship America awards that are open now.

SMART Scholarship Program

The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program was established as a way of connecting talented, innovative scientists, engineers and researchers with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) workforce.  

The SMART Program provides students with the tools needed to pursue higher education and begin a career with the DoD. With a full scholarship, students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees will be able to focus on complex research to further the DoD’s mission and create lasting impact. SMART is a one-for-one commitment; for every year of degree funding, the scholar commits to working for a year with the DoD as a civilian employee.  

SMART Scholar Jesse Brunet, an electrical engineering student focusing on electrical warfare, says “the fact that I know what facility I will be interning, and eventually working full time at, gives me a unique opportunity to tailor my degree to my future career.” Jesse’s mentor at the Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California also provides guidance on which classes will most benefit Jesse’s future career. 

While in school, SMART scholars receive full tuition, annual stipends, health insurance, book allowance, and conduct internships that range from 8 to 12 weeks. Upon degree completion, scholars begin working in a civilian position with their sponsoring DoD facility. The internships and work experience allow scholars the opportunity to learn from the greatest minds in STEM and defense. Not only do scholars pursue their passion in their respective field during their educational phase, but they begin a journey towards an empowering career. 

For over a decade, SMART scholars have been working within DoD labs and agencies to support national security. If you’re interested in becoming a SMART scholar, and you are pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. in one of 21 eligible STEM fields, you can learn more here.

Applications are open through December 1, 2021. Apply now

Scholarship America Dream Award

Getting into college is a huge achievement. The Scholarship America Dream Award is designed to help you keep moving toward your degree, by providing awards that stay with you. Students who have completed at least a year of college can earn Dream Award scholarships of $5,000 to $15,000 per year, renewable for up to three years.

We believe in tearing down the barriers to a college degree — and that’s why the Dream Award is a scholarship open to all. Your ethnicity, family history, school access, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status should not be an impediment to attending college and pursuing your dreams.

If you’re at least 17, you have a U.S. high school diploma (or equivalent) and you have completed at least one year of college, trade or technical school, you’re invited to apply starting in August 2021. The Dream Award is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident card), or individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

Our Dream Award Scholars have overcome incredible challenges ranging from family tragedies to physical struggles to systematic inequities. We are proud to support their educational dreams — and if you’re struggling to pay for college, we encourage you to learn more about eligibility details and apply.

Applications are open through October 15, 2021. Apply now

Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

On September 11, 2001, the unthinkable happened and our nation was forever changed. Every American was hit extremely hard that day, especially children whose parents died or were permanently disabled as a result of the attacks. In immediate response, Scholarship America helped establish the Families of Freedom Fund to support those dependents.

The Fund sparked incredible generosity nationwide. With President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Bob Dole serving as campaign co-chairs, more than $100 million was raised in the initial fundraising effort.

Since 2001, it’s been our honor and privilege to award $178.7 million to 3,759 students. We’re committed to funding students through 2030, ensuring that even the youngest dependents can count on us through their entire educational journey. In addition, over the years, the terrible toll of illness among rescue mission responders has meant the number of eligible students grew by almost 50%.

It’s our duty to protect the promise we’ve made, and to ensure every eligible student receives our support. If you think you or a family member may be qualified to receive Families of Freedom assistance, visit familiesoffreedom.org for more information—and if you would like to pledge your support to this vital program, here’s how.

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