2021-2022 National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Scholarship Program
In 1992, the U. S. Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Our mission is to honor all fallen firefighters and to assist their survivors in rebuilding their lives. One way we do this is by offering spouses and children the opportunity to pursue their personal, educational and career goals through the Foundation’s Sarbanes and Alan Patrick Sondej scholarship programs.
Spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial are eligible to apply for assistance. Scholarships are awarded for undergraduate and graduate studies, vocational-technical training, and certification and job training programs. They may be used for study at in-state or out-of-state public and private schools.
- Spouse, life partner, child, or stepchild of a fallen firefighter honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Children must currently be under the age of 30 AND have been under the age of 22 at the time of their firefighter’s death.
- Applicant must currently possess a high school diploma or equivalency or be in their final year of high school.
- Applicant must currently be pursuing or planning to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies, a certification program or job skills training at an accredited institution, online college or universities.
- Applicant must be currently enrolled or planning to enroll as a full- or part-time student.
- Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or “C” average for applicants pursuing an academic degree.
- Applicant must not have previously received more than five scholarships from the Foundation.
- Applicants pursuing an education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) or Public Safety are eligible for award consideration under the Alan Patrick Sondej Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Motorola Enhanced Scholarship Initiative program.
- Steps to complete no later than March 1 to include:
- Complete the online application form.
- Complete the online pre-survey.
- Complete a 500 word Statement of Interest including personal, academic and career goals as well as involvement in extracurricular activities, including community and volunteer activities.
- Upload FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) form (optional).
- Upload Current Academic Transcript.
- Upload a Current Photograph (Head shot, should not be a group photo).
- Request two letters of recommendation; at least one from a member of the fire service (If this is not possible, please attach an explanation). Ensure both people you request submit letters do so by March 1.
- Complete the Application Agreement.
- Awards will be made based upon a composite score that takes into consideration an applicant's financial need as indicated on their FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) and on academic performance as indicated on a current academic transcript, with an emphasis on financial need. Applicants with higher composite scores will receive enhanced scholarships relative to applicants with lower composite scores.
- The selection scoring system will be used to make awards under the Sarbanes Scholarship, the Alan Patrick Sondej Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Enhanced Scholarship Initiative, funded by Motorola Solutions Foundation.
- Awards made by partner organizations under their existing partnership programs will not change.
- Spouses and life partners are automatically assigned a top tier score on academic performance and financial need, exempting them from providing financial information.
- Academic performance for children and stepchildren will be assessed based on an evaluation of factors, including: (i) whether the student is pursuing a major in either public safety or a STEM subject in the field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics; (ii) the nature of the applicant's course load and the student's GPA; and (iii) the student's tuition load relative to the anticipated employment prospects of the chosen major.
- Financial need for children and stepchildren will be assessed based on an evaluation of the applicant's FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR), which should be submitted with the application form but is not required. Awards will vary based upon a composite score representing the sum of the financial need score and academic performance score. Applicants who do not submit the financial information will have lower composite scores which may lead to a lower scholarship award than would otherwise have been received.
Applications must be completed by March 1.
Terms of Awards
- All scholarships are paid directly to an officially accredited institution on behalf of the scholarship recipient.
- Scholarships may be used for tuition, required books. equipment, and related academic expenses.
- Scholarships are for one academic year. Applicants may reapply for assistance in up to four separate years. The receipt of a scholarship does not guarantee future awards.
- Recipients must complete the planned course of study for the academic term for which they receive the scholarship. If a recipient withdraws from the educational institution, voluntarily or for any other reason, any unused funds will be returned to the Foundation. In no case, may a recipient receive cash from the Foundation’s scholarship award.
- Any change of schools or program of study requires prior approval by the Foundation to continue the scholarship. A new institution or program must also be officially accredited.