Financial Aid Opportunities for Fire Science Students
Fire science majors have the opportunity to receive financial aid for their schooling, which can be the difference between attending school or not if there are no other means are available. If you’re interested in financial aid, the first thing you need to do is fill out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is one of the most important documents that enables a plethora of students to go to school who wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Universities and colleges use this form so they’re able to match you with financial aid based on your need this form is sometimes needed when applying to external scholarships and grants.
Most schools offer scholarships to prospective and current students of all types. Usually these are awarded on a year-to-year basis, but there are always exceptions. These scholarships may be based on, but are not limited to:
- Previous GPA
- Demonstration of commitment to fire science as demonstrated through an essay
- Financial need
- Ethnic background
- Gender (particularly if you’re female)
Fire Science Scholarship Programs
The International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation (IAFCF) sponsors a variety of scholarships of different monetary value for students who wish to become firefighters or other fire science careers. Optimize these if you wish to ease the burden of going to school, many institutions are willing to help when they know you’re pursuing a degree that can result in you being employed with them. In order to obtain these scholarships, you must articulate the goals you wish to achieve in a fire science career. You also must demonstrate your financial need, which can usually be done simply by submitting a recent tax return of your parents, or yourself if of a certain age.
If you’re currently employed, your employer may offer continuing education reimbursement, which may include going back to school to hear your master’s degree. Your employer may require you to sign a contract, committing you to another two or three years of employment. However, if tuition reimbursement comes with another few years on the job, you might want to take advantage of program.
Other scholarship opportunities come from public and private sources, such as professional associations, large companies, and other profit and non-profit entities. By searching online, you’ll likely come across a few that offer students funding opportunities. Your teachers and employer may also know of a scholarship opportunities so set up some time to pick their brains. You never know what organization or business provides grants and scholarship awards!
State-by-State Fire Science Scholarships and Grants
Many states have specific funding for fire science majors, so look into these if you wish to go to school in one of those states. Some of the best locations for funding include Colorado, Oregon, and California. Some states provide this funding because of a high demand for qualified individuals to combat issues such as forest fires or similar problems.
If you live in Maryland or wish to study fire science in Maryland, the Maryland State Firemen’s Association also sponsors a few scholarships. These are designed to encourage and support students pursuing degrees in fire science or fire engineering programs at a college or university in Maryland. Similar to employee tuition reimbursement programs, this encourages the retention of talented fire science scholars in the state. These scholarships include:
- Nextel Scholarship: Students in fire science programs may qualify for up to $2,000 in tuition assistance
- Floyd Heimer Memorial Scholarship Award: Offers qualified applicants up to $2,000 depending on funding
- MSFA Dr. John Bryan Scholarship Award: Provided to students with fire science degrees. Funded by the organization based on current levels of funding.
It’s important to check into your own state’s fire associations, many times they may offer scholarships and grants to local fire science majors. Often, they’re looking to award these scholarships to individuals who express a passion for a career resulting from a degree in fire science. Inquiring with your local fire department is also a good resource for funding.
Top Online Fire Science Degrees
|BS: Fire ScienceAAS: Fire ScienceMPA: Fire and Emergency ServicesBS: Fire and Emg Management||
Kaplan University -- Kaplan University offers a wide array of programs in Fire Science, including an AAS and BS in Fire Science, a BS in Fire and Emergency Management, and an MPA in Fire and Emergency Services. Kaplan was founded in 1937, originally as the American Institute of Commerce and serves over 53,000 students today.
|MS: Emg MgmtMS: Emg Mgmt - Public Mgmt and LeadershipMS: Emg Mgmt - Terrorism and Emg MgmtMPA: Emg Mgmt||
Walden University -- Walden University has several graduate programs in Emergency Management like the Emergency Management general track or specializations in public management and leadership or terrorism and emergency management. Walden is one of the nation's first entirely online schools, founded in 1970 and based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
|MSL: Disaster Preparedness & Executive Fire Leadership||
Grand Canyon University -- Grand Canyon University offers an online program for the MS in Leadership with a specialization in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership which is designed for working professionals wanting to take their careers into the next level. GCU is one of the nation's largest Christian schools and was founded in 1949 out of Phoenix, Arizona.
|MS: Safety, Security, and Emergency Management - Fire & Emergency ServicesMS: Safety, Security, and Emergency Management||
Eastern Kentucky University -- Eastern Kentucky University has both undergraduate and graduate programs for Fire Science. These include the BS in Fire Protection Administration and the MS in Emergency Management of Fire and Emergency Services. The school was founded in 1903 in Richmond, Kentucky by the Kentucky General Assembly and now serves over 16,000 students.
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