The Smart Scholarships program has been around for the last five years. Now that it is a part of the restructured government grants and scholarships programs, there are more students qualifying for these excellent financial aid packages. Those looking to study part-time in the hopes of becoming a teacher or working in the defense industry can now take advantage of this opportunity. This opportunity also applies to students who want to return to school to further their education after graduating from high school. It does not matter what career path an individual takes in life, there is a Smart Scholarship waiting for them every year.
Just because an applicant belongs to a minority status, such as Asian, Hispanic, Native American or Pacific Islander does not mean they cannot qualify for the dod smart program. In fact over 28% of the undergraduates from these underrepresented ethnicities receive financial aid, scholarship or grant money that enables them to pay for their college tuition, lab fees and other educational expenses. These grants and scholarships are provided by the United States government, both the federal government and state governments. Every year a minimum number of students are selected from each state to participate in the undergraduate diploma program – and if you are one of those lucky undergraduate chosen from among them then you could get a free scholarship.
The application process for this scholarship varies from one undergraduate program to the next but all apply for a single scholarship that enables the student to graduate without having to pay for any kind of financial assistance during the years after graduation. This type of scholarship is called a service scholarship. The eligibility criteria are different depending on the academic discipline.
Students who wish to continue their education but have limited funds need not despair. There is another option in the form of the dod scholarship program. This is a special program for those who want to obtain post graduate degrees but cannot afford the cost of full tuition. In such cases, loans or scholarships are availed instead. Of course, the loan amount is low but the interest rate is high and the repayment term is comparatively long – which means the graduates will have to spend more than five years in order to repay the loan.
Just like other scholarships, the eligibility criteria for this one too, is different. Applicants are expected to be at least 18 years old and hold a high school degree or equivalent. They also need to be US citizens and eligible citizens of Canada. The only exemption is that Canadian citizens who have been admitted to an accredited university are eligible to apply for the scholarship-for-service program.
In order to be considered for this scholarship, applicants need to demonstrate the need for post-graduation employment. This can either be done through a recommendation from a relative or a friend. The scholarships do not require applicants to provide proof of monthly income or employment. However, the sponsoring facility takes care of ensuring that the applicant pays back his/her loan in full within a stipulated period after the graduation.
In order to be considered for the dod Smart scholarship-for-service program, students need to ensure that they dedicate their efforts towards fulfilling the requirements. It is important to work towards improving their grades so as to get high marks in subjects that they have chosen. Gaining extra credits in subjects that will be used towards an engineering degree is also beneficial. This ensures that they will have a number of credits and therefore increase their chances of being awarded the scholarships.
All the courses that are taken up in order to earn a diploma are considered when determining the eligibility criteria. Different disciplines receive different scholarships. For instance, those who choose to study dentistry will have a better chance of getting a dod smart scholarship than students who opt for engineering or chemistry. The scholarships cover all disciplines hence it is important to ensure that the preferred discipline is taken up in order to increase the chances of being awarded the scholarships.