The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has made several changes to our scholarship programs in response to feedback received from key program donors. These changes are designed to place the NFFF in a strong position when we re-apply annually to our donors for scholarship funding, for future years, as well as encourage current and future donors to provide additional support to the NFFF scholarship programs. Due to the implementation of these changes, we anticipate a one-time delay to our scholarship application period opening. The 2020-2021 scholarship application will open on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Future year application periods will resume with a January 1 opening.
A letter explaining these changes, to include an in-depth Q&A table that further explains these changes will be sent out electronically to eligible scholarship applicants and will be made available on our website when the application period opens. The most significant changes to the programs prior to the application period opening are noted as follows:
- New Application Deadline – The application deadline for the NFFF scholarship programs has been moved up from April 1 to March 1.
- New Selection Criteria – Scholarship awards under the Sarbanes Scholarship Program will no longer be made at the same level to all qualified applicants regardless of financial need or academic performance. Awards will now be made based upon a composite score that considers each applicant’s financial need and academic performance, with an emphasis on financial need. This same scoring system will be used to make awards under the Alan Patrick Sondej Fund as well as a new scholarship program. Awards made by our partners under their existing partnership programs have not changed.
- New Scholarship Program – In addition to the current Sarbanes and Alan Patrick Sondej Memorial Scholarship Funds, Motorola Solutions Foundation has agreed to fund an Enhanced Scholarship Initiative that is designed to provide for larger, and in certain cases, full scholarships on an academic year-by-academic year basis. In order to be eligible for an award under this program, the applicant must be pursuing a major in a STEM subject or Public Safety field. Awards under this program are made annually and will be based upon an assessment of financial need and academic performance using a scoring system.
- New Application Process – Beginning in 2020, the NFFF scholarship application process will be electronic. As part of the process, the form asks each applicant to upload their FAFSA form. Applicants who choose to not upload their FAFSA form are still eligible for a scholarship award, but the amount of their award will be influenced due to their composite score not including any credit for financial need. On January 30, applicants can access the online application at nff-foundation.smapply.io.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the changes to our scholarship programs, please contact Eric Nagle at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you to make the 2020-2021 scholarship application and academic year a success.