When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, the family faces many challenges as they work to rebuild their lives. Oftentimes, children and spouses of these fallen heroes may not have the necessary funds that enable them to pursue their educational and career goals. Through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) scholarship programs, the loved ones of the fallen can realize their educational dreams.
Online applications are being accepted January 1 through March 1 for the 2021-2022 Sarbanes Scholarship Program, the Alan Patrick Sondej Memorial Scholarship Funds and the Motorola Solutions Foundation Enhanced Scholarship Initiative which provides financial assistance to spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
The Motorola Solutions Foundation Enhanced Scholarship Initiative is designed to provide for larger, and in certain cases, full scholarships on an academic year-by-academic year basis. 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 composite scoring system. For additional information on the composite scoring, please view the in-depth Q&A document and table.
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.
To be eligible, children must be under age 30 presently and have been under age 22 at the time of their firefighter’s death. All applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalency or must be in their final year of high school. Applicants must also be pursuing or planning to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies, a certification program or job skills training at an accredited institution and must be enrolled or planning to enroll as a full- or part-time student.
As part of the online application 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.
The U. S. Congress created the NFFF in 1992. The Foundation’s scholarship program began in 1997 and is named in honor of the recently deceased U. S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a strong supporter of education and America’s fire service family who authored the legislation creating the Foundation.
Together, with assistance from generous donors such as Motorola and David Levy, along with the NFFF partnerships with ICMA-RC, National Association of Fire Marshals, Global Health and Safety and the Engine Company 5 Foundation, over $4,790,994 in scholarships have been awarded.