In today’s turbulent world faced with a growing number of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other potentially catastrophic events, emergency management scholarships are becoming more abundant.
Our nation has a strong demand for graduates with a background in emergency management to plan procedures for quickly responding to disasters and minimizing risk to citizens. As the impact of 9/11 still reverberates through America, both the public and private sector are recruiting emergency management specialists to work behind the scenes in orchestrating emergency contingency plans.
If you’re a strong communicator with solid leadership skills and the ability to stay calm during stressful events, check out the following scholarships available in the rewarding field of emergency management.
1. Addison E. Slayton Jr. Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
In honor of his devotion to managing the state’s emergency response and hazardous materials programs for over 30 years, the Addision E. Slayton Jr. Scholarship was created by the Virginia Emergency Management Association (VEMA) to award $1,000 to college students majoring in emergency management, disaster/fire science, or homeland security. Eligible candidates must reside in the Commonwealth or attend an accredited Virginia college, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, exhibit leadership qualities, and be involved in community service. Applications must include a one-page essay, two letters of recommendation, a current resume, official college transcripts, and proof of enrollment.
2. Anthony J. Messina Scholarship
Deadline: March 11th
In the amount of $500, the Anthony J. Messina Scholarship is awarded annually by the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC) for deserving college students who are enrolled either full-time or part-time in a degree program for emergency management, fire science, or emergency medical personnel. Qualified candidates must attend an accredited college in New York State, be current or affiliated members of NYSAFC in good standing, demonstrate financial need, and show commitment to advancing a career within the emergency services. Interested students must submit an application with a 50-word statement sharing their qualifications.
3. Aubrey Rivenbark Scholarship Award
Deadline: May 1st
Funded by the Eastern Carolina Firefighters Association (ENCFA), the Aubrey Rivenbark Scholarship Award is presented annually for $1,500 to individuals who are seeking a two or four-year undergraduate degree in fire protection, fire science, emergency management, or emergency medical services from an accredited college. Eligible applicants must be active firefighters, rescue members, or EMS personnel in good standing with a member department in Eastern Carolina for the 12-month period immediately preceding the application date. Students must submit a resume of emergency services experience, a copy of departmental training records, and a personal statement.
4. Captain Jonathan C. Young Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 3rd
Sponsored by the New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association (NJEPA), the Captain Jonathan C. Young Memorial Scholarship is given for $1,000 each year to two graduating high school seniors or college students who are pursuing an accredited degree in the emergency management field, including fire suppression, law enforcement, arson investigation, disaster response, and hazardous material. Candidates must have U.S. citizenship, reside within New Jersey, have a parent or grandparent in good standing with any emergency service department statewide, submit a 500-word personal essay, and have at least one year of studies remaining.
5. DHS Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 5th
Annually, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers a scholarship program to deliver up to $5,000 to undergraduate students who are currently pursuing an accredited four-year bachelor’s degree in homeland security, emergency management, or a closely related field. Qualified applicants must have U.S. citizenship, be sophomores or juniors, have research interests relevant to the DHS mission, obtain a security clearance, and submit two letters of reference. Recipients must complete a 10-week summer internship and agree to sign a one-year service commitment to work at an official DHS-approved facility upon degree completion.
6. Dilling-McDaniel Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 20th
The Dilling-McDaniel Scholarship Fund was founded by Florida State University (FSU) to provide tuition coverage for four undergraduate or five graduate courses to active duty or veteran military members who are planning to enter the Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) degree. Eligible recipients must have served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, be accepted for enrollment, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and be seeking a career in the emergency management arena. Candidates must submit an application form with a one-page personal essay, academic transcripts, and at least recommendation letter addressing their work ethic.
7. Donald Althoff Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
Through the Michigan Public Risk Management Association (MIPRIMA), the Donald Althoff Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year for up to $2,000 to outstanding undergraduate students who are pursuing their degree in risk management, public administration, emergency management, public safety, or occupational safety. Eligible candidates must have attained junior-level status, attend an accredited Michigan institution, possess a minimum overall GPA of 2.8, work part-time while attending school, and wish to build a career in the public risk management field. Applications must include a current transcript, brief resume, personal goals statement, and summary of coursework.
8. Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship
Since 2006, the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship Program offers 250 scholarships for $2,000 apiece at every community college in the United States to students who are receiving a degree in the skilled trades or public safety, including emergency management, disaster preparedness, fire safety, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. Qualified applicants must be earning a two-year associate’s degree or certificate, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and carry at least 12 credit hours per term. Applications won’t be complete without an official transcript, one letter of recommendation, and a 300-word essay on future goals.
9. Heather Westphal Memorial Scholarship Award
Deadline: June 1st
Established by the International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services in honor of the marketing manager who died tragically in 2008, the Hearth Westphal Memorial Scholarship Award is gifted for $2,000 annually. Eligible female applicants must be currently working as first responders, be pursuing a degree in fire science or emergency management, attend an accredited college in America, be active IAFC members, and have a minimum of two years of work experience in emergency services. Candidates must submit two letters of endorsement, a current resume, proof of financial need, and a 250-word personal statement.
10. IAEM Undergraduate Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
Within the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), one undergraduate scholarship is granted annually for $2,000 to college students who are currently pursuing a diploma, associate’s degree, or baccalaureate degree in emergency management, disaster management, or another closely related field. Applicants must attend an accredited U.S. educational institution, maintain full-time status with 12 or more credits per term, and make satisfactory academic progress. Applications should be accompanied by verification of enrollment, three letters of reference, original transcripts, and a 1,000-word essay sharing their goals in emergency management.
11. Joel Aggergaard Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: August 1st
In honor of a devoted emergency manager who responded to countless floods, storms, and local emergencies across the state until his untimely death in 1996, the Joel Aggergaard Memorial Scholarship is distributed for $2,000 annually through the Washington State Emergency Management Association (WSEMA). Qualified recipients must be residents of Washington who are currently pursuing a certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree, or graduate degree in emergency management at an accredited in-state college. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, an academic transcript, and a 500-word essay mentioning who influenced their career objectives in emergency management.
Joel Aggergaard Memorial Scholarship
502 West Boeing Street
Pasco, WA 99301
12. Justin B. Collins Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Within the Department of Emergency Management at Arkansas Tech University, the Justin B. Collins Memorial Scholarship is available for up to $1,500 for full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are currently pursuing the B.S. in Emergency Management or M.S. in Emergency Management & Homeland Security (EMHS) program. To qualify, candidates must carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, exhibit financial need for assistance, have completed at least 24 college credits, and submit at least two reference letters. Preference will be given to any eligible applicants who are originally from Magazine, Arkansas.
13. LEEP USA Dream Scholarships
Deadline: May 1st
On an annual basis, the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) USA offers the Dream Scholarships to award $1,000 for students nationwide who are planning to attend higher education to receive a degree in public safety, law enforcement, corrections, firefighting, emergency management, or emergency medical services. Eligible candidates must be accepted for full-time enrollment at an accredited two or four-year college in the United States with excellent academic standing and an unwavering commitment to a public service career. For consideration, applications should have official high school transcripts, a history of related paid and/or unpaid volunteer experience, and at least one recommendation.
LEEP USA Dream Scholarships
667 East Big Beaver Suite 205
Troy, MI 48083
14. Mary Fran Myers Scholarship
Deadline: April 17th
At the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship is granted through the Natural Hazards Center annually for up to $2,000 in honor of the longtime co-director who dedicated her life’s work to reducing disaster loss and finding sustainable ways to handle extreme environmental events. Eligible candidates must be pursuing a degree in emergency or hazards management, reside in North America or the Caribbean, demonstrate financial need, and display a sincere commitment to a career in natural disaster mitigation. Recipients will be invited to attend this year’s Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop.
15. Maryland Emergency Management Association Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Every year, the Maryland Emergency Management Association (MEMA) offers five scholarships for $1,000 apiece for college students who are pursuing a career in the emergency management field, including disaster relief, public safety, risk management, public service, meteorology, and other related professions. Qualified candidates must have graduated from an accredited Maryland high school, demonstrate financial need, be actively involved in their community, plan to attend an accredited post-secondary institution, and provide two reference letters. One award will be delivered to a deserving student in Western Maryland, the National Capital, Central Maryland, Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and Southern Maryland.
Maryland Emergency Management Association Scholarships
16232 Elliot Parkway
Williamsport, MD 21795
16. Richard L. Resurreccion Public Safety Scholarship
Deadline: May 15th
In honor of a board member for the International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute (IPLSLEI), the Richard L. Resurreccion Public Safety Scholarship is granted by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for $1,000 annually to two student members pursuing an associate’s degree in criminal justice, public safety, fire science, emergency management, homeland security, emergency medical services, or fire technology. Eligible recipients must attend a regionally accredited two-year college, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, be in good academic standing, and demonstrate potential for involvement in public safety services.
Richard L. Resurreccion Public Safety Scholarship
1625 Eastover Drive
Jackson, MS 39211
17. Secure Indiana Scholarship Program
Deadline: July 1st
Administered by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the Secure Indiana Scholarship Program is hosted annually to grant awards from $1,000 to $2,000 apiece for college students who are presently enrolled in an accredited degree program for homeland security, law enforcement, emergency management, or public safety. Qualified applicants must attend an approved Indiana post-secondary institution, carry at least six credits per term, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8, and volunteer at any of the state’s public safety organization for protecting citizens from harm. Applications must include a resume, one letter of recommendation, and an original 500-word personal goals statement.
18. State Farm FLASH Financial Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
As part of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, the State Farm FLASH Financial Scholarship is distributed each year for $1,500 to graduate emergency management students who are performing their master’s or doctoral research on topics related to the financial analysis or investment management of mitigation and recovery services from natural disasters. Eligible candidates must already possess a bachelor’s degree, be accepted at a regionally accredited U.S. graduate school, and wish to specialize their career in finance or budgeting for emergency management responses. Applicants should submit an application with unofficial transcripts, a letter from their research advisor, and a personal statement.
19. Tom Joslin Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
At the University of North Texas, the Tom Joslin Memorial Scholarship was created by the College of Public Affairs and Community Service to award $1,000 annually in honor of a former faculty member who worked tirelessly with FEMA until his death in 1993. To qualify, applicants must be at least sophomores, be currently enrolled in the Emergency Administration and Planning (EADP) program, maintain full-time enrollment, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, demonstrate leadership qualities, be involved in community service, have membership on the IAEM student chapter, and show strong evidence of a commitment to building a future career in emergency management.
20. Zach Myers Memorial Scholarship Fund
Deadline: July 1st
In the amount of $1,000, the Zach Myers Memorial Scholarship Fund provides one award annually through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation in honor of a 16-year-old Junior Fire Explorer in Olathe who was taken tragically from this world in a car accident before reaching his dream of being a firefighter. Qualified applicants must be graduating high school seniors, reside in Johnson County of Kansas, plan to attend an accredited school for fire science or emergency medical services, and showcase a good academic record. For consideration, students must submit a transcript, two recommendations, an advisor endorsement form, a glossy photograph for publication, and a 500-word essay.
Working in the emergency management field will place you on the front lines in planning effective responses to both man-made and natural crisis events. However, you’ll likely need to spend at least two to four years in post-secondary schooling to learn the essential emergency techniques for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Luckily, these are just 20 of the great emergency management scholarships available in the United States to finance your educational endeavors and get you started on creating plans that save countless lives.