Fire Science Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services
Whether you’re looking for networking opportunities, help covering next semester’s tuition, or another type of support, here are the top scholarships and resources you need to know about as a fire science student.
Last Updated: 11/30/2020
College can be challenging to get through, even for the most determined student. Between figuring out how you’re going to pay for tuition to late nights studying for exams, the path isn’t easy. But there’s help out there if you know where to look. As a fire science student, you can take advantage of many scholarship opportunities and student resources designed with you in mind. In this guide, we provide a closer look at some of the best scholarships, resources, and support services for fire science students. After looking into these financial, academic and career support options, you’ll be in a better position to achieve academic success and financial stability while pursuing your degree.
Campus and Online Support Resources for Fire Science Students
Colleges and universities today offer a wide variety of resources for degree seekers on-campus and online, including those students in fire science programs. Even if you are a distance learner, most schools today offer remote access to academic advisors, tutoring services, writing centers, and library resources to ensure that you are equipped for academic success. Let’s take a detailed look at the various student support services for on-campus and remote learners.
University Student Support Centers and Services
It’s important that fire science students take advantage of university student support centers and services before entering the workforce so they can make meaningful connections to professionals in their local area, or wherever they wish to pursue a career. Fire science programs will provide you with access to professors and advisors who have relationships with local firehouses, municipal fire companies, and junior firefighter leagues to help you transition from school into a full-time career. In addition to working directly with academic advising centers on-campus or online, schools provide fire science students with access to supportive professionals in financial aid and career services offices. While you might not attend one of these schools, here are two fire science programs with excellent student support resources that will give you an idea of what to look for.
Purdue University Global
Anna Maria College (AMC)
Articles, Videos, Books and Podcasts for Fire Science Students and Professionals
Public Service Degrees: STEPS Guidebook What Can You Do with a Fire Science Degree For prospective and current fire science students who want a detailed look at what types of jobs are available for degree holders in this area, this is a valuable resource. The STEPS guidebook gives you an inside look at what careers are accessible to learners with an associate, bachelor, or master’s degrees in fire science.
Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC): Fire Science YouTube Channel PPCC offers an extensive YouTube channel with videos created by teachers and students that are easy to digest. The videos offer details on fire academy applications, prior learning assessments, potential degree paths, job interviews, equipment and safety inspections, firehouse etiquette, and more. Both prospective and current fire science students will find the diverse array of videos to be quite informative.
Firewise Consulting Created by Dr. John DeHaan, a forensic scientist with over 40 years of experience in fire science, fire investigation, and crime scene reconstruction, this site features excellent video resources for both new and advanced learners in the field.
Association for Fire Ecology Podcast This association recently launched a new podcast focusing on wildfire management, adaptive management strategies, environmental factors in wildfires, and climate change. It is also a good resource for new and seasoned professionals in the field to learn about current events.
Southwest Fire Science Consortium The Southwest Fire Science Consortium created a podcast called Hot and Dry for listeners interested in current events in the field, including the devastating wildfires in California this year. Episodes also feature interviews with scientists from the Wildland Urban Interface and reputable fire science professionals.
Fire Science Professional Associations and Student Organizations
Fire Science Exchange Network The Fire Science Exchange Network serves as an information hub for the latest information in the field, as well as resources and funding opportunities for scientists, decision-makers, and fire safety practitioners. Online users can access research documents, relevant publications, and newsletters. Although it is not a member-based organization, the network serves as a liaison between regional wildfire science programs around the U.S.
Fire Research Institute The Fire Research Institute is a nonprofit organization that houses one of the largest holdings of educational materials on firefighting and wildfires. Users can subscribe to a free monthly electronic newsletter that includes the latest publications in the field. They can also gain access to training manuals, dissertations, peer-reviewed journal articles, videos, and more.
International Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) IFCA is a worldwide association of emergency responders and firefighters. The organization is also comprised of experts in terrorism response, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety policy. The site features an education and learning section with information on in-person conferences, online courses, fellowship programs, and scholarship opportunities.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA offers members a worldwide network of professionals in fire science, technology, and education. Members can contact experienced college professors, education administrators, and instructors in the field for fire science-related discussions, collaborative projects, research initiatives, and supplemental learning and teaching materials.
National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) NVFC offers online educational materials for students and professionals in firefighting, emergency medical response, and public safety. It also sponsors a variety of volunteer programs that help prospective firefighters and fires science professionals gain experience in the field, including the National Junior Firefighter program.
Fire Science Social Media and Online Communities
Reddit Fire Department Community Students can use this Reddit community to search for a wide variety of postings including available jobs in fire science and education, career advice, or topical firefighter humor.
Firehouse.com Forums This online forum is an information bureau for aspiring firefighters and current professionals. Dozens of threads cover career advancement and training, fitness, fire safety, fire investigation, and much more. Users can also create their posts and ask questions for community feedback.
FireScience.gov on Twitter This popular Twitter account shares the latest news in wildfire science, including links to valuable articles and resources for students and young professionals. The account is also quite active, providing regular updates on current events that are of interest for most students pursuing careers in fire science.
Dr.FireScience on Twitter This social media account is run by a professional applied science system engineer with a Ph.D. in fire ecology. They provide regular updates on fire science-related topics, current events, and resources.
UC Berkeley Fire Research Group This university-run research group, composed of several institutions in California, offers online educational materials, remote seminars, fire science news, and current events. This is a great resource for students to understand the academic and research components of fire science and what professionals today are doing to battle wildfires and other natural disasters.
Support Resources for Students in Online Fire Science Programs
Fully online and hybrid degree programs are becoming increasingly popular around the world. To offer support for the growing number of remote students, many companies and institutions are offering resources for prospective and current online learners, including those in fire science programs. Here are five excellent resources for online learners.
STEPS Guide: How and Where to Earn Your Fire Science Degree Online Our guide on online fire science degrees is a helpful resource for current and prospective fire science degree-seekers. The guide will help you find the best schools, explore what types of learning formats are available to you, and understand your career options after you graduate.
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute Student Guide Michigan Virtual provides this student guide to online learning for new students. The site includes an excellent summary of online learning formats, successful habits for remote students to develop, and important topics to consider before choosing an online program.
Northeastern University Student Guide Although this guide is offered by the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern, it includes useful recommendations for remote learners in all fields. The site includes useful tips on effective communication, writing techniques, studying strategies, and more.
STEPS Guide: Netiquette and Communication for the Online Classroom Proper and effective communication is an essential skill for all online learners. Our STEPS guide on netiquette will help you develop good habits when it comes to communicating with your professors and fellow students online.
Purdue Global Fire Science Blog The Purdue Global blog helps students in online fire science programs develop habits for success. The blog also includes career guidance, fire science education news, and highlights current trends in emergency management.
College-Sponsored Scholarships in Fire Science
While any form of financial aid is helpful when pursuing your education, college-sponsored scholarships in fire science are the best option. This type of funding is advantageous for several reasons, including the fact that these scholarships are usually recurring awards that provide funding for students with strong academic performances. Secondly, college-sponsored scholarship programs are intentionally designed to support the academic endeavors of learners in your program and your school.
To find out more information on college-sponsored scholarships in fire science at your school, be sure to contact the financial aid office or speak with the program director or chair of your department. The following schools are examples of the amazing support college-sponsored scholarships provide to fire science students around the U.S.
Columbia Southern University (CSU)
University of Cincinnati (UC)
Private Scholarships for Fire Science Students
Fire science students can also find excellent sources of funding outside of their school through private sources. These scholarships, which can be specific to fire science students or students in related areas of study, can be more competitive compared to other types of scholarships. Here is a list of 15 excellent private scholarships that will help you finance your education and position you for success.
5 Tips for Winning a Fire Science Scholarship
Applying for scholarships can be a competitive process for college students. Fortunately, because fire science is a relatively small field, there are more opportunities to make your application shine. Here’s a list of the top five tips to keep in mind while creating your scholarship applications.
- Tip #1: Complete All Application Requirements
Each scholarship has a specific set of requirements that you need to keep a close eye on. You will want to make sure that your applications are spotless and include all necessary materials for consideration.
- Tip #2: Give Your Recommenders Enough Time
Many scholarship applications, including those for fire science awards, require students to obtain letters of recommendation from previous teachers, employers, or representatives who can speak to their character traits and work ethic. Be sure to give your recommendation writers enough time to write a compelling letter on your behalf; at least three months before the scholarship deadline is recommended.
- Tip #3: Have Someone Check Your Work
Completing a scholarship application can be a time-consuming, exhausting process. With this in mind, you must have somebody else look over your materials, including your essay, to make sure that there are no errors and verify that you meet all of the requirements with quality materials that accurately represent you.
- Tip #4: Apply for Big and Small Awards
You should apply for as many scholarships as you can, provided you are a good candidate. This includes both large and small financial awards. Even small local scholarships are worth your time, and typically, they receive fewer applicants so your odds of winning can be much higher.
- Tip #5: Try Again
Whether you received a financial award that ends after one year, or you didn’t receive any awards at all, it is important that you reapply and try again the following year. Be on the lookout for more frequent seasonal deadlines for some awards, as you might not have to wait as long to start applying for scholarships again.
Other Ways to Fund Your Fire Science Degree
Fire science students can also find ways to pay for college through other financial aid options. Both federal and private student loans are available. Federal loans typically offer better interest rates and repayment options for students. Four different loans are available through the government for fire science degree-seekers:
- Direct subsidized loan
- Direct unsubsidized loans
- Direct Plus
- Direct consolidation loans
There are also employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement plans and loan forgiveness programs. Some fire departments offer tuition reimbursement programs for firefighters after so many years of employment. The government also offers the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program: Educational Assistance Benefits for spouses and children of fire and emergency public safety officers who have been killed or injured in the line of duty. Alternatively, fire science students may be able to obtain work-study positions through their department or school. Work-study programs provide undergraduate and graduate students with financial need part-time jobs working on campus.