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.

1

Purdue University Global

At Purdue University Global, online public safety degrees are very career-focused, with a curriculum and support services that focus on helping learners meet their long-term goals. Fire science students in this program develop practical, hands-on skills to prepare them for the job market upon graduation. Working with Purdue Global’s academic advisors and career services center, fire science students can also take advantage of the best volunteer or entry-level experiences to position themselves for advancement in fire science careers in the near future. Additionally, Purdue Global ensures that students work toward additional certifications in areas like CPR and emergency first response that help bolster applications for those pursuing fire science careers and related public safety jobs.

2

Anna Maria College (AMC)

AMC offers both a bachelor of science in fire science and a master of public administration and fire and emergency services. This Catholic, liberal arts college prides itself on offering an updated resources site for its fire science students. They cover current events and provide personal stories from students in this major, including articles that explain the need for knowledge in mathematics for these careers, how technology is changing the firefighting industry, how to bolster a resume for the competitive job market, and more. AMC also features a student success center with a career services office that is dedicated to supporting online students. Remote fire science learners can take advantage of career workshops, resume building services, and an active job board. Fire science majors can schedule personalized advising appointments to help them prepare for entry-level careers in firefighting and public service jobs that match their skill set.

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.

1

Columbia Southern University (CSU)

CSU offers a variety of scholarships for students in fire and emergency services studies. Some of these scholarships come from within the university, while others are the result of partnerships with outside organizations. The university fire scholarship is offered to two students majoring in fire science or fire administration, with one deadline in the spring and the other at the end of the summer. The award covers approximately $14,100 in tuition costs for up to 60 credit hours in the online program. The money goes directly toward the recipient’s tuition for up to three years or until they complete the online program, whichever milestone occurs first. The scholarship also provides free textbooks.


CSU Fire Scholarship

Amount

Full Tuition Remittance for 60 credit hours

Deadline

3/29/21 and 8/27/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Prospective recipient possesses a high school diploma or equivalent GED. Applicants must also begin course work within 90 days of the date that they receive the award. While enrolled, fire science scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher to remain in good standing with the department and continue receiving tuition remittance.

How to Apply

To apply, scholarship-seekers need to fill out the designated fire scholarship application. Applicants should contact the scholarship liaison at schoalrships@columbiasouthern.edu for more information.

2

University of Cincinnati (UC)

UC offers multiple online degrees in fire science, including a Bachelor of Science in fire and safety engineering technology and an associate of applied science in fire service technology. The school provides an annual scholarship of $1,000 for one student enrolled in its fire science program. In 2021, two scholarships will be awarded for new students who have already completed an accredited associate degree in fire science. Applicants need to submit accompanying documents explaining their career goals and background in fire service. The school also offers the Barbara Barkley Memorial Scholarship and the Chief William Flamm Memorial Scholarship for fire science students. These awards provide recipients with $1,000 and $2000, respectively.


UC Bennett Family Scholarship

Amount

Full Tuition Remittance for 60 credit hours

Deadline

12/7/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Prospective students applying for the science program or those currently enrolled at UC may apply. Applications need to include a personal statement that addresses the writing prompt, “Why a degree in fire science and the scholarship would enhance my career and personal life.”

How to Apply

To apply,  scholarship seekers need to fill out a designated fire scholarship application. Applicants should contact the scholarship liaison at schoalrships@columbiasouthern.edu for more information.

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.

Amount

$1,000-$10,000

Deadline

4/24/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must reside in and have graduated from a high school located in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Vermont. Alternatively, applicants may attend a college or university located in the New England area. They must also be actively working towards a degree in fire protection engineering or another related discipline.

How to Apply

Students can apply online using the application provided.

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

3/1/21 (Annual) or until 500 applications are received (whichever is first)

Eligibility

Applicants must be high school seniors or graduates planning to enroll part-time or full-time in programs focused on fire science, law enforcement, or emergency medicine. They must enroll in a two- or four-year college, university, or vocational/technical school.

How to Apply

Applications must include academic transcripts, one letter of recommendation, and the first two pages of your most recently filed IRS form 1040.

Amount

Covers the cost of academy training

Deadline

1/31/21 or 7/2/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

This award is for individuals over 17 years of age who wish to pursue fire academy training at a local facility. Funds are paid directly to the training facility.

How to Apply

Applicants need to include a personal essay based on an interview that they conduct with a local firefighter. The essay needs to outline why the applicant wants to pursue firefighting as a career. All application materials can be submitted online.

Amount

Tuition costs plus $1,000 for a six-week term

Deadline

8/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be members of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) with documentation of activity in their local chapter as an officer or committee member.

How to Apply

Applicants need to submit a completed application form, a personal essay that answers the questions provided in the form, and a brief statement outlining their participation with their local affiliate. Applications are completed online.

Amount

Up to $6,000 per year for four years

Deadline

3/2/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

This award is for a student pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in a field related to public safety. They should have a history of volunteer service in their community and demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply

Prospective applicants should contact Jerry Baker (jasonbakerscholarship@gmail.com) or Janice Starnes (jan_star29@hotmail.com) for more information.           

Amount

Tuition costs plus $1,000 for a six-week term

Deadline

2/15/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

This award goes to two or more scholarship applicants per year. Applicants must be in good standing with the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) or the immediate family of someone who is a member. They should also be enrolled or planning to enroll in a two- or four-year accredited program that offers courses in fire sciences and policing.

How to Apply

Applicants need to submit academic transcripts and a personal essay for consideration. Completed applications should be emailed to iaaifoundation@firearson.com.

Amount

$2,000

Deadline

3/31/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

This award is for female students who are interested in pursuing a career related to global environmental, health, and safety. Multiple awards may be given each year.

How to Apply

Students can apply online.

Amount

$2,000

Deadline

4/15/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be enrolled in a risk management, occupational and public safety, insurance, or public administration degree program. They should also be able to demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply

Complete applications must include an academic transcript, resume, statement of career goals, and a statement explaining their reasons for applying for this particular scholarship.

Amount

N/A

Deadline

Varies 3/21/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

This scholarship is for children, spouses, and life partners of fallen firefighters honored at the

Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Children must be less than 30 years old and under the age of 22 at the time of the firefighter’s passing. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED and plan on pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies at an accredited Institution. The scholarship committee expects applicants to possess a 2.0 or higher GPA for consideration.

How to Apply

For the most recent information on applying, prospective applicants should contact the NFFF.

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

Varies (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be a Phi Theta Kappa member in good standing, enrolled in at least six-semester credits in college-level coursework, and hold a 3.5 GPA or higher for consideration. At the time of application, students must have also completed at least half of the required coursework for an associate degree in public safety from a regionally accredited institution. Eligible programs include fire science, fire technology, and public service administration.

How to Apply

Students can apply online through the scholarship application portal when it reopens in Spring 2021.

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

6/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

This award is for full-time sophomore, junior, or senior college students who are enrolled in a four-year fire protection engineering or fire administration degree program. Master’s students in these areas can also apply.

How to Apply

Prospective applicants should contact the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for more information on this award.

Amount

Up to $15,000 per year

Deadline

9/15/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be IAFF members living in Canada with documented experience working with a local IAFF affiliate.

How to Apply

Along with the application form, applicants need to submit a personal essay answering a series of writing prompts provided on the website.

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

3/31/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

This award is for full-time undergraduate or graduate students that have at least one year remaining in their academic program. They must also be current members of the Student Association for Fire Ecology (SAFE). Students from underrepresented populations are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Students can apply online by filling out the application form and submitting a personal statement and resume.

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

2/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be children of firefighters killed in the line of duty and planning to enroll in a college or university. Students must demonstrate financial need and show academic promise.

How to Apply

Applications need to include a completed application form, academic transcripts, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation.

Amount

$3,000

Deadline

4/19/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be graduate students in a master’s or Ph.D. program studying wildland or related topics.

How to Apply

Applicants need to submit an essay and a completed application form for consideration.

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.

For more information on funding opportunities for your fire science degree, check out our financial aid guide and public service student loan forgiveness guide.