Albany—State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today announced that August 1, 2005 is the deadline for volunteer fire department and ambulance squads to nominate volunteers for college scholarships offered by New York State as an incentive to boost membership in these organizations.
“It is critically important that we continue to have well-trained firefighters and emergency workers ready to save lives and protect our citizens, families and communities,” said Senator Nozzolio. “This scholarship program, which I co-sponsored in the Senate, will help provide volunteers with the opportunity of a college education while also serving as a powerful recruitment tool to attract new members to this honorable public service.”
Each volunteer fire company and ambulance squad may submit one scholarship application to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). The scholarship award is worth $4,350 a year for eligible candidates to attend public or private colleges starting this fall. Once accepted, the award is given for up to four years of schooling as long as conditions are met.
Criteria for the scholarship program are as follows:
- Applicants must be high school graduates and enroll in an accredited undergraduate degree program;
- Scholarship applicants older than 23 must have joined the volunteer fire or EMS company within six months of the date they receive the scholarship;
- Applicants younger than 23 do not have length-of-service restrictions;
- Applicants must be New York State residents for at least a year, and be enrolled in an approved undergraduate degree program;
- Applicants must attend college within 50 miles of the volunteer organization, or if no college is located within 50 miles, then the nearest college;
- Applicants must maintain a "C" average and apply for all other State and federal financial aid;
- Applicants must be an active member of the volunteer squad while they receive the scholarship.
The scholarship program is administered by the HESC. For more information, individuals can contact the HESC Scholarship Unit toll-free at 1-888-NYSHESC or on-line at www.HESC.org.