How to Apply for the SMART Scholarship Department of Defense

If you’re a student looking to secure a scholarship opportunity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), you’ve come to the right place. This guide is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the application process for the SMART Scholarship Department of Defense.

We’ll walk you through the essential steps, eligibility criteria, required materials, and deadlines of this STEM scholarship.

Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, our guide will equip you with the information you need to successfully navigate the application and increase your chances of obtaining this valuable scholarship.

SMART Scholarship Department of Defense: An Overview

SMART Scholarship Department of Defense
Photo: Freepik

The DoD SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program, backed by the Department of Defense (DoD), stands as an integrated avenue for nurturing STEM students. This initiative combines educational advancement with workforce preparation.

The program extends its support to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral scholars engaged in the pursuit of degrees in any of the 24 STEM disciplines. With a remarkable record, more than 3,000 scholarships have been granted, substantiating its influence on STEM education.

This program effectively bridges the gap between academic endeavors and practical application. With 218 endorsing establishments, SMART establishes a comprehensive network to foster scholarly growth and engagement.

Notably, an impressive 91% of SMART scholars have effectively fulfilled or are on course to meet their service commitments. Through scholarship support and structured pathway to service, SMART plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of STEM disciplines.

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Additionally, this program allows STEM students to concentrate on intricate research that supports the DoD’s mission. This mission involves enlisting, educating, hiring, and nurturing upcoming DoD civilian STEM workers.

Furthermore, the DoD is strongly dedicated to cultivating the nation’s STEM skills and is the biggest employer of federal scientists and engineers, with around 150,000 STEM workers in various DoD roles.

Eventually, this program contributes to the DoD’s efforts in technology, science, and national defense.

Program Benefits

SMART Scholarship benefits offer an array of advantageous features to its recipients.

Firstly, the program covers full tuition, removing the financial burden of education. Additionally, students receive a yearly stipend ranging from $30,000 to $46,000, supporting their living expenses.

There’s also assistance for books and health-related expenses. This way, scholars have all they need for a successful educational journey.

The program stands out with its summer internship, where students work side-by-side with experienced scientists and engineers in DoD facilities. This hands-on experience not only bolsters their knowledge but also offers insights into real-world applications of their studies.

Another valuable aspect is the provision of an accomplished mentor. Having a mentor who has navigated similar fields can guide scholars through challenges, opportunities, and career decisions.

Finally, the commitment to work with the DoD is a vital component. For each year of financial support, students agree to work for a year with the DoD as a civilian employee. This not only ensures a direct pathway into employment after graduation but also contributes to the advancement of defense technologies and national security.

Eligibility & Requirements

Generally, applicants must meet the following SMART Scholarship requirements:

  1. Hold citizenship in one of the following countries: United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom, verified during the application process.
  2. Have reached or surpassed the age of 18 by August 1, 2024.
  3. Seek a minimum of 12 months of degree funding before degree completion, starting from the program’s commencement.
  4. Commit to undertaking at least a single summer internship (multi-year scholars exclusively).
  5. Express a willingness to embrace post-graduation employment with the DoD.
  6. Maintain a satisfactory academic record with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  7. Pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in any of the 24 STEM disciplines detailed below.
  8. Demonstrate eligibility by providing an autumn 2023 college transcript from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or, if pursuing a graduate degree, from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

Moreover, for those applying at the undergraduate level:

  1. Must present enrollment at a U.S. college or university with regional accreditation is a requirement.
  2. A Fall 2023 (or prior) college transcript should be obtainable upon term closure.
  3. Recognition of Advanced Placement (AP) coursework as college credit is not taken into account.

Graduate candidates need to fulfill these extra conditions:

  1. May be presently registered at a U.S. college or university accredited regionally or in the process of awaiting admission confirmation.
  2. If awaiting admission, acceptance for the Fall 2024 term entry is mandatory.

How to Apply

To start the application process for the program, there are several steps you need to follow.

Firstly, it’s essential to complete the registration page. This preliminary step serves to verify your eligibility. Once you’ve successfully registered, an email will be sent to you. This email will contain instructions on how to log in to the portal and commence the application procedure.

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Upon logging in and gaining access to the application portal, you’ll find yourself directed to the SMART Application itself. This is where you’ll need to diligently work through each task within the application.

In order for the submission button to become available, you must complete every task. To help you keep track of your progress, a handy progress bar will be visible at the top of the application page.

As you navigate through the application, you’ll notice that it contains not only the tasks to complete but also materials designed to guide you and provide assistance.

The SMART Application encompasses various sections, each with its own significance. These include:

  • About Me
  • My Experiences
  • Personal Statement
  • Privacy Act Statement
  • Program Materials
  • Proposed Award Details
  • References

You can revise and modify your responses at any point before you submit your application.

Closing Date

The application window closes on December 1 at 5:00 PM EST. This marks the final opportunity for submitting your application. Make sure to complete all necessary steps and tasks before this deadline to be considered for the program.

Contact Person

For inquiries regarding the SMART Scholarship Department of Defense, you can contact the designated person at (571) 633-7940 or reach out via email at smart@smartscholarship.org. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information and assistance you need.

SMART Scholarship Department of Defense Official Website

To access additional details about the program and the application process, please visit the official website at www.smartscholarship.org. There, you’ll find comprehensive information and resources to guide you through the application journey.

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