SMART Scholarship Program Requirements
The SMART scholarship program was tested as a program in 2004 under the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. SMART (Science, Mathematics, And Research For Transformation) was established by the National Defense Authorization Act in the year 2006. It was assigned to NPS (Navy Postgraduate School) as a managing agency in early 2006.
The SMART scholarship program is a DoD (Dept of Defense) workforce development program that has been specifically created to bridge the growing gap between US and the rest of the world in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines. It facilitates this by recruiting some of the brightest and best STEM candidates in the US.
SMART is a special Department of Defense civilian scholarship for service program that is a part of NDEP (National Defense Education Program). Like other NDEP programs, it is funded by the Office of Secretary of Defense.
Eligibility And Requirements For The SMART Scholarship Program
* Applicant should be a US citizen
* Pursuing a degree in any of the STEM disciplines
* Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. GPA 3.0 is minimum requirement, but average GPA is over 3.0 with current 2012 cohort year averaging 3.83 on 4.0 scale.
* Willing to accept employment within Department of Defense
* Able to successfully attain SECRET clearance
* Willing to participate in summer internship
All students accepted for SMART scholarship program receive the following benefits:
* Annual cash award payment of $41,000 (Doctorate) and $25,000 (Undergraduate)
* Full tuition fee at any accredited university or college within the United States
* Book allowance of $1,000 for each academic year
* Health insurance reimbursement
* Post graduation employment with DoD
* Mentoring by any DoD sponsoring facility
All recipients of SMART scholarship will have to pay it back by working with DoD in a 1-1 year ratio. It’s a paid position within any DoD gency. If there’s any change in the original contract between the award recipient and DoD, it may result in a longer duration of employment. All multi-year recipients will also have to complete internships during summer months at their sponsoring facility. They are not entitled to any additional compensation.
If the recipient chooses to leave the SMART scholarship program or fails to meet its requirement, then recipient will be required to pay back in full all the money that has been paid on their behalf to Department of Defense. At $24000-$40000 a year, plus orientation expenses, plus all tuition and fees, plus health insurance and book allowance, the resulting amount can be high.
This payback amount is often prorated depending on the duration for which the SMART scholarship recipient decides to stay on their employment. For instance, if you are required to work for three years, but complete just one year and want to leave your job, you will have to pay half the amount you’ve been given during your phase one educational time. All applicants of SMART scholarship are allowed to consider this scholarship for service contractor before accepting.
All applications are also advised to speak to their sponsoring facility (the one that’s offering the job) to ascertain what would be the recipient’s duties after they’ve graduated. This is really important to understand the kind of role you will have to serve once your phase one educational requirements are met.
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