The Federal Employee & Education Assistance Fund was established in 1986 by leaders of federal unions and management associations across the country. These founders were elected to represent the interests of all federal employees. These interests include job and wage safety in the event of emergency, schooling for federal and postal employees and their families, and child care.
The FEEA stands up for the rights of federal employees and raises money for scholarships and awards. Any federal employee is welcome to apply for a scholarship in order to help lessen the burden of education for spouses and family members. These applications are judged on the basis of merit, rewarding hard workers and their families. More than four hundred students are awarded FEEA scholarships each year, helping each of them to pay for between $500 and $2,500 worth of classes. The applications are available from January to March of each year for the coming calendar year.
In addition to this basic scholarship, the FEEA also awards two others to outstanding candidates taken from the same application pool. The FEEA-NTEU scholarship awards six students $5,000 in additional funds. The Cooke Memorial Scholarship also offers additional money to qualified candidates. There are partner programs offering over $75,000 per year in additional scholarships as well.
The FEEA is the only organization holding scholarship competitions strictly for families of federal employees.
In order to be eligible for these FEEA sponsored scholarships, you must be a currently employed federal employee or postal service employee who has already put in three years or more of federal service. Spouses and children of federal employees are also eligible. In the case of employee’s children, applications may be submitted during the senior year of high school. Any dependent must enroll full time in classes in order to maintain a scholarship, but employees may go to school part time to accommodate their work schedule.
These scholarships can go towards either two year, four year, or graduate degrees from any accredited college, university, or other post-secondary institution. Either current students or those intending to enroll for the coming year can apply, but applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in order to be considered. All applicants who are chosen to accept scholarships must be enrolled in school for the fall semester of the year in which they apply. This means if you intend to go to school in the Fall quarter of 2016, you must send in your application from January to March of the same year.
There are a few forms that must be included with the application upon submission. These include complete high school transcripts, or college transcripts if the applicant has some secondary schooling. One letter of recommendation or written reference should be attached as well as a short personal essay that must be written by the applicant him- or herself. The topic for this essay changes annually. Plagiarism of scholarship essays can result in forfeiture of funds, so honesty is the best policy here.
Applicants are also required to submit a special form listing all extracurricular activities, awards, and community service performed. Whichever federal employee is sponsoring the application must also include a copy of his or her SF-50.
It can be a challenge in today’s economy to provide education for yourself and your family. Civilian federal employees are defined for the purposes of awarding scholarships as anyone who is directly and currently employed by the US federal government. This does not include state workers, or members of the military; nor does it cover the family members of retired federal workers, but there are other resources offered by other organizations to cover these expenses. If you receive federal benefits, including FEHBP, CSRS, TSP, FERS, and annual leave, you are likely eligible. This includes all Commissioned Corps.
All required information must be sent in one package, with the exception of the student’s transcript. Be sure to have your entire application put together and check that nothing is missing, as the FEEA does not guarantee the processing of any application that has not arrived as one package.
The requirements are quite strict, as are the due dates, so calculate your GPA first and ensure that your employment history includes a full three years of federal service. And make sure you get your application in on time. There will be no exceptions made for any of these rules.
If you or your loved ones are trying to better themselves through continued education, keep in mind that the Pell Grants and direct loans available to all students to lessen the financial burden of attending college or university are also available to federal employees. Some specific schools also have additional scholarships available for government employees. For example: local, state, and federal employees who wish to enroll in the Masters program in Public Administration at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida can receive a 20% discount off of the listed enrollment price just by showing their government credentials upon enrollment. Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida and the Robertson School of Government in Virginia Beach, Virginia both offer tuition reductions on Master’s programs for government employees as well. As with all students receiving scholarships or tuition reductions, grades must be maintained to continue receiving funding.
Scholarships like those offered by FEEA are intended to lessen the burden of this challenge for qualified applicants, so why not take advantage of them?