National Maritime Day was established on May 20, 1933, by the United States Congress to honor the contributions of the American Merchant Marine—civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775. This year's National Maritime Day was observed earlier this week, on May 22, and honored the maritime industry and the benefits it brings Americans, including transportation, jobs, goods, and recreational opportunities.
Modern maritime careers span the spectrum from marine biology and sciences to large- and small-craft transportation, engineering, and business logistics. And there are plenty of scholarships available to students interested in setting sail (or staying put) with maritime studies.
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The Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial Scholarship Program was established in 1994 by Thomas B. Crowley Jr., president and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation, in honor of his father, Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Scholarships are available to eligible students who choose to attend one of the 19 maritime academies and institutions listed on the Crowley website. Scholarship amounts may be up to $2,500; interested students should contact their schools directly and ask for information about the Crowley maritime scholarship.
Maritime academies and institutions are also great sources of scholarship opportunities. If you are seriously considering attending one of these schools, don't be shy about asking what scholarships they have available.
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If you are enrolled at Texas Southern University and have declared maritime transportation management and security as your major, you should consider applying for the Maritime Transportation Scholarship. Up to $8,000 per year is available to eligible students through this unique partnership with the Port of Houston Authority. The application deadline is in early April each year, so plan ahead for next year—but note that you must have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale to be eligible for this annually renewable scholarship.
Students interested in attending the Massachusetts Maritime Academy—which offers undergraduate degrees in international maritime business, marine engineering, and marine safety and environmental protection, among others, and graduate degrees in emergency management and facilities management—have multiple opportunities for scholarships that cover full in-state tuition.
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SUNY Maritime College offers several scholarship opportunities, from its Cadet Appointment Program, which covers full tuition for New York residents, to many others that award between $1,000 to $4,000 annually to qualified students. Application deadlines are in February, so you have time to plan ahead.
Janine Fugate joined Scholarship America in 2002. She is an alumna of the College of Saint Benedict, Saint Joseph, Minn., and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Affairs at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Fugate is the recipient of numerous scholarships at both the undergraduate and graduate level.