Scholarships Available to Seafarers, Dependents

November 2010

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Click HERE for a PDF copy of the 2011 SHBP Scholarship Program booklet request form


The Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) each year offers scholarships to qualified Seafarers and dependents who are interested in furthering their education, and the 2011 school year will be no different.


Designed to ease the financial challenges associated with college and vocational studies, the 2011 SHBP Scholarship Program will offer eight awards totaling $132,000. Three scholarships will be designated for Seafarers and five will be targeted for spouses and dependents. One of the endowments reserved for Seafarers totals $20,000 and is intended to help defray the costs associated with attending a four-year, college-level course of study. The remaining two are in the amount of $6,000 each and are designed as two-year awards for study at a post-secondary vocational school or community college. Each of the five scholarships for spouses and dependents is for $20,000 apiece.


Now is an ideal time to begin the application process. The first step is to send for the 2011 SHBP Scholarship Program booklet. The package contains eligibility information, procedures for applying for the scholarships and an application form. To obtain a copy of this handout, simply complete the form linked with this article and return it to the address provided. As an alternative to requesting a scholarship package through the mail, they also are available at SIU halls.


Once the scholarship program booklet has been received, applicants should check the eligibility criteria to determine if they are qualified to participate. They should also begin collecting and assembling the remainder of the paperwork needed to submit with the full application, which must be received by April 15, 2011.


Items that must be incorporated in the final application package include transcripts and certificates of graduation. Since some institutions respond slowly in handling transcript needs, so requests should be made as early as possible.


Letters of recommendation – solicited from individuals who know the applicant’s character, personality and career goals – should be included as part of the application package. A high-quality photograph and a certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate are also required and should accompany the package.


A scholarship selection committee, consisting of a panel of professional educators, will examine the high school grades of all applicants as well as evaluate scores from their Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and American College Tests (ACT). Accordingly, arrangements should be made by applicants who have not done so to take these tests no later than February 2011. Doing so will virtually assure that the results reach the evaluation committee in time for review.


Seafarers and dependents who previously applied for the scholarship program and were not selected are encouraged to apply again this year, provided they still meet the eligibility requirements.


Don’t allow the rapidly increasing costs of higher education prevent you from realizing your goals. The SHBP Scholarship Program can make the same difference for you that it has for years made for other Seafarers and dependents. In the last seven years alone (including this year), the SHBP has awarded $908,000 in scholarships to 12 Seafarers and 38 dependents.

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