12 Best Scholarships For Firefighters

Hey there! Do you dream of becoming a firefighter and saving lives? Does lack of funds stop you from achieving your dream? Stop worrying, there are now scholarships for firefighters and since it is your dream to become one, you should be able to apply for the scholarships and get free funding to pursue a career as a first responder.

Firefighters are among the true heroes who risk their lives every day to save the world from many disasters. They are usually the first to arrive at the scene of a fire outbreak, when a building collapses, at the scene of a car accident, and in many scenarios saving lives while risking theirs. These heroes are a true source of inspiration to many including you and that is why you are here, reading this article, seeking ways to pursue this career without going into debt.

It’s a good thing that you have stumbled upon this article because, with the scholarships for firefighters at your fingertips, you no longer have to keep looking for means to support the financial cost of your education as a firefighter. The scholarships I have curated here will provide financial assistance to aspiring and current firefighters to enroll in firefighting programs or advance their knowledge by undertaking advanced studies at tertiary institutions without breaking the bank.

The firefighting scholarships curated here are offered by governments of different states, firefighting organizations and associations, colleges and universities, and individual donors. Since the scholarships come from different sources, their requirements and eligibility criteria vary. But don’t let that bother you because I discussed the eligibility criteria and requirements for each of the scholarships.

Therefore, all you need to do is to thoroughly read them carefully and apply for the ones whose criteria you fit into and whose requirements you satisfy. You can apply for more than one, provided you meet their requirements and without any further ado, let’s dive into the scholarships for firefighters.

scholarships for firefighters

Best Scholarships for Firefighters

  • Charles W. Riley Firefighter and Ambulance and Rescue Squad Member Scholarship Program
  • Pearl Mae Foundation Scholarships
  • Electronic Security Association (ESA) Youth Scholarship Program
  • South Carolina Firefighters’ Foundation Scholarships
  • Illinois Fire Service Institute Scholarship Program
  • National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Scholarships
  • Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York Scholarships
  • W. H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship
  • New York State ENA September 11 Scholarship
  • Daniel A. Terry Scholarship
  • FAMA Scholarship
  • Fire Family Foundation Scholarships

1.     Charles W. Riley Firefighter and Ambulance and Rescue Squad Member Scholarship Program

This scholarship program is set up by the Maryland Higher Education Commission to encourage members of the fire-fighting, ambulance, and rescue organizations serving Maryland communities to pursue credited courses that lead to a degree in fire service technology, emergency medical technology, fire service management, or public safety administration with a minor or concentration in fire service technology or fire service management.

Those who wish to apply must be actively engaged career or volunteer firefighters, ambulance or rescue squad members. You will apply by completing the scholarship application form which you will find on the program website, provide proof of enrollment into one of the programs above, and submit a completed notarized statement from an eligible employer confirming active employment or volunteer service.

Scholarship Link

2.     Pearl Mae Foundation Scholarships

Pearl Mae Foundation offers scholarships every year to students who wish to pursue careers in the healthcare field or as a first responder. Since firefighters are first responders aspiring firefighters are eligible to apply for the scholarship.

Note that the Scholarships are restricted to graduating high school seniors living in Florida.  More specifically, priority is given to students living in South Florida.  In addition, renewal applications for students who meet all scholarship criteria are encouraged to reapply each year of their education. Accepted applicants will receive $1,000.

Scholarship Link

3.     Electronic Security Association (ESA) Youth Scholarship Program

This scholarship from ESA is an interesting one, it is not directly for firefighters rather it is for children of firefighters. It is ESA’s way of showing appreciation for the contribution of firefighters and other first responders to the community. The program was launched in 1996 and every year to date provides this scholarship to support deserving children in college.

Those who are called to apply are high school seniors who have a commitment to excellence and are inspired by the work of their first-responder parents in the community.

Scholarship Link

4.     South Carolina Firefighters’ Foundation Scholarships

Hey there! Are you a resident of South Carolina who wants to improve on your skills as a firefighter or are you aspiring to become a firefighter? You can ease the financial burden by applying for the South Carolina Firefighters’ Foundation Scholarships, besides, I see no reason why you shouldn’t apply because the scholarship is meant for you.

There are 5 different scholarships offered annually but you will only fill one application form which will then be used to cross-reference the available scholarships, whichever one your application satisfies that is the award you will receive. So, to apply for the South Carolina Firefighters’ Foundation Scholarships you will need a letter of recommendation from your Fire Chief, a letter of recommendation from someone of your choosing, three references, and a statistical form.

The scholarships are $1,000 each.

Scholarship Link

5.     Illinois Fire Service Institute Scholarship Program

Residents of Illinois who want to join the firefighter service in their state are welcome to apply for the Illinois Fire Service Institute Scholarship to receive funding for their education as firefighters. The scholarship program offers a total of six scholarships named in honor of six firefighters who were past members of the association.

Scholarship Link

6.     National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Scholarships

Spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial are provided with financial assistance for their higher education and training through the NFFF Scholarship Program. However, the children and stepchildren of the deceased firefighter must be under age 30 and have been under age 22 at the time of the firefighter’s death.

There are four different scholarships within the NFFF Scholarship Program one of which is provided by Motorola Solutions Foundation. All of the scholarships cover full tuition and other college costs like books. Learn more about their specific requirements and eligibility criteria via the link below.

Scholarship Link

7.     Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York Scholarships

Here is another amazing opportunity for children of active, retired, or deceased firefighters to receive financial assistance for their post-secondary education. The children must be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program in a college, trade, or vocational school, and up to 23 years old.

Application for the scholarship is done through an application form which you will download on the site.

Scholarship Link

8.     W. H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship

The W. H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship is offered by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IFF) to provide financial assistance each year to children of firefighters who died in action. The children must have an intent to attend an accredited higher institution to be awarded the scholarship.

The scholarship value is $2,500 per year and may be renewed (if approved) for up to four consecutive years. It is awarded based on financial need, aptitude promise, and excellent academic achievement. To apply, you must complete the scholarship application form, submit an official transcript and grade report of the school you are currently attending or previously attended, two letters of recommendation from a teacher, school administrator, clergy, or counselor, and a statement of purpose no more than 200 words.

Scholarship Link

9.     New York State ENA September 11 Scholarship

The above-named scholarship is made available by the New York State ENA State Council and members through the New York ENA September 11 Endowment. The scholarship is for rescue workers including firefighters and police officers pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The requirement for the scholarship is to provide proof of acceptance into an accredited nursing program and proof of at least one year of pre-hospital work experience is required. Only two people will be selected for the award and the value is $2,500 each.


10.  Daniel A. Terry Scholarship

Daniel A. Terry Scholarship is one of the scholarships for firefighters and it is offered by California Fire Foundation. The scholarship was set up in 2007 to support the families of firefighters who died in the line of duty by providing the children with financial assistance for their higher education. The total scholarship package is $12,000 which is split into 4 years.

Scholarship Link

11.  FAMA Scholarship

One $5,000 scholarship is available from FAMA to a full-time sophomore, junior, or senior student enrolled in a master’s program in fire protection engineering or fire administration at an accredited four-year university or college in the United States or Canada, or in a four-year degree program in fire protection engineering or fire administration. Degree programs that qualify for the FAMA scholarship are based on traditional classroom learning.

Required documents for application include official transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and a complete online application.

Scholarship Link

12.  Fire Family Foundation Scholarships

Every year, the Fire Family Foundation offers scholarships worth $50,000 to ten children of firefighters, each child will receive $5,000. To qualify, the children must be the biological or adopted child of a retired, active, or fallen firefighter in the US, be a high school senior or over the age of 16 with a GED or currently enrolled in a community college, university in an undergraduate degree program or trade school, have a current GPA of 3.2 or higher, and be under the age of 26.

Scholarship Link


Being a firefighter is a noble and selfless profession. It takes courage, strength, and dedication to serve your community in this way. If you’re interested in becoming a firefighter and making a difference in your community, don’t let anything stand in your way. Keep pursuing your goals and reach for the stars.

With the right scholarship, you can get the education and training you need to become a first-class firefighter. By pursuing a career in this field, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of others and protecting your community. So be brave, be strong, and keep your eyes on the prize – a scholarship for firefighters.