CSPI is a program designed for motivated individuals who demonstrate a high caliber of academic and leadership excellence and who desire to serve their country in the United States Coast Guard. Students currently enrolled, accepted for enrollment or pending enrollment in a full-time bachelor's degree program at designated college or institution with the desire to complete college and receive a guaranteed commission as an officer in the United States Coast Guard can apply for CSPI. This means that a student currently pursuing an AA/AS degree at a junior college or community college who plans to continue with their BS/BA degree may be eligible for CSPI if they are accepted for enrollment at a qualifying college.
Students who are accepted into this scholarship program will be enlisted into the United States Coast Guard, complete basic training during the summer, and receive full funding for up to two years of college. Funding includes not only payment of tuition, books, and fees, but a full-time Coast Guard salary, housing allowance, and medical benefits.
During the school year, students participate in a minimum of 16 hours a month of Coast Guard activities and are supervised by the Recruiter in Charge (RIC) at their recruiting office. This includes wearing a CG uniform once a week while on campus and during their 4 weekly hours of Coast Guard duties. During school breaks, CSPI students receive training and exposure to Coast Guard missions and units where they learn about the daily life and duties of Coast Guard Officers and enlisted members. Students may be able to work at a Coast Guard Air Station, a Coast Guard Small Boat Station or a Sector. Students may also be able to participate in a cruise on a Coast Guard Cutter depending on the opportunities available at the time. Often students are able to complete watch stander qualifications at their unit, which will substantially help them when they become an Officer.
After completing their junior year of college, CSPI students attend a three week leadership training course in New London, CT during the summer; “Officer Candidate Indoctrination.” Following, college graduation, CSPI students attend the 17-week officer candidate school (OCS) in New London, CT. Upon successful completion of OCS, graduates receive a commission as an ensign (O-1) and an assignment in one of the many exciting Coast Guard mission fields.
The program's benefits include:
- Full payment of school tuition
- Fees and textbooks paid for
- Monthly salary of up to $3,600
- Life insurance
- Free dental and medical health care
- 30 days paid vacation per year
- Monthly housing and food allowances
- Leadership training
To be eligible for the program, you must:
- Have reached your 19th but not your 28th birthday as of 30 September of the fiscal year in which the selection panel convenes
- Meet character standards
- Be a sophomore or junior undergraduate student enrolled, accepted for enrollment or pending acceptance in a full-time Bachelors degree program at an accredited college or university designated as a Minority Serving Institute (MSI)
- Meet all physical requirements for a Coast Guard commission
- Maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be eligible for a Secret Clearance
- Meet dependency standards
- Meet all financial obligations and not have excess debt
- Meet minimum test scores
To apply to the CSPI program, contact a Coast Guard recruiter at 1-877-NOW-USCG ext. 205, or visit gocoastguard.com for more information.