Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients
PeterTheAnteater

Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by PeterTheAnteater »

Hello SMART Awardees,

I am volunteering with Scholarship Track, a platform aimed at helping students find and apply for various scholarships. We are currently looking for former awardees to interview about their experience for our blog. Is there anyone in this forum who would be interested in sharing their journey through the application process (and could say some nice things about SMART :lol: )? If so, let me know and I'll send you the next steps.

Thank you!

guesst

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by guesst »

(and could say some nice things about SMART :lol: )
lol

JDetwiler
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by JDetwiler »

I'm with "anon" above. Don't continue spreading propaganda for this indentured servitude program to others, please.
I'm a Phase 2 recipient, B.S. in Computer Science, B.S. in Math from Virginia Tech Dec. 2019. I've been with SMART since Spring 2017; Dahlgren is my SF.

Don't walk, run away from SMART (see my first post on this forum).

Sisyphus
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:40 pm
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Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by Sisyphus »

I'd be GLAD to share stories about both my experience:

- Being trapped in a dysfunctional PhD program with no way out and ultimately tossed aside from the program with no warning despite continued progress on my degree, which anyone who knows anything about academia knows PhDs don't have consistent timelines.

OR some other participants' experiences:

- Being placed in a hostile working environment SF by SMART, removed from that SF after complaining than literally just "forgotten" by SMART and never reassigned...until it became repayment time when suddenly the participant was asked to repay everything.
- Being a retention candidate and having their SF take advantage of the fact they were trapped by SMART to try and be forced to take a substantially lower salary than a) peers and b) what was originally offered along with breaking all sorts of other agreed upon terms because hey, why not exploit a debt trapped SMART sucker.

I could go on. There's quite a body of literature for the far-too-probable downside of this dumpster fire of a program.

Sure the program "works out" for the bulk of people...but it also actively fucks over ~10% of participants leaving them debt laden (as per admission by USDR&E office letter I received) and an even higher % is sitting around just running out the clock...there's a reason only about half of participants are still in the DoD after the 5 year mark and all of them are free to move on to better pastures (per IDA report). Given the authority of the SPO, there is NO reason for a 1 in 10 chance of owing SMART money if SMART actually cared about helping participants finish and not just viewing them as SF chattel that they would consign to massive debt at either the first time something goes wrong beyond their control, or when participants don't just bend over as their SF tries to screw them over (FYI: SMART will side with the SF/DoD as a whole literally every time over you, you are a widget).

Going by the standard of judging the moral quality of a program based on "how much and hard it fails" SMART would be downright evil, which is quite a feat for a program designed to simply get people STEM degrees to come work for the DoD.

myAFRLexperience

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by myAFRLexperience »

Hi,

I'm currently a phase 2 (working full time) SMART scholar who's had a positive experience with the scholarship. I'd be happy to give my experience on the "pros" side of the scholarship if you're looking for a counterbalance to some of the other posters. I think the program is somewhat polar; people either have a really great experience, or a really terrible experience (and the people who've had a great experience tend not to hang around this forum).

Let me know how I can get in contact!

PeterTheAnteater

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by PeterTheAnteater »

Would you be comfortable sharing your email address or LinkedIn profile so I can send you some further information?

JDetwiler
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:41 pm
Contact:

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by JDetwiler »

Asking a student to de-anonymize themselves on a public forum is a bad idea. :roll:

Can't you instead share a way for them to contact you?
I'm a Phase 2 recipient, B.S. in Computer Science, B.S. in Math from Virginia Tech Dec. 2019. I've been with SMART since Spring 2017; Dahlgren is my SF.

Don't walk, run away from SMART (see my first post on this forum).

Sisyphus
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by Sisyphus »

Don't let them realize it's a standard forum with DM's...

Shhhhhhhhhh

myAFRLexperience
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Interview about SMART Scholarship experience

Post by myAFRLexperience »

I made a non-guest account, you can DM me there!

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