Questions...

Answers to various questions regarding the SMART Scholarship application process. Includes many tips and statistics.
Apollo
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:07 pm
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Questions...

Post by Apollo »

Hi. I have two questions:

a) Are online graduate programs eligible for the grant?

b) Can the internship be substituted with extra courses? Which is the procedure/requirements?

Thank you!

JDetwiler
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:41 pm
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Re: Questions...

Post by JDetwiler »

a) Most likely, yes. They mostly care whether you're a full-time student in a STEM degree program. However, they also stick fast on their 5 year funding cap. If you're thinking about getting a PhD, I don't recommend this program.

b) No. You're required to work for a Sponsoring Facility during the summers. They won't hold you back from taking summer classes though; it just won't be funded by them.
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).

Apollo
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:07 pm
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Re: Questions...

Post by Apollo »

JDetwiler wrote:a) Most likely, yes. They mostly care whether you're a full-time student in a STEM degree program. However, they also stick fast on their 5 year funding cap. If you're thinking about getting a PhD, I don't recommend this program.

b) No. You're required to work for a Sponsoring Facility during the summers. They won't hold you back from taking
summer classes though; it just won't be funded by them.
Thank you for your answer. Per Scholar Handbook (2019 edition):
"A waiver of the internship requirement does not reduce the length of the scholar service commitment. Requests for a waiver are considered for a single internship period at a time. If a scholar wishes to request an internship waiver, they must submit a SMART Scholarship Program Scholar Handbook, Service Agreement Amendment Request for an internship waiver which can only be approved by the SMART Program.
If a scholar is unable to complete an internship because the application for the security clearance is not adjudicated 2 months prior to internship start date due to government delay, or the scholar is not eligible for an INTERIM clearance, the scholar is required to complete appropriate coursework instead of completing the internship period."

So it is possible to be waived but it will require approval, right?

JDetwiler
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:41 pm
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Re: Questions...

Post by JDetwiler »

What they're really telling you is that there's few reasons they'd waive your internship. Not having a clearance in time is about the only reason, bar a few related to family or medical emergencies. This is a scholarship-for-service program. They pay you, you pay them (with work). If you're looking at this as a full scholarship, look at it more like a contract into being a paid indentured servant. I'm sorry, but you can't waive the internship to take more classes. SMART insists that they come first over school.

You could ask that question directly to them though if you're still curious or skeptical of my bias: smart@smartscholarship.org
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).

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