Apply Now for Scholarships to Columbia Southern University’s Online Degree Program

Columbia Southern University (CSU) is a premier online university for distance learning, offering a wide range of accredited degree programs, open enrollment, and a flexible schedule designed to accommodate the busy life of a volunteer firefighter or EMS provider. CSU is supporting volunteer responders by offering two scholarships to National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) members in 2019.

This is the 11th year that CSU has offered scholarships to NVFC members. To date, 20 recipients have been able to further their learning and achieve their educational goals through the partnership.

“Volunteer responders donate so much of their time and resources in order to serve their communities,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “We appreciate CSU for recognizing this sacrifice and providing these men and women with an opportunity to further their education in a way that is conducive to the volunteer lifestyle.”

Each scholarship will cover up to 60 credit hours towards one online degree program. The scholarship will be applied directly to the recipient’s tuition for up to three years or until the completion of the selected program, whichever comes first. Scholarship recipients can pursue an associate, bachelor, or master’s degree.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a member of the NVFC. If you are not currently an NVFC member, visit to learn about membership benefits and join the NVFC.
  • Be a volunteer responder
  • Complete the CSU/NVFC Scholarship application
  • Submit a 500-word essay on this subject: “Explain how the opportunity to continue your education through this scholarship will advance your participation in the fire and emergency services or enhance your ability to contribute back to the emergency services community.”
  • Provide at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher or someone at the fire department you reported to directly
  • Must not have previously earned a scholarship through CSU or the NVFC
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) and be able to provide a transcript
  • Be able to begin coursework within 90 days of the date of the award
  • Maintain a 2.0 undergraduate GPA or 3.0 graduate GPA
  • Remain in good standing with CSU and the NVFC throughout the degree program
  • Maintain continuous enrollment in the CSU degree program
  • Current CSU students must already meet these requirements to be considered

The application period is open through August 31. Recipients will be announced by October.

Learn about this scholarship opportunity and apply on the CSU web site. For additional questions, please email the scholarship liaison at or call 888-785-3006.