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Vets and Cadets Fund

Vets and Cadets Endowed Scholarship Award

Application Deadline:  April 5 (awards announced in May)   

Amount: $500-$2,000 (subject to funding)

Established by: This award was established by CSUF alumnus Gregory Wirzbicki, his wife Cheryl, and their daughter Kathryn to provide scholarships honoring and aiding Veterans and other students of United States military background who are pursuing a degree at California State University, Fullerton.  The award is meant to assist the student in meeting educational and personal expenses while enrolled in college.

Open to: This scholarship award is open to new and continuing enrolled students at CSUF who are pursuing an undergraduate or a graduate degree and have served or are serving in the U.S. armed forces, including the ROTC program at CSUF.

Criteria: The award is designed to recognize Veterans and other qualifying students who emulate strong leadership as evidenced through military service, academic success, initiative, altruistic values, and desire to make a difference. Demonstration of such leadership qualities might be observed in activities such as:

  • Past military service
  • Past leadership activities in the community, ARMY ROTC, and/or the university.
  • Strong academic performance; Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 overall
  • Initiative shown in academic classes, labs, student clubs, or organizations
  • Contributions made via independent study, research projects, internships, or club/team activities  
  • Pursuit of advanced degrees/career goals
  • Activities/contributions that have made an impact on individuals or organizations
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at California State University, Fullerton
  • Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need through the application process
  • This is an annual scholarship, and all students (previous recipients are eligible) must apply on a yearly basis

Nomination materials should include either

  • A resume prepared by student nominee or
  • Recommended but not required: one to three page personal statement by student describing relevant achievements and future plans. See below for essay guidelines.

Awardee is expected to attend recognition event and formally accept the award

Application Procedure:        

  1. Log into your CSUF portal and click on the “Scholarships” button. Follow the onscreen instructions and complete the Scholarship Application.
  2.  Complete a FAFSA application (or have one on-file) for establishing financial need (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  3. Submit completed application(s) and materials (if required) to the Military Sciences Office in MLS

Essay Guidelines:

The selection committee deciding upon awards from the Vets and Cadet Fund welcomes an essay from those seeking an award. Although merit is the ultimate determinant, the fairest evaluation of any candidate requires consideration of his/her personal circumstances.  The essay thus becomes the candidate’s opportunity to humanize himself or herself and communicate his/her motivation and goals, as well as relate any achievements attained and/or adversities overcome.  The selection committee will especially want to know of the candidate’s past U. S. military service and future plans, if any, to continue in U.S. military service or to enter U.S. military service.  In the essay, the selection committee encourages applicants - Don’t be shy.  Repeat, DON’T BE SHY ABOUT EXRESSING YOURSELF.  The essay should be about the candidate as a person, as well as his or her desire for military service or achievements in military service.  The candidate is free to write the essay in any manner that he or she feels comfortable with (for example, simple narration, or numbered paragraphs, or bullet points).   The essay is encouraged, but not required and exclusive of attachments, should be between 1 and 3 pages and include any or all of the following:

1) Past or Present US Military Service.  For U.S. veterans or current and ex-US Military, consider providing dates of service, the military branch you served in, current or final rank, and any medals received or other recognition of achievement in the US military.  Feel free to discuss your time in service, e.g., where you served and the details of what you did in the service of your country.  Copies of citations or proof of past service can be attached to the essay.  For ROTC cadets without prior military service, relate your experiences in the ROTC program thus far.

2) Current Obligations.  Your current life situation and financial situation are important considerations.  Please detail your personal situation and any family obligations as well (e.g., support of other family members, such as spouse, children, parents, or siblings).  

3) Current or Intended Major(s) (and minor(s), if applicable) at CSUF, your reasons for pursuing a degree in those fields, and your current GPA.

4) Future Goals, whether or not of a military nature.  If, upon graduation, you plan to continue military service through the CSUF ROTC program, or otherwise, identify what you’d like to do in the US military.  If undecided, perhaps identify 2 or 3 options you’re considering.

5) Life Experiences: Adversities you’ve overcome and how you overcame them.  Achievements and accomplishments in life that you care to share.  Please also consider sharing the circumstances of your upbringing, including any financial difficulties involved.

6) Other Considerations.  In addition, the candidate is free to inform the selection committee of anything else that would be helpful in considering your candidacy for an award.  Again, don’t be shy!

7) Attachments The candidate is free to add attachments to the essay, for example, copies of document(s) showing prior military service, awards earned, etc.