Last chance to apply for spring tuition reimbursement
In 2011, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York unveiled a historic educational initiative called the "Higher Education Learning Plan," or "HELP." This statewide community college tuition reimbursement program is geared toward recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters throughout New York. Today, FASNY announced the deadline for firefighters to apply for the spring 2014 semester is Feb. 1.
"FASNY 'HELP' has proven to be a tremendous success and a great tool for fire departments to boost their recruiting of the next generation of firefighters," said FASNY President James Burns. " 'HELP' funding comes from our federal 'SAFER' grant, which has driven recruitment initiatives throughout the state. We urge all interested students to sign up, as time is quickly running out to apply for the upcoming semester."
Under FASNY "HELP," an individual who hasn't already achieved a college degree, or has not taken 80 or more college credits, is eligible for up to 100 percent tuition reimbursement. The reimbursement is in exchange for maintaining good grades and fulfilling service requirements in one of New York's volunteer fire companies. There is no restriction on the type of academic course(s) the "HELP" student-volunteer can pursue, either on a full-time or part-time basis. Recently, FASNY "HELP" has been expanded to cover online courses taken through Empire State College.
FASNY "HELP" funds can be utilized for tuition costs incurred in the fall and spring semesters. Eligible student-volunteers must maintain acceptable levels of training and volunteer activity while attending school, and fulfill a service requirement after they complete their course of study. They must attend the closest community college or one within a 50-mile radius of their residence. Empire State College's inclusion in the program has expanded students' options.
Due to a variety of factors, many volunteer fire departments are experiencing the need to recruit and retain members. Tuition reimbursement can be an effective incentive for people to volunteer in their local community. Again, the deadline to apply for tuition reimbursement for the upcoming semester is Feb. 1.
FASNY "HELP" is made possible by a $4.2 million U.S. Department of Homeland Security Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant awarded to FASNY. For more information on the FASNY "HELP" program, visit www.fasny.com/index.php/membership/benefits/fasny-help/.
Founded in 1872, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 88,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York state.