Scholarships

Sonoran Desert Institute

We are proud to offer scholarship opportunities to exemplary students who qualify.

Scholarships

We have always appreciated the hard work of our students, and are honored when driven, exemplary individuals choose to attend SDI. We now have two scholarship opportunities to award the excellence of a few chosen incoming students each year. Please read below to find out if you’re eligible for these scholarships, and how to apply for each.

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SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship

SGT Michael Joe Beckerman was 17½ when he enlisted into the National Guard. SGT Beckerman served two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving his country on these deployments, SGT Beckerman enrolled in Sonoran Desert Institute and worked toward continuing his education. On 31 December 2010, he made the ultimate sacrifice: SGT Beckerman was killed in action (KIA) in Howz-e Madad, Afghanistan. He is survived by his daughter, Brianna. In memoriam of our student’s great sacrifice, the Sonoran Desert Institute is proud to present the SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship provides full tuition and fees each semester to two recipients annually, one in the fall and one in the spring.

  1. Initial Eligibility Requirements: The SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship is a full academic scholarship for SDI’s Associate of Science and Firearms Technology degree program. Students that are awarded an SDI scholarship while already attending SDI are responsible for the charges applied through the current semester. The SDI Scholarship will be applied at the beginning of the next semester following the date the scholarship is awarded. All applying candidates must:
    1. Currently be serving in the armed forces or be a veteran of military service.
    2. Be in good standing with his/her current branch of service or have received an “Honorable Discharge.”
    3. Provide a DD214, or other documentation verifying military service.
    4. Demonstrate a commitment to and passion for the firearms industry and gunsmithing trade by answering essay questions.
    5. Submit a regular SDI application for enrollment, with all relevant supporting documentation.
    6. Provide a letter of recommendation sent directly to the school by the individual providing the recommendation. This letter may come from the commander for members of the military service or from any non-family member for applicants that are post-military.
    7. Begin studies at SDI within six months following the award of the scholarship.
  2. Continuing Eligibility: The SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship is a full academic scholarship for SDI’s Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degree program. All applying candidates must:
    1. Meet SDI’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and be free of any financial holds on their accounts
    2. Be continuously enrolled to retain scholarship eligibility
  3. Application: Applicants must complete the SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship application in its entirety, including essay, by the deadline dates described below. Remit any supplemental documentation to scholarships@sdi.edu.
  4. Essay: Applicants must provide answers to the following two essay questions (maximum 500 words per essay). The document should clearly specify each answer by number. Essays will be scored based on quality, content, organization, and proper formatting, grammar, and spelling.
    1. What sparked your interest in the firearms industry? What do you hope to accomplish with your training and certification?
    2. Give two examples of how you have exhibited leadership. Explain how you were influential and what you were trying to achieve. The examples given need not have been demonstrated through formal or traditional leadership roles. Think broadly and examine the many ways you are having an effect on the people around you
    3. The essays should be submitted as one .pdf file that contains a cover page, is double-spaced and in 12 point Times New Roman font. Your viewpoint and the essay’s purpose should be clearly established and sustained. The essay should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.)
  5. Deadline: To be considered for the award, SDI must be in receipt of all application documentation as noted above by the following deadlines:
    1. By midnight Mountain Standard Time on December 1 for the spring award
    2. By midnight Mountain Standard Time on June 1 for the fall award
  6. Evaluation Process: Applications will be reviewed by a Scholarship Committee. The selected recipient will be identified based on a combination of factors, including:
    1. Essay Score
    2. Letter of recommendation

    Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision via email approximately 30 days after the scholarship application deadline. The chosen recipient must respond within 30 days indicating intent to accept the scholarship. Should the recipient opt out or fail to respond within 30 days, the scholarship will be awarded to the next highest qualifying applicant.

    Apply Now

     

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    Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship

    Paul Jackson served in Bravo Co, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment during WWII. As a paratrooper, Mr. Jackson made the jump into Normandy during Operation Overlord, the jump into Holland during Operation Market Garden, and was wounded on 12 January 1945 in Bastogne, Belgium. In honor of Mr. Jackson’s sacrifice, SDI is proud to present the semi-annual Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship. The annual scholarship provides full tuition and fees each semester to two recipients, one in the fall and one in the spring.

    1. Initial Eligibility Requirements: The Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship is a full academic scholarship for SDI’s Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degree program. Students that are awarded an SDI scholarship while already attending SDI are responsible for the charges applied through the current semester. The SDI Scholarship will be applied at the beginning of the next semester following the date the scholarship is awarded. All applicants must:
      1. Currently be serving in, or be retired from, the armed forces
      2. Currently be serving in, or be retired from, law enforcement
      3. Currently be serving as or be a retired firefighter; or currently be serving as or be a retired emergency medical technician.
      4. Be in good standing or have received an honorable release from their branch of service or field.
      5. Provide documentation verifying service.
      6. Submit a DD214 if post-military service.
      7. Demonstrate a commitment to, and passion for, the firearms industry and gunsmithing trade by answering essay questions.
      8. Submit a regular SDI application for enrollment, with all relevant supporting documentation.
      9. Provide a letter of recommendation sent directly to the school by the individual providing the recommendation. The letter may come from a commander or director if still serving or from a non-family member for retired applicants.
      10. Begin studies at SDI within six months following the award of the scholarship.
    2. Continuing Eligibility: The Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship is a full academic scholarship for SDI’s Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degree program. All applying candidates must:
      1. Meet SDI’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and be free of any financial holds on their accounts
      2. Be continuously enrolled to retain scholarship eligibility.
    3. Application: Applicants must complete the Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship application in its entirety, including essay, by the deadline dates described below. Remit any supplemental documents to scholarships@sdi.edu.
    4. Essay: Applicants must provide answers to the following two essay questions (maximum 500 words per essay). The document should clearly specify each answer by number. Essays will be scored based on quality, content, organization, and proper formatting, grammar, and spelling.
      1. When asked how he made it through WWII as a paratrooper, Mr. Jackson always responds, “With sheer determination.” In your own words, define the term “determination” and what that means to you. Give an example of how determination played a role in your overcoming an obstacle in both your professional and personal life. Think broadly and examine the many ways your determination may affect the people around you.
      2. What sparked your interest in the firearms technology field? What do you hope to accomplish with your training and certification?
      3. The essays should be submitted as one .pdf file that contains a cover page, is double-spaced and in 12 point Times New Roman font. Your viewpoint and the essay’s purpose should be clearly established and sustained. The essay should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.)
    5. Deadline: To be considered for the award, SDI must be in receipt of all application documentation as noted above by the following deadlines:
      1. By midnight Mountain Standard Time on December 1 for the spring award
      2. By midnight Mountain Standard Time on June 1 for the fall award
    6. Evaluation Process: Applications will be reviewed by a Scholarship Committee. The selected recipient will be identified based on a combination of factors, including:
      1. Essay Score
      2. Letter of recommendation

      Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision via email approximately 30 days after the scholarship application deadline. The chosen recipient must respond within 30 days indicating intent to accept the scholarship. Should the recipient opt out or fail to respond within 30 days, the scholarship will be awarded to the next highest qualifying applicant.

    Apply Now

     

     

     

    Scholarship Scoresheet and Rubric Download Rubric


    Criteria

    There is a total of 7 points available for this section.  This section is subjective.  Passion / enthusiasm / commitment are evident in the essay.
    0-1 pt 2-4 pts 5-7 pts
    Low – Applicant partially answered questions or answered all questions without providing persuasive evidence of interest or goals.   Average – Answered all questions and indicates interest in industry, describes a plan to apply education to professional goals. Outstanding – Demonstrates clear passion for the industry. Student has shown initiative through hobbies, volunteer work, etc..
    Criteria

    There is a total of 5 points available for this section.  This section is objective.  The essay is 500 words or less and demonstrates proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting.
    0-2 pts 3-4 pts 5 pts
    Low – 4 or more mechanical errors or 4 or more misspelled word in the document or it exceeds 500 words.   Average – 1 – 3 mechanical errors or misspelled words. Outstanding – The essay is free of structural, grammatical and formatting errors.
    Criteria

    There is a total of 3 points available for this section.  This section is subjective.  Letter of Recommendation.
    0 pts 1 pt 2-3 pts
    Low – Letter does not address applicants character, or demonstrate composer’s knowledge of applicant. Average – Letter addresses applicants character and demonstrates the writer’s knowledge of the applicant. Outstanding – Letter provides evidence or remarkably distinctive qualities or attributes.
     

    Download Rubric

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