CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are eligible for major scholarships and educational opportunities at Saint Francis University. The institution says it’s all to show their appreciation for our region’s first responders.

Saint Francis President, Father Malachi Van Tassell, was a long time firefighter in Loretto. The University said many of the initiatives are inspired by him and his commitment to the firefighters across the region.

“I thought to myself, you know, here are our friends and neighbors who are volunteer firefighters or EMS people, I want the university to be able to afford them the opportunity to further their education, whether it’s a course here and there, whether it’s training, or whether it’s a full degree program,” said Van Tassell.

Saint Francis University said their first responder scholarships connect volunteers with continued opportunities.

“Offering the scholarship is an excellent way for us to reach our population of students and show a commitment to those individuals who have given so much,” said Erin McCloskey, Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing.

Whether you’re entering the job market or advancing in your current career, McCloskey said “Part of our philosophy is helping take students from where they are and get them to a better place, and for every student that is a different pathway.”

They’re offering discounted degree programs online and in-person, plus hands-on training for the firefighter and EMS fields.

  • 35% discount for active volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel
  • The cost will be $312 per credit through the Adult Degree and Continuing Studies (ADCS) program
  • 25% discount for first responders to Francis Worldwide School of Continuing Studies programs

In addition to the scholarship, they offer additional partnerships.

They say it’s a way for non-traditional students to expand their knowledge on-paper and on the job.