Transportation Scholarships

Listed in the tables below are scholarships offered by both affiliated and non-affiliated groups of SMART Transportation Division that members and their children or grandchildren may be eligible for.

SMART Transportation Division does not maintain its own scholarship program, nor does it oversee or otherwise play any role in the administration of any of the programs included below.

The programs listed below are solely responsible for how scholarship recipients are chosen based on the rules listed on their respective websites. All questions concerning scholarships, eligibility, requirements, or other related concerns should be directed to the respective scholarship program.

For more information on any of the scholarships listed, click on the red bolded links.

Affiliate Scholarships

These are scholarships that are handled by affiliate organizations or by organizations that require an affiliation with SMART TD to be eligible. Scholarship rules vary and are put in place by the handling organization.

SponsorScholarship
Name
Scholarship
Info.
AmountApplication
Period
Southern Illinois UniversityAl H. and James Chesser ScholarshipNamed after former UTU President Al H. Chesser and his father, the award is given to law students at Southern Illinois University who are or have a parent, guardian, grandparent, aunt or uncle who is a member of the UTU or successor labor organization.VariesFebruary 1
deadline
SMART Transportation Division AuxiliaryAuxiliary of the United Transportation Union ScholarshipThis scholarship is available to members of the SMART TD Auxiliary who are in good standing, their children, step-children, grandchildren or step-grandchildren aged 25 or younger.$1,000 renewable for up to 4 years (Min. of 8, number available varies)January 1 – March 31
Union PlusUnion Plus Scholarship ProgramThis scholarship is available for current and retired members of participating unions, their spouses and their dependent children. To be eligible, applicant, applicant’s spouse or parent must have at least one year of continuous union membership. The one-year membership minimum must be satisfied by May 31 of the scholarship year.$500 – $4,000Mid-June through Jan. 31 of the scholarship year.
UTUIAUTUIA College ScholarshipUTUIA college scholarships are awarded to UTUIA insurance policyholders, their children or grandchildren, under the age of 25 and accepted for admittance or already enrolled to a university, college or junior college, nursing or technical school offering college credit.$2,000 renewable for up to 4 years (50 available)January 1 – March 31
UTUIAUTUIA Memorial ScholarshipThe UTUIA Memorial Scholarship program is available to children between the ages of 18 and 25 of a UTUIA member killed in the line of duty while performing the duties of their trade. $4,000 renewable for up to 4 years for college students or for up to 2 years for trade school or vocational school recipientsJanuary 1 – March 31
UTUIAUTUIA Trade School ScholarshipUTUIA trade school scholarships are awarded to UTUIA insurance policyholders, their children or grandchildren, under the age of 25 and accepted for admittance or already enrolled in course work at an accredited trade school.$2,000 renewable for up to 2 years (50 available)January 1 – March 31
UTUIATom D. Eilers ScholarshipThe Tom D. Eilers Memorial Scholarship is awarded to the child or grandchild of a member or deceased member of UTUIA or its predecessor organizations — the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, Switchmen’s Union of North America, and the Order of Railroad Conductors and Brakemen.$2,000 (2 available)January 1 – March 31

Industry Scholarships

Members may be eligible for some or all of the scholarships below. These scholarships are not offered by SMART TD or any of its affiliates.

SponsorScholarship
Name
Scholarship
Info
AmountApplication
Period
American Bus Association FoundationABA Foundation ScholarshipsThe American Bus Association Foundation (ABA) offers scholarships to full-time employees and their children, whose employer is a member of the ABA. Employees of Coach USA, among others, are eligible.$2,500 – $5,000 (depending on scholarship applied for, up to 21 available)January – April
American Association of Railroad SuperintendentsFrank J. Richter ScholarshipSponsored by the American Association of Railroad Superintendents. The scholarship is available to all undergrad and grad students who have completed at least one semester of undergraduate study at an accredited university.$1,000March 1 – July 1
Norfolk SouthernThoroughbred Scholars ProgramThe Thoroughbred Scholars program provides to the children of NS employees $2,500 per year, renewable up to four years for $10,000, for full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited two- or four-year institution.$2,500 per year (renewable for up to 4 years for a total of $10,000 – 80 for children of craft employees, 10 for children of field management who work outside the 650 WPT headquarters & 10 children of employees who work at 650 WPT )May – June 1
Norfolk SouthernThoroughbred Scholars Program – HBCU ScholarThe HBCU is awarded to one student who plans to enroll in a Historically Black College or University$10,000 per year (renewable for up to 4 years for a total of $40,000 – 1 available)May – June 1
Norfolk SouthernThoroughbred Scholars Program – STEM ScholarThe STEM Scholar is awarded to one student who plans to major in a non-medical science, technology, engineering or mathematics field.$10,000 per year (renewable for up to 4 years for a total of $40,000 – 1 available)May – June 1
Norfolk SouthernThoroughbred Scholars Program – Community ScholarThe winner of this scholarship goes to a student who has distinguished themselves through community leadership and volunteer work.$10,000 per year (renewable for up to 4 years for a total of $40,000 – 1 available)May – June 1
Regional Airline AssociationRAA ScholarshipThe Regional Airline Association awards three annual scholarships in the amount of $4,000 per recipient to assist with the education of individuals who are studying for a career in the airline industry.$4,000 (3 available)March – Early June
Tealinc, Ltd.Tealinc, Ltd. Annual Scholarship ProgramTealinc provides two – $1,000 scholarships – one to a high school senior and the other to an enrolled undergraduate college or trade-school student who are the children or dependents of a person working in the rail industry.$1,000 (2 available)March 31 – May 1

Have a transportation-related scholarship not listed above that should be included? Please email news_td@smart-union.org the information and web address of the scholarship.

Other programs

  • John Edgar Thomas Foundation – The Foundation provides financial assistance for orphaned daughters of deceased railway employees. The parent, regardless of gender, must have been in the active employ of a railroad in the U.S. at the time of death. The cause of death need not be work-related and the parent, while on the active role of the railroad, may have been receiving disability or sick leave benefits. Eligibility is dependent upon the daughter and parent remaining unmarried. The monthly grant, under continued eligibility, may cover the period from infancy to age 18. If attending college, assistance may extend to age 24 to assist with higher education. The Foundation also provides special health care benefits to the daughter. Funding for the work of the foundation is completely independent of any railroad. Applications are accepted year-round.

Scholarship databases

Members and their children or grandchildren may be eligible for some or all of the scholarships located in the databases listed below. These scholarships are not offered by SMART TD or any of its affiliates.

Become a SMART Member

Take the next step on your journey towards a rewarding career. Learn how you can become a SMART member.

Member Voices

Hear about the union directly from SMART members themselves.

Member Stories: Meet Carol Jones

Longtime Amtrak conductor Carol Jones — who is also a local chairperson with SMART TD Local 1361 out of New Haven, Conn. — shares her story of coming up in the transportation industry and working as a pioneering woman in the passenger rail sector.

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