Coast Guard College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative

Scholarship Provided by : U.S. Coast Guard

Scholarship Amount

$43,000 USD

Application Deadline

October 03, 2016


CSPI is a program designed for motivated individuals who demonstrate a high caliber of academic and leadership excellence and who desire to serve their country in the United States Coast Guard.  Students currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a full-time bachelor's degree program at designated college or institution (defined in item 6 below) with the desire to complete college and receive a guaranteed commission as an officer in the United States Coast Guard can apply for CSPI.  This means that a student currently pursuing an AA/AS degree at a junior college or community college who plans to continue with their BS/BA degree may be eligible for CSPI if they are accepted for enrollment at a qualifying college.

Students who are accepted into this scholarship program will be enlisted into the United States Coast Guard, complete basic training during the summer, and receive full funding for up to two years of college.  Funding includes not only payment of tuition, books, and fees, but a full time Coast Guard salary, housing allowance, and medical benefits.

During the school year, students participate in a minimum of 16 hours a month of Coast Guard activities and are supervised by the Recruiter in Charge (RIC) at their recruiting office.  This includes wearing a CG uniform once a week while on campus and during their 4 weekly hours of Coast Guard duties.  During school breaks, CSPI students receive training and exposure to Coast Guard missions and units where they learn about the daily life and duties of Coast Guard Officers and enlisted members. Students may be able to work at a Coast Guard Air Station, a Coast Guard Small Boat Station or a Sector.  Students may also be able to participate in a cruise on a Coast Guard Cutter depending on the opportunities available at the time.  Often students are able to complete watchstander qualifications at their unit, which will substantially help them when they become an Officer.

After completing their junior year of college, CSPI students attend a three week leadership training course in New London, CT during the summer; “Officer Candidate Indoctrination.”  Following, college graduation, CSPI students attend the 17-week officer candidate school (OCS) in New London, CT.  Upon successful completion of OCS, graduates receive a commission as an ensign (O-1) and an assignment in one of the many exciting Coast Guard mission fields.

Please note: CSPI students who are interested in becoming a pilot for the Coast Guard can apply to the guaranteed flight program; the Wilk's Flight Initiative (WiFI).  If selected, these students will finish college, attend OCS, then go directly to flight school in Pensacola, FL, following OCS graduation.



CSPI Eligibility Requirements:

Age: Have reached your 19th but not your 28th birthday as of 30 September of the fiscal year in which the selection panel convenes. For fiscal year 2016, for example, you cannot have reached your 28th birthday by 30 September 2016.

Character Standards:
All applicants must be of outstanding moral character, and must meet the requirements of Appendices 3 and 4 of the O-JAK.
Applicants currently in the Coast Guard: Applicants are ineligible for commissioning if in the 36 months prior to the first OCS class convening date in the selection cycle, they have been convicted by a court-martial, been awarded non-judicial punishment (NJP), received an “Unsatisfactory” conduct mark, received a mark of less than “4” in any performance dimension, received a negative Administrative Remarks (CG Form 3307), or been involved in an alcohol-related incident.
Citizenship: Must be a U.S. Citizen
Clearance: Must be eligible for a Secret Clearance
If single, may not have sole or primary custody of dependents.
May not have more than 2 dependents (your spouse is considered your dependent, regardless of military status).
Be a sophomore or junior undergraduate student enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a full-time bachelor degree program at an accredited college or university designated as:
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI),5
Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU)
The following colleges and universities:
University of Guam
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hilo, and West Oahu
Argosy University - Hawaii
Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture
Online Degrees: Online degrees do not qualify. Individuals attending an online institution may apply if they have acquired a four-year institution’s acceptance to earn their undergraduate degree.
Foreign Degrees: Applicants who have an associate’s degree conferred by a foreign school shall include in their application a course-by-course assessment from an organization such as Education Credential Evaluators, in addition to the inclusion of the translation of their degree (if in a language other than English).
Case-by-Case Consideration: CGRC may consider, on a case-by-case basis, schools not included in this section that have had a minority student population averaging at least 50% of the total student enrollment for the past three years. In order to be approved, the applicant must be currently attending that school.
Grade Point Average: Must have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
Financial: Must meet all financial obligations, and not have a debt to income ratio in excess of 30% ratio of debt to projected income at applicant’s accession level (i.e. at the E-3 level)
May not have filed for bankruptcy in the last 10 years.
Student Loans: applicants shall also disclose to their recruiter any student loan payments that are in deferment, and the anticipated date and amount of re-payment of those loans. This information shall be captured in the remarks section of the Statement of Financial Obligation (and Spouse’s Consent) form, the CG-4891.
Interview: CSPI applicants must receive the recommendation of a Coast Guard interview board, administered by 3 Coast Guard Officers (refer to the O-JAK: Application Process, Section C, Interview Board Detail for specifics) one of which should be CSPI-accessed officer, if at all possible. The interview board will complete the CG-5527 form.
Military Service:
Not required.
Max Active Duty Service: Have no more than 6 years of non-Coast Guard active-duty military service as of accession (commissioning) date, which would be the date that the individual enlists in advance of attending basic training.
CG Members: Active duty or reserve members who are in a paygrade of E-4 and above with more than 4 years of active duty service as of the selection panel date (07 March 2016) are ineligible.
Conditional Release: Members currently in another military service (or IRR) and CG Reservists must furnish an approved DD368 form (conditional release) in their application package.
Release approval (validity) period: The release shall be valid, at a minimum, through the date of the panel (07 March 2016) for which the applicant is applying. Ideally, the release should be valid through the projected accession date for that panel.
CG Reservists, CG IRR, and Other Military Service IRR: Recruiters shall submit the DD368 (with only Section I complete) to CGRC Accessions branch at
CG Active Duty: do not need a conditional release Members of Other Military Services (except IRR): The applicant shall submit the DD368 (with Section I complete) through their chain of command to their services’ authorizing official* (which is different for each service). Once approved, the DD368 and any other approval documents (i.e. Service Memorandum) shall be submitted in the application package.
​​Physical (Medical): Must pass a commissioning physical (including):
Normal Color Vision
Meet height/weight standards:
CG members: Must meet MAW or Body Fat standards as per COMDTINST M1020.8H.
Civilians and Members of Other Military Services: see Appendix 1 of the O-JAK.
Must be able to pass a physical fitness test and swim test prior to graduation from bootcamp and OCS (see Appendix 2 of the O-JAK).
Test Score: Receive a qualifying score in one of the following (test scores are valid indefinitely):
ASVAB: 109 GT (General Technical score: sum of Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) and Verbal (VE) scores, taken after 1 July 2004).
ASVAB: 110 GT (if taken before 1 July 2004).
SAT: 1000 (Combined score, taken prior to 1 April 1995).
SAT I: 1100 (Combined score, taken from 1 April 1995 to 31 March 2005).
SAT: 1100 (Combination of Critical Reading and Math, taken after 31 March 2005).
ACT: 23 (Composite).
Program-Specific Requirements:
CSPI applicants must be willing to accept and fulfill all requirements of the program Statement of Understanding (SOU). The SOU stipulates work hours, training, character, academic and administrative expectations of students who have been accepted into the program.
​Tattoos: Applicants may not have tattoos or body markings that are inconsistent with the CG tattoo, body marking, body piercing, and mutilation policy. Recruiters must review all tattoos.

Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, American Indian, African American
United States
Graduate Students, Senior, Junior, Sophomore, Freshmen

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