The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is partnering with Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies to provide financial benefits for eligible federal employees who are pursuing college career changes.
The collaboration would allow qualified federal employees to receive a 10 percent discount on the current tuition for most SCS degrees and certificate programs each semester. The scholarships are available for eligible federal applicants across the country, and apply to those who enroll in person and online.
“We are proud to expand and enhance the ability for qualified federal employees to access a world-class Georgetown education,” said Dr. Kelly Otter, the dean of SCS at Georgetown, adding that students can enroll in a variety of continuing studies degree programs including the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Doctor of Liberal Studies and non-specialized certificates.
This alliance is the latest example of the School’s history of partnerships with the federal government and its workforce.
While this is the first year that the nation’s oldest Catholic university will participate in the program, OPM has had 10 other agreements similar to this tuition discount with other universities, including the University of Maryland University College, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Drexel University Online, and Champlain College.
At Georgetown, the discount applies for the following SCS programs; the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, all Master of Professional Studies and Executive Master of Professional Studies programs, Doctor of Liberal Studies program, the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program, and non-credit specialized certificates.
Federal employees who are interested in pursuing a degree or certificate program through the SCS must meet all admission requirements for the programs and be admitted before they can receive the scholarship, said Georgetown officials. Applicants must also remain employed by the federal government throughout the duration of their academic program in order to continue receiving the scholarship.
“The main goal of the scholarship and of the partnership with the Federal Scholarship Alliance is to extend the Georgetown experience to interested civil servants and to foster lifelong learning within the federal workforce not only in the D.C. area, but also around the country,” said Dr. Jason S. Smith, executive director of enrollment management at Georgetown’s SCS.
“Our government-wide talent development focus is to ensure federal employees have access to high-quality talent development opportunities in the identified government-wide mission critical occupations and leverage resources to increase impact,” said an OPM spokesperson. “The academic alliances are an additional educational resource for Federal employees.”
Those agreements offer benefits specifically to federal employees, just like the scholarship opportunity at Georgetown SCS. The benefits range from a five to up to 70 percent discount on tuition and the waiver of most application fees.
Since the alliance between Georgetown SCS and OPM was made public, there has been an overwhelmingly large response, said Smith, who added that there have been more than 35 students who have been awarded the scholarship so far.
Current SCS students have taken advantage of the discount and the school is continuing to get interest from civil servants who would like to further their education and/or develop new skills.
The agreement is currently set to expire on February 2019, but is subject to extension upon mutual agreement between OPM and Georgetown.
Monica Levitan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org