Blue Water Scholarship Fund was founded in 2017 by long-time friends and colleagues Jaime Cleveland, John Curtin, and Jim Hoy. All of our founders came from blue collar families (thus the blue in our name...) and found success beyond their wildest expectations in the maritime industry.
Blue Water was borne out of their desire to help others have the same opportunities they were fortunate enough to have. However, our commitment goes well beyond writing checks. All our recipients get our personal contact details when they are awarded and have access to us for whatever may arise.
As part of this effort, we make regular visits to the schools to maintain our relationships with both our cadets and the faculty and staff at the academies. We check in with many of our cadets throughout the year and encourage them to do the same.
We specialize in with cadets in extreme circumstances so in addition to the traditional scholarship assistance we have also covered a number of non-traditional costs for recipients such as meal plans and medical insurance.
The unique challenges some of our cadets face is also why we do not have a minimum GPA requirement. Grades are only one data point in our applicant review process, we take the time to consider the entire situation an applicant is facing.
Our recipients also get the benefit of our team's shipping industry network built up over decades of experience ashore and afloat. Through our friends in the business we have arranged internships, mentoring, and helped our graduates with job placement assistance.
We are also proud to partner with organizations like The Organization of Black Maritime Graduates, Women Offshore, The Nautical Institute, and The Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, to offer a range of additional benefits to our recipients.
Finally, we pride ourselves on efficiency and transparency. Our focus on these issues has kept our overheads below 3% of funds awarded since our inception.
We have no paid employees and when we travel to see our cadets we fund those trips out of our own pockets not BWSF funds. The founders have funded a large portion of the scholarships since inception and our donors largely consist of our friends in the industry who believe in what we are doing. As a result of our founders ongoing financial commitments to BWSF we are able to guarantee any donations we receive go 100% to funding cadet scholarships.
What is a Maritime Academy?
There are five state maritime Academies located throughout the USA:
BEST COLLEGES.COM RANKED SUNY MARITIME #1 IN THE 10 BEST ROI COLLEGES OF 2022
SUNY - Maritime College
As the name implies, SUNY Maritime College specializes in programs related to marine engineering, shipping, oceanic transportation, and other maritime industries. Many grads pursue careers as engineers, project and operations managers, and naval architects.
Maritime College's ROI ranks highest among all public universities thanks to the school's relatively low costs (around $25,000 per year) compared to graduates' incredibly high median midcareer salary of $164,100.
BEST COLLEGES.COM RANKED CAL MARITIME #3 IN THE 10 BEST ROI COLLEGES OF 2022
California State University Maritime Academy
Like SUNY Maritime College, Cal Maritime specializes in maritime education, offering programs in fields such as oceanography, marine engineering technology, marine transportation, and global studies and maritime affairs.
Graduates of this reputable CSU school earn average salaries of around $73,000 right out of college and close to $140,000 as midcareer professionals. Many of the top career paths for alumni include lucrative positions like operations manager and chief engineer.
BEST COLLEGES.COM RANKED MASS MARITIME #6 IN THE BEST 10 ROI COLLEGES OF 2022
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Massachusetts Maritime Academy specializes in education related to the maritime sector, offering degrees in fields like marine engineering, environmental protection, and international business. Many graduates go on to become port engineers, a job with an average annual salary near $100,000 — slightly less than the cost of a four-year degree from MMA.
Average salaries of other popular paths for alumni (namely project engineer, health and safety engineer, and project manager) range from $70,000-$95,000 a year. Recent grads can expect to earn around $73,000 as they work their way up to more lucrative roles.
BEST COLLEGES.COM RANKED MAINE MARITIME #10 IN THE BEST 10 ROI COLLEGES OF 2022
Maine Maritime Academy
A small school nestled in the Northeast, Maine Maritime Academy — like many others on this list — specializes in maritime training and education. Graduates benefit from a high average base salary of $90,000 per year, which is just $20,000 less than the cost of a four-year degree from the institution.
Popular career paths for MMA grads include engineering and facilities and plant management — jobs that boast average salaries of over $80,000 a year. New graduates can expect to make a solid annual starting salary of around $71,000.
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