Coast Guard offers two years of tuition at California State University East Bay

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — On Friday, California State University East Bay became the third school in California to partner with the Coast Guard for the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) program. Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, and California State University East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita signed a memorandum of agreement during a ceremony on campus.

Students who are accepted into the CSPI program will receive up to two years of tuition, living expenses and a salary while attending school and are guaranteed a commission with the Coast Guard following graduation.

As part of the agreement, Cal State East Bay faculty will also have increased opportunities to work with the Coast Guard on projects of shared interest such as marine biology and environmental science.

“Cal State East Bay is proud to join the U.S. Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative,” said Morishita. “Our students will receive significant resources and real-world training and our faculty can expand their research as a result of this agreement. We look forward to a collaboration that will have lasting impact for the university.”

CSPI is 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. More than 470 students have graduated from the program since its inception in 1989.

“To meet the future needs of the nation, our Coast Guard workforce must be representative of the American public we serve,” said Fagan. “Diversity is a top priority for the service, and we are excited about our partnership with Cal State East Bay and the shared opportunities the CSPI program will create.”

The fully funded scholarship program is open to students of all races and ethnicities. While enrolled in school, the CSPI student, officer trainee, is enlisted in the Coast Guard with a four-year active duty obligation. While in the program, officer trainees are provided with valuable leadership, management, law enforcement, navigation and marine science skills and professional development training. Upon graduation from college, officer trainees attend Officer Candidate School and are commissioned as ensigns in the service.

“I look at my peers who have thousands of dollars in student debt after graduating from college and I’m so thankful that the Coast Guard not only paid my tuition but also paid me a salary, which allowed me to fully focus on my education.” said Ens. Sarah Connell, a recent CSPI graduate. “Now I’m student loan debt-free with a four-year degree, and an officer in the military."

Students currently enrolled, accepted for enrollment or pending enrollment in a full-time bachelor's degree program at a designated college or institution with the desire to complete college and receive a guaranteed commission as an officer in the United States Coast Guard can apply for CSPI. Interested applicants can contact their nearest Coast Guard recruiter to start the application process and find more information by visiting

By Professional Mariner Staff