The trade association leading innovation in food production.‬

Member Login    Become a Member      

“Did you find a job yet?”

It was my first week of graduate school and I went into the Financial Aid Department to inquire how the work study program functioned. I knew I was eligible, and I knew I definitely needed some money, even the small amount they’d be paying me at school, but I thought I should check with Financial Aid to see how that process works first. I didn’t know that I needed to be out there already looking for a job.

I would leave Jean’s office that morning with a job as her new admin temp. It’s not that I ever dreamed of going to work in financial aid but it seemed easy enough, and I needed to lock something down. Over the next two semesters, I got much more than I had hoped for. Two grants and a scholarship, on top of the minimum wage paycheck I was earning. Being on the inside, I got to not only see how the system works but also became an actual person to the financial aid staff.

This certainly came in handy when one of the incoming scholarship students, turned down the offer and instead chose to go to Harvard. Now, Jean had a small problem on her hands. Who would get this scholarship? She needed to do something with this money.

“Andy, what’s your GPA?”

Lucky for me, my 4.0 had not yet begun to dip, and just like that, I was able to eat something a little better than ramen for a while.

That was 30 years ago but lord knows, school has gotten no cheaper since then. Having put two of my own kids through college, I’ve played the game with them,  in search of every last scrap of scholarship money to be found. It’s too bad staff is not eligible for FPSA’s Career Development Scholarship program.

In the Fall of 2022, the FPSA Foundation’s Board of Directors authorized a significant expansion of the scholarship program, going from fifteen scholarships to twenty and doubling the award of each from $5,000 to $10,000. That’s $200,000 for employees and their family members of FPSA member companies. Talk about financial aid!

Over the years, I have watched this program grow and it has been an honor to be a part of an organization that helps people realize their academic dreams, with the goal of setting a foundation for a successful career after graduation. As was my own experience, you see that sometimes the secret to getting a scholarship like this is just by being aware of it in the first place. If your company is a member of FPSA and you have college age children, I encourage you to act today!

The deadline for the CDS application period is April 17th…. Next Monday. Over the years, we have simplified the application process significantly so there is still time to get the application in, but not much. Have your kids get their application in, or it’s more ramen in the fall!

Andy Drennan