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Supporting the education of the next generation of rail shippers…scholarship deadline March 31, 2022


Bernard J. Thomas Scholarship Award & MARS Scholarship Fund

The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Scholarship Fund is a reflection of the MARS membership and the future students that plan to make contributions to professional positions and industries across the nation. Scholarships are awarded at the sole discretion of MARS Scholarship committee and are granted on a competitive basis. Awards will be made on an annual basis in the spring semester, requiring application and review for each calendar year.

The Bernard J. Thomas Scholarship Award is presented to the top rated scholarship applicant. The honorary scholarship award is in the amount of $5,000. Bernard J. Thomas was an integral part in the foundation of the MARS Scholarship Fund in 2008 and strong contributor to the MARS organization.

Scholarship Deadline: March 31, 2022

Application Form
  Scholarship Guidelines
Scholarship Recipients

Questions regarding this application can be addressed by emailing the association office at .

Scholarship FAQs


How are recipients selected?

Scholarship recipients will be chosen from qualified students who meet the eligibility requirements, complete the application meeting all requirements, and submit before the application deadline on January 31st. Scholarship applicants will be selected according to merit on a competitive basis. The scholarship committee will select the recipients by evaluating each eligible student’s academic performance, personal statement, commitment to the program in which they are enrolled, and community involvement in the way of extracurricular activities and employment history.

What are the application requirements?
  1. A completed application form (available for download or completed via PDF form) postmarked by January 31st
  2. An official transcript submitted from applicant’s institution
  3. Personal Statement addressing the following:
    • Why have you chosen this field of study?
    • Why have you chosen this particular college or university?
    • What are your professional short and long term objectives?
  4. If available, additional listing of extracurricular activities and/or work history
  5. A signed application
What is the amount of the scholarship(s)?

The MARS Scholarship committee is allocated $20,000 in addition to the $3,000 Bernard J. Thomas Scholarship Award. The top applicant as determined by the committee will be awarded the Bernard J. Thomas Award. Subsequent to the Bernard J. Thomas Award, the committee is allowed discretionary authority to allocate awards and amounts based upon merit and quality of qualified applicants.

Please Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the scholarship committee receives all required application materials. It also the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that ALL application requirements are met. If not, applications will be ineligible.

Who is eligible?

Scholarships are offered to applicants who are children or grandchildren of MARS members, enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at accredited four year colleges or universities. All applicants must show a demonstrated commitment in the program in which they are enrolled.

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