Second-Career Scholarship

Our Second-Career Scholarship Program is designed exclusively for individuals who aspire to work as a funeral director as a second career. Each scholarship is worth $1,500, with up to four scholarships awarded each year—two in late June and two in late December. Applications are reviewed and voted on by the Educational Trust Board.

The Educational Trust is pleased to recognize Batesville Casket Company as the official 2019 sponsor of our Second-Career Scholarship Program.

Our Latest Recipients, Fall 2018: Carie Burns-Smith and Wesley Waddle

Recipients from Spring 2018: Bruce Badoni and Tracie Tweet

Bruce Badoni

“After seeing the care the funeral director showed my grandfather who died while in hospice care in our home, it felt like a sign,” said Bruce Badoni. “The funeral profession overlaps so many subjects such as anatomy, physiology, law, finance, customer service and so on. I absolutely love it and could not imagine doing anything else.”

Funded by Donations

These scholarships are funded by donations and mean so much to the students. This unsolicited thank you note shows how we are making the difference every year, thanks to generous donations: “Thank you again for all you have done for me. Personally, the experience in receiving this award has been more than uplifting, and I will never forget your kindness in sharing it with all involved in the funeral industry. It is so appreciated! You have done an amazing thing for me in going forward with my career.”

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

  • You must currently be enrolled and attending classes (in-person or online) on a full-time basis at an accredited Mortuary Science Program.
  • You cannot be related in any manner to an owner of a funeral home currently operating in North America.
  • You must be able to provide proof of the following:
    • You have previously worked full-time in at least one career other than funeral service and that funeral service will be a new career for you.
    • Tuition and fees owed and any financial assistance you have already or are currently receiving.
    • What mortuary sciences courses you have completed to date and what courses in which you are currently enrolled.
    • Your current Mortuary Science GPA.
  • You must complete and sign the attached application and submit it with the additional information listed by the deadline identified.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a completed application on or before May 30 (for the Spring cycle) or December 1 (for the Fall cycle) each year. Applicants may apply online, via email or by mailing an application. A two-page, professional application essay, along with the required documentation, is required for all applications. The application essay and required documentation must address the following:

  • Official Transcripts from your current mortuary science program or a letter from your current mortuary science program director or registrar which includes:
    • Verification you are enrolled full-time in an accredited Mortuary Science Program;
    • List of coursework completed and currently taking; and,
    • Your overall GPA for this program
    • Current Tuition and fees owed, as well as any financial assistance received.
  • A Two-Page Essay which demonstrates the following:
    • Why you need or want this scholarship.
    • Your previous employment or career including the time frame.
    • Employment (current or historical) with an independently-owned funeral home. Please share to the fullest extent of that involvement and your expectations for future employment in this profession upon graduation.
    • Your previous career experience and during what time-frame.
    • Your desire to work in the independent funeral service profession as a new career choice and what led you to make this career change. Include your future aspirations within independent funeral service.
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation:
    • One from a current member of the faculty of the mortuary science program at which the applicant is enrolled.
    • One from a current or previous employer. If the applicant is currently or has previously been employed by an independent funeral home, it is highly recommended that this second letter of recommendation be provided by that source.

Apply Now Online or By Mail

Download Our Application Form, and complete it.

To apply online, attach your application form and your application essay documents (as described above) to the form below, and send to us.

To apply by email, send your documents to:

To apply by mail, send your documents to:

Second-Career Scholarship
Selected Educational Trust
500 Lake Cook Road, Suite 205
Deerfield, IL 60015
(Allow time for delivery.)