College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI)

The U.S. Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commission Initiative (CSPI) is a scholarship program for motivated college juniors and seniors who demonstrate academic and leadership excellence and a desire to serve in the Coast Guard. To apply, you must be a sophomore or junior at a federally designated Minority Serving Institution (MSI)

  • 1. Benefits:

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    As a CSPI scholar, you’ll become an active-duty Coast Guard member with the rank of officer trainee and receive the military benefits of the e-3 pay grade, including a $3,400 monthly salary and healthcare.

    You’ll continue your education, where you’ll complete your degree as a full-time student with up to $20,000 of tuition, books, and fees paid annually.
  • 2. Training:

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    Orientation - The first summer you first join CSPI, you’ll attend boot camp to learn the basics of the coast guard.

    You’ll then return to your school for the fall semester as an officer trainee.

    Basic Training
  • 3. School Year:

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    During academic breaks and for four hours a week during classes, you’ll report to your recruiting office to maintain your military readiness and assist with recruiting duties. During longer breaks, you’ll get temporary orders to learn and train with coast guard units performing operational missions.

    You’ll also be assigned an officer mentor to guide you as you prepare to start your career.
  • 4. Officer Candidate School:

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    After you earn your degree, you’ll attend the Coast Guard’s 17-week Officer Candidate School (OCS), where you’ll learn the fundamentals of being a Coast Guard officer.

    Upon completing OCS, you’ll become an officer and begin the first assignment in your exciting career. When you join through CSPI, every Coast Guard officer career is open to you.

    Explore Officer Careers

  • 5. Wilkes Flight Initiative:

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    Under the Wilkes Flight Initiative, a certain number of flight school assignments are set aside for CSPI graduates.

    These opportunities provide a fast track into a Coast Guard cockpit.

    Aviation | US Coast Guard
  • 6. Commitment & Grade:

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    When joining CSPI, you’ll enlist under a four-year contract.

    If you complete OCS, your enlisted contract will end, and you’ll have a three-year active-duty commitment as an officer.

    Connect With A Recruiter
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Chart Your Course


Candidate Testimony

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  • “CSPI allowed me to enhance my college experience by providing me with multiple enriching programs of leadership training that helped me grow as a person, guaranteed real-world work experiences in the summers that allowed me to discover my dream career path, and the freedom to focus on school without having to worry about a lack of financing”.

    — ENS Walker