Here’s What’s Inside the NSA Scholarship Program

by | Last updated Nov 24, 2023 | Career Guide, Scholarships | 12 comments

Last night, I posted about the procedures in applying for the NSA Cadetship Program. If you missed that article, check it out on that link. You might know somebody who is deserving and may qualify for an NSA scholarship.

Now, I want to elaborate on the benefits of being an NSA Scholar. There are a lot more advantages to being part of this prestigious program than you might have heard of.

Let’s start talking about them.

1. Free school tuition, dormitory, and food

The program provides the very basic necessity for your college survival. You will stay in a dormitory together with other scholars. They will shoulder your tuition fee in just a wave of a pen. A three-times-a-day meal is ready every day including Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

Don’t worry about electric and water bills. Those are taken care of as well. All you gotta do to stay in the program is to study well, maintain the required grades, and practice discipline at all times. It’s that simple!

2. Assignment to different shipping companies

This is the real deal. As early as your First School Year, big companies will come after you. Meaning, you won’t have to go out there and go through the process of application. There is a shortage of competent Officers and Engineers today so these companies are securing their future by sponsoring NSA Cadets. It’s the perfect school-to ship program even to date.

Of all the perks and advantages given to any maritime cadet in the country, this is the biggest! Unlike the regular students who have to apply to different companies after graduation just to get hired, yours is served on a golden platter. Imagine applying to 400+ companies after graduation!

3. Free In-house training

Cadets performing CPR in a classroom as part of their training.

The very core of the maritime profession these days is training- a whole bunch of them. And mind you guys, they’re not low-cost. In fact, it costs an arm and leg (meaning, it’s very expensive!)

But during your NSA scholarship, there are advanced in-house training conducted on Saturdays, Sundays and some holidays. With the number of training in the pipeline designed to mold you into competent seafarers, your summer and Christmas vacations are limited.

This is a worthy sacrifice to prepare your knowledge at the advanced level. The modules discussed will be very applicable on board. The instructors are well experienced Officers and Engineers including Masters and Chief Engineers. Your mind will be shaped to become the best sailor.

4. Shipboard Training on T/S Kapitan Felix Oca

Cadets rowing in an open-type lifeboat.

On the summer season of your first academic year, you and other NSA Cadets from other schools will intermingle together on board T/S Kapitan Felix Oca. This sea trip will help you taste a bit of life at sea for two weeks.

This gives you exposure to the practical aspects of the shipboard operation. You may also get to know some of the craziest aspects of the sea and weather too. This is like a floating classroom wherein your textbooks are the actual equipment that you can use and practice.

The best part of the trip is when you go for island hopping in Coron, Palawan, Camiguin, or Boracay. You learn a lot while enjoying the process.

5. Discipline, camaraderie, and teamwork.

Maritime cadets in parade rest formation.

The program offers a wide array of training and character-building. Since the manning structure on board follows a chain of command, one of the program’s primary focuses is to shape the NSA Scholars to be a man of discipline as early as their college days. Not only that but it also introduces the spirit of camaraderie in the NSA scholarship program.

On an actual vessel, it is very important to get along well with the crew. Having a friendly relationship on board plays a big factor in safety. Lastly, NSA Cadets are taught that no man is an island. They are always a team, especially on board. More than that, they bond together not by blood but by the spirit of brotherhood, like brothers from different mothers.

6. Time management

Time is very important on board. Being late in an actual emergency could bring more disaster to the ship and crew. As early as their first year, the project teaches the NSA Cadets the value of time. Every move, every assignment, and everything that you have to do is time bound.

You will learn how to budget your time not only for yourself but for your classmates as well. You will work together and help each other finish the job.

7. Transformed from being a boy into a man

Comparison of NSA scholars during their first year and fourth year in college.

As you get constant exposure to the training, the program also shapes your character. The once skinny and spineless Jose has become the mature and tough guy who stands proudly after months inside the program. His childish voice before becomes something more eloquent and manly. His feeble posture is now a muscular stance.

Yes, those transformations happen. It may not be instant but it will surely happen as the program continue to hone you. The NSA will not only build your character but it will also shape your physique.

8. The twelve-month apprenticeship program

After undergoing all those training, exercises, seminars, and workshops, it’s time to test your mettle and see what you’re truly made of. Your first and second years in college are a preparation for this big event.

Now, your respective companies will deploy you and you will serve on one of their seagoing ships for twelve months! That’s a very long time and a lot could happen. That’s why your preparation is robust.

The crew on board will test your knowledge. They will also teach you a lot of things. Sometimes, your superiors will shout at you. You will make mistakes. Nature will toss your ship during bad weather that you won’t be able to eat or sleep. But if your preparation at school is superb, then those twelve months will just pass by smoothly no matter the hardships.

9. Budget money

Now hold your horses on spending! Being an apprentice for twelve months could earn you a lot of money. But don’t go all out on buying things. This is still part of your training. You yourself will learn to budget your money so that you will be afloat for another twelve months at school.

The project will strip you of the benefits you enjoyed during the first and second years. All the expenses needed to finish college will come from your pocket. But you will still have your company right after you graduate.

10. Chick magnet

“The hardship of a Seaman is worth to be loved by a beautiful woman”

Even during your school days, whenever women know you are an NSA Cadet, there is a good chance that the same forces of nature of action and reaction will act in your favor. This is the part that is not taught or harnessed in the Project but is felt by the Cadets.

Maybe the combinations of those traits listed above create a composite character and this must be its side effect.



  1. Genemel

    Sir, is it true that nsa cadet won’t have to start as an OS ?

    • Gibi

      Yes, that is true.

  2. Marga Arcos

    Are women accepted into this program?

    • Gibi

      The scholarship doesn’t discriminate genders. Women have been into this program for more than 10 years already.

  3. Jimmuel Mirabel

    Such an inspiring story, yet so hard to achieve. Now I am one of this year’s qualifiers to take the NSA 2020 exam and I am hoping that I could pass it too

    • Gibi

      My prayers are with you. Hope you pass the exams. God bless.

    • Nil Joy Martisano

      I hope my friends and I will be able to take this exam and pass. This would be a really great opportunity in achieving my dream on becoming a seafarer.

      • Gibi

        Good luck to you and your friends.

  4. Rodel A. Sarigumba

    I wish to joint NSA scholar and hope ill be one of graduated student and have a better future.

    • Greur Bernal

      You have a bright future ahead. Never depend on pure luck. study hard and God bless you in taking the exam.

      Do leave a comment here for your updates.

      • Ajay aceveda

        I hope I can take and pass the exam

      • Greur Bernal

        Good luck, mate!

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