Out of more than 360 applications to the 2015 Orbital ATK Scholarship Program, 70 children of Orbital ATK employees were selected to receive scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year. The program is designed to encourage and assist children of company employees in their pursuit of post-high school undergraduate education.

“On behalf of Orbital ATK, I congratulate the recipients of these highly competitive company scholarships and their parents,” said President and Chief Executive Officer David W. Thompson. “These young men and women worked hard to achieve the academic records and other accomplishments that enabled them to receive these awards. The company is proud to play a part in supporting the post-secondary education of these well-deserving students.”

Parents of scholarship recipients work at 19 different company locations across 11 states and represent all three Orbital ATK operating groups and the corporate office. With this year’s awards, Orbital ATK and its legacy companies have provided more than $1.6 million in college scholarships, grants and other awards to a total 1,461 students in the last 25 years.

Blending aspects of both the legacy ATK Learning for Life Scholarship Program and the Orbital Scholars Program, scholarships range from $1,000 and $2,500 one-year awards to $6,000 two-year awards. The combined Orbital ATK program is more generous than either legacy program, awarding more total scholarships than the former Orbital Scholars Program and higher scholarship award levels than ATK’s previous Learning for Life program.

An Emphasis on STEM

Mark Ferguson, a Manager at Orbital ATK’s Dulles, Virginia campus, appreciates the investment the company is making in his daughter’s future.

“My daughter is about to start her freshman year in pursuit of a STEM career,” Ferguson said. “Learning is one of the best investments in the future anyone can make and I am proud to work for a company that recognizes the importance of supporting employees and their children’s education.”

More than two-thirds of this year’s scholarships will be awarded to students enrolled in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors. This emphasis underscores our company’s commitment to the value of a STEM education. As a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, more than one-third of Orbital ATK’s employees are engineers and scientists, jobs requiring core STEM skills.

Merrell Johnson, an Analyst at Orbital ATK’s Promontory, Utah facility, has two children who are scholarship recipients this year.

“With two children in college, I am grateful for the support from Orbital ATK,” Johnson said. “My son is a civil engineering major and my daughter is majoring in social work. While it is important for our company to place an emphasis on STEM fields, it is also great to see this support extended to those who are pursuing careers beyond STEM.”

Objective, Independent Recipient Selection

Selection of recipients is made by independent reviewers from Scholarship Management Services, a company with more than 39 years experience administering scholarship programs for organizations. Describing Orbital ATK’s 2015 applicants as a “tremendously competitive pool,” Scholarship Management Services said Orbital ATK “can be proud of the high-caliber of applicants to your program.”

Students were required to submit their grade point average, and if a high school senior, rank-in-class and test scores, details about leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience, a statement of education and career goals, unusual family or personal circumstances and an appraisal by someone unrelated to the student. Applicants were ranked from high to low on the basis of total merit and the higher-ranking students were selected as recipients. Awards were granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin.