The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall establish and administer the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship Program. Under the program, the Administrator shall award scholarships in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education to be known as Ernest F. Hollings Scholarships.
The purposes of the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarships Program are—
(1) to increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education and foster multidisciplinary training opportunities;
(2) to increase public understanding and support for stewardship of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy;
(3) to recruit and prepare students for public service careers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other natural resource and science agencies at the Federal, State and Local levels of government; and
(4) to recruit and prepare students for careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.
Each Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship—
(1) shall be used to support undergraduate studies in oceanic and atmospheric science, research, technology, and education that support the purposes of the programs and missions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
(2) shall recognize outstanding scholarship and ability;
(3) shall promote participation by groups underrepresented in oceanic and atmospheric science and technology; and
(4) shall be awarded competitively in accordance with guidelines issued by the Administrator and published in the Federal Register.
In order to be eligible to participate in the program, an individual must—
(1) be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1001(a) of title 20) in an academic field or discipline described in subsection (c);
(2) be a United States citizen;
(3) not have received a scholarship under this section for more than 4 academic years, unless the Administrator grants a waiver; and
(4) submit an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information, agreements, or assurances as the Administrator may require.
(e) Distribution of funds
The amount of each Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship shall be provided directly to a recipient selected by the Administrator upon receipt of certification that the recipient will adhere to a specific and detailed plan of study and research approved by an institution of higher education.
Of the total amount appropriated for fiscal year 2005 and annually hereafter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Administrator shall make available for the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship program one-tenth of 1 percent of such appropriations.
(g) Scholarship repayment requirement
The Administrator shall require an individual receiving a scholarship under this section to repay the full amount of the scholarship to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration if the Administrator determines that the individual, in obtaining or using the scholarship, engaged in fraudulent conduct or failed to comply with any term or condition of the scholarship. Such repayments shall be deposited in the NOAA Operations, Research, and Facilities Appropriations Account and treated as an offsetting collection and only be available for financing additional scholarships.
15 U.S.C. § 1542 (2018)