Eagle Scout College Grants

by Margaret Morris ; Updated July 27, 2017
Eagle Scouts may apply for scholarships administered by military, religious and scouting organizations.

If you're an eagle scout who's looking for help with financing your college education, explore the scholarships offered by the National Eagle Scout Association, religious and military groups, colleges and universities. Be sure to mention your eagle scout award on your college essay and application, because that may be all you need to earn a grant or scholarship. You might have to work a little harder for other awards, but filing scholarship applications and verifying your accomplishments can pay off.

NESA Scholarships

NESA awards two types of scholarships, academic and merit-based. To apply for academic scholarships, eagle scouts must be graduating from high school and starting college in the year of application. If a scout's application for the Eagle Scout award is still pending with the board of review in the year of his high school graduation, he may apply. The number of $3,000 NESA academic scholarships varies each year. The Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke academic scholarships vary in number each year, but always include one $20,000 scholarship, paid over four years at $5,000 per year, and one $48,000 scholarship, also paid over four years at $12,000 per year. The Hall-McElwain Merit Scholarship, worth $1,000, is awarded to a varying number of applicants each year. Applicants must be eagle scouts who are graduating from high school or who are freshmen, sophomores or juniors in college. All NESA scholarships are awarded on a one-time basis.

Religious Organization Scholarships

Several religious organizations award scholarships to active scouts who have earned the Eagle Scout award and specified religious awards, are active in their communities and who serve their religions. The National Catholic Committee on Scouting, the National Jewish Committee on Scouting and the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting administer scholarships ranging from $500 to $4,000. Several scholarships require that the applicants show financial need. The Eastern Orthodox Scouting Scholarship is limited to eagle scouts of Russian descent.

Military Scholarships

The American Legion awards one $10,000 and three $2,500 scholarships to sons or grandsons of American Legion or Auxiliary members. Applicants must have earned the eagle scout award, an award from their religious institution, and must have demonstrated good citizenship. The Veterans of Foreign Wars awards scholarships of $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000 to eagle scouts, venturing crews and sea scouts who have earned the eagle scout award and evidenced good citizenship in the scouts, school and their communities. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution awards scholarships in the amounts of $8,000, $4,000 and $2,000. Winners are chosen on the basis of a 500-word patriotic essay and submission of a genealogy chart showing four generations of their ancestors. Applicants do not have to be eligible to join the organization.

Institution-Based Scholarships

Scholarships for eagle scouts have been established at colleges and universities in amounts ranging from a one-time $500 payment to a full tuition grant. Some are based on need, some on grade point averages or SAT scores, and several require only that the applicant be an eagle scout. For example, Stanford University administers the Dofflemyer Scholarship, which favors eagle scouts. Because Stanford awards scholarships based on need rather than merit, applicants who are eagle scouts, meet the admissions requirements and demonstrate need are eligible for the scholarship.

About the Author

Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.

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