Scholarships for Boy Scouts / Eagle Scouts

Boy scouts on the states receiving their awards.

Wikimedia Commons user

Did you grow up a Boy Scout? Perhaps you reached the rank of Eagle? You may be glad to hear there are quite a few scholarship opportunities available to you straight through the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA)!

Academic Scholarships

There are two academic scholarships available to Eagle Scouts through the NESA: the Mable and Lawrence S. Cooke Scholarships and the NESA STEM Scholarship. Both are due on October 31st of each year, with applications opening on August 1st. If your Eagle Scout review doesn’t take place until after October 31st, you may apply the following year. Qualifying students must be a senior in high school and are only permitted to apply once, to one or the other. Your SAT score must also be over 1800 or have an ACT score of 28 or higher.

The Cooke Scholarship awards between $25,000 and $48,000 and are awarded based on your participation in the Boy Scouts and high school grades, as well as financial needs. Four students will be awarded $25,000, with $6,250 being paid each year over the next four years. Only one student will win the $48,000 top place scholarship, receiving $12,000 over four years of college.

If you are going after a job in a STEM field, you may also qualify for the NESA Stem Scholarship. Awarding $50,000 to the single winner, if you enter for this scholarship and do not win, you will automatically be entered in for the Cooke Scholarship.

Merit Scholarships

The NESA also offers four merit based scholarships: The Hall / McElwain Scholarships ($5,000), Robert and Rebecca Palmer Scholarships ($2,500), Bailey Merit Scholarships ($2,000-$4,000), and Michael S. Malone / Windrush Publishing Journalism Scholarship ($2,500).

Unlike the academic scholarships, Eagle Scouts can apply for these four applications starting in their senior year of high school all the way until they are juniors in college. However, you can only win once and must be a member of the NESA. Applications are also due on October 31st and you can reenter if you did not win any previous years.

All four of these awards are based on your community service, character, participation as a Boy Scout and Eagle Scout, and grades. The Journalism Scholarship is only available to those who are majoring in journalism.

It’s important to keep in mind, if you are planning on attending community college or a military academy, you will not be able to apply for any of these awards. You can learn more about the NESA scholarships on their website including requirements for each award and further details on how the scholarships are awarded.

These six scholarships are only the “official” awards you can receive for being an Eagle Scout. There are several others outside of the National Eagle Scout Association, including national and regional. Ask your Troop leader or other Eagle Scouts who have already gone on to college if they have any suggestions. Also check with your state and region as many have dedicated scholarships for both Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts.

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