If you’re an Eagle Scout, paying for college just got a whole lot easier! For worthy Eagle Scouts, there are many scholarships available that can help lift the burden of paying for college. 

College Scholarships for Eagle Scouts are widespread – thanks to in-house funding from the BSA and generous sponsorship from outside entities. Bryan on Scouting explains how to obtain these awards, which are summarized below. 

NESA Scholarships

The National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) offers several national scholarships for students who have earned Eagle status. So how much does NESA award? 

NESA Academic Scholarships are valued at $3000 each. The number of scholarships awarded annually is determined by available funding. For the 2016-2017 application window, NESA awarded $690,000 to 154 recipients.

This time around, however (2017-2018), NESA plans to award at least 150 scholarships with amounts ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 per recipient.

Types of scholarships include:

  • Cooke scholarships ($2,500 to $48,000): Awarded based on school and Scouting participation, academic performance, and financial need. Applicants must meet the minimum SAT or ACT score to apply.
  • NESA STEM scholarship ($50,000): Awarded to one applicant annually who has chosen to pursue a career in a STEM-related field. Applicants for the STEM scholarship who are not selected will automatically be considered for a Cooke scholarship worth $2,500 to $48,000 each.

What are the requirements?

There are a few requirements to apply for these scholarships. First, you must be a National Eagle Scout Association member to receive a scholarship. However, you can apply for a NESA scholarship before you apply for a NESA membership.

Academic scholarship applicants must apply during their senior year in high school unless the Eagle Scout board of review was held after Oct. 31, 2017. In those cases, the applicant must apply during the Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, 2018, scholarship cycle, even if he is already attending college.

Academic scholarship applicants must have a minimum 1800 SAT (or 1290 if taken after March 2016), or 28 ACT score to apply. A “super score” may be used to meet this requirement.

Eagle Scouts may apply for NESA merit scholarships beginning in their senior year of high school and may continue applying every year until their junior year in college.

Applicants may receive a NESA scholarship one time only.

In the past, NESA scholarships were available only to Scouts attending four-year universities. However, Scouts attending vocational trade schools and other approved programs may apply now!

How to Apply for NESA Scholarships

Unlike previous years, applications must now be submitted online. You can submit them here. 

Regional Gifts

Depending on where you live, your scouting scholarship pool might also include regional awards. For example, if you are a Boy Scout residing in the Northeast, consider the Carter Scholarship Grant for New England Scouts. Applications are submitted by high school seniors and winners receive $1,500 annually, for each of their first two years of college. On the other hand, if you hail from the Northwest, for example, the Cascade Pacific Council Eagle Scout Association College Scholarship may be well-suited to your financial aid requirements. Cascade Pacific Council scouts who are high school juniors or seniors are eligible to apply.

Partnerships and Outside Resources

Corporate benefactors and other private organizations also offer valuable scholarship assistance for Boy Scouts. 

Eagle Scouts qualify for the $1,000 Frank D. Visceglia Memorial Scholarship, which is underwritten by the Association for Commercial Real Estate and the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks. Each award is valued at $1000. First preference for the scholarships is given to students who are actively engaged in community projects relating to the economy, or the environment. 

The American Legion supports education for scouts, with scholarships issued by American Legion Posts or Auxiliary Units. The ” Eagle Scout of the Year” scholarship is awarded annually to a top candidate. Though only one $10,000 award is given, three runners-up qualify for scholarships worth $2,500 each. 

The Order of the Arrow distributes memorial assistance like the Josh Sain Memorial Scholarship. The awards recognize exemplary service as organization leaders and are issued based on academic achievement and other noteworthy accomplishments.

Religion and Cultural Heritage Earn Scouts Scholarships

Faith-based initiatives aid scouts who are devout followers of particular religions. Ethnic lineage is also a qualifier for some unique assistance for scouts.

For instance, the Freeport, New York, based Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting annually offers scholarships worth $1,000 each to winners, and $500 each to runners-up. Eagle Scouts and Gold Award Girl Scouts who are active members of the Eastern Orthodox Church are eligible to apply if they have received the Alpha Omega Religious Award.

The Frank L. Weil Memorial Eagle Scout Scholarship, administered by the National Jewish Committee on Scouting, is another culturally-sensitive award. Eagle Scouts who have earned the Ner Tamid emblem may apply for one of three available scholarships. Winners earn $1000, while runners up qualify for $500 each.

It takes a lot of hard work to become an Eagle Scout. And now, it’s time to reap the rewards. So, don’t wait. Apply for a scholarship today!


Madison Austin
studies Public Relations at Brigham Young University and is a marketing specialist at the Utah National Parks Council. She is an avid hiker and enjoys being outdoors. Growing up in the mountainous regions of Colorado and Virginia enabled her to follow these passions. After moving to Utah to attend college, she has spent her time fostering both a career in Communications and a love for Utah's National Parks.

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