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Education is a valuable tool for a young person no matter what career path they choose to follow. However, when making plans for a future career, finances can be a serious obstacle. Fortunately for those who have been involved in the Scouting movement, the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) offers Eagle Scout scholarships to assist Eagle Scouts with their educational pursuits whether they choose to study at a university, at a vocational trade school, or take up a field study opportunity. If you are an Eagle Scout and you are looking for funds for post-secondary education, you have come to the right place

What Is an Eagle Scout?

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement attainable in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The designation “Eagle Scout” was founded over one hundred years ago, and only four percent of Boy Scouts ever achieve this rank. Becoming an Eagle Scout involves a lot of hard work and a lengthy review process, with the requirements necessary to achieve this rank taking years to obtain.

Since its founding, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by almost 2.5 million Scouts and counts among its number many famous people. Eagle Scouts include the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong, movie producer Stephen Spielberg, and four Nobel Laureates.

The First Eagle Scout

Arthur Rose Eldred of Troop 1 of Rockville Centre, Long Island, became the first Eagle Scout in 1912. Eldred was the first of three generations of Eagle Scouts in his family as his son and grandson also became Eagle Scouts in their turn.

How Do You Become an Eagle Scout?

becoming an eagle scout

To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout must have been a Life Scout for at least six months and must have earned at least 21 merit badges (of which 13 are compulsory and the rest may be chosen by the individual scout). The Eagle Scout must show “Scout Spirit,” an attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law and demonstrated through service and leadership. Scouts also undertake an extensive service project: planning, organizing, leading, and managing it.

After these requirements are met, the Scout must pass the Eagle Scout board of review. In addition to the board of review, all of these requirements must be completed before the candidate’s 18th birthday. When the award has been earned, Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge which recognizes this great achievement. After gaining the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouts may continue to gain badges and honors. These are called Eagle Palms and are awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership, and merit badge requirements.

What Eagle Scout Scholarships Are Available Through the NESA?


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The Eagle Scout Scholarships Fund was established in 1984 by Texas Governor William P. Clements Jr. The funds are currently raised by donations and by the membership fees paid to the NESA. Annually, $690,000 is allocated to Eagle Scout scholarships. These funds are divided into more than 150 scholarships. At present there are three types of Eagle Scout scholarships available through the NESA: Academic Scholarships, Merit Scholarships, and Field Study Scholarships.

Academic scholarships

NESA Academic scholarships are awarded via a process that weighs a candidate’s academic performance, school and Scouting participation, and financial need.


Eligibility Criteria

Merit scholarships

Merit scholarships take into account a candidate’s academic performance, school and Scouting participation, and community service.



Field study scholarships

Field study scholarships weigh a candidate’s academic performance, school participation, community involvement, and passion for respective field study experience.



What Other Scholarships Are Available for Eagle Scouts?

There are a wide range of other scholarships available to Eagle Scouts. These opportunities vary widely depending on area and background of the potential applicant. There are a range of scholarships available for Scouts and Eagle Scouts of certain religions or for residents in certain areas. In addition to this, individual institutions may offer scholarships specifically reserved for Eagle Scouts. Listed below are just a few of the Eagle Scout Scholarship options.

National Jewish Committee on Scouting Scholarships

Emmett J. Doerr Memorial Scout Scholarship for Catholic Scouts

Veterans of Foreign Wars Scout of the Year

American Legion Eagle Scout of the Year

Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting Scholarships

Mervyn Sluizer Jr. Scholarship for Philadelphia-Area Scouts

Finding Additional Scholarships for Scouts

Other Eagle Scout Scholarships and scholarships for other scouts can be found by searching online. The results will provide you with links to specific organizations who offer scholarships for Scouts and results pages which collate and detail a wider range of Scouting scholarships.


In order to gain his rank as an Eagle Scout, a Scout must show determination, resilience, leadership skills, and a willingness to work as part of a team and put himself out in service to others. These are qualities which will naturally recommend him to almost any organization, whether it be a university, vocational school, or company. The hard work that Eagle Scouts put in to gaining their skills, badges, and awards is not done with monetary gain in mind, but with the many Eagle Scout scholarships available, that helping hand for the future is an added bonus.

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