Boy Scouts of America, Greater Colorado Council


Universities, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations provide scholarship funds to students entering or continuing in higher education programs across the country. Scholarships are different from grants in that they are primarily merit-based, as opposed to need-based, and loans, in that they do not have to be repaid. Following is a listing of some scholarship opportunities tailored to Scouts, both by design (as per the National Eagle Scout Association – NESA programs), and through selection criteria focusing on community involvement, leadership, and academic merit (as per the Boettcher). 

The Federal Student Aid website includes helpful information about applying to scholarships and federal grant programs

While the following list is not complete, it is meant to serve as an introduction to opportunities that are available to help Scouts pay for higher education. There are a wide variety of scholarships available and other research will provide opportunities that fit individual educational plans and personal history to find assistance in financing higher education.

Scholarships for Scouts

The John and Marjorie Madden Merit Scholarship was established by John and Marjorie Madden with the GCC to ensure the highest quality and continuity of camp staff members for GCC camps. The scholarship program as we know it today was created in 2000. Scholarships are annually awarded to selected camp staff who are registered members of the BSA, and who meet all requirements of the scholarship program. 

The Leadership Assistance Program (LeAP) is charged with delivering Scouting programs to youth who ordinarily would not have the ability due to economic or social hardships. The GCC partners with organizations to provide after school programs at elementary schools, middle schools, churches, low-income housing, and community organizations that serve Denver metro’s diverse population. 

The National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) has several scholarships for Eagle Scouts ranging from $25,000 to $50,000. NESAs scholarships gift higher award amounts but can only be applied for by graduating high school seniors and entering college the year that they apply for the scholarship, while their Merit Scholarships provide $1,000 awards to entering or continuing undergraduate students. 

The American Legion sponsors a scholarship for the Eagle Scout of the Year, which provides one $10,000 award and three $2,500 awards. They also oversee several other scholarship opportunities not directly related to Scouting. 

The National Jewish Committee on Scouting offers scholarships to Eagle Scouts who meet the eligibility requirements. More information is available here.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars administer a scholarship with three awards, for $1,000, $3,000, and $5,000. This contest is open to Eagle Scouts still in high school, as well as members of several other scouting organizations.

Other Related Scholarships

The Boettcher Scholarship awards 40 full-ride scholarships to Colorado high school students that are good at any four-year program in the state of Colorado. The selection committee looks for applicants with superior academic achievement, leadership ability, community involvement, and outstanding character. 

The Daniels Fund Scholarship Program provides 250 scholarships to high school students graduating from a school in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming, that cover up to the full cost of attendance at any bachelor’s granting program in the country. The selection committee looks for academic promise, community service, leadership ability, and character.  

The Denver Foundation oversees a number of scholarships for which Colorado students can apply.

By agreeing to serve in the armed forces after graduation, ROTC provides scholarships to many four-year universities throughout the country that cover up to the cost of attendance and provide a monthly living allowance. 

The Horatio Alger Colorado Scholarship awards nine $5,000 scholarships to Colorado high school students towards the cost of education at any four-year college or university in the country. They look for students with academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need. 

The Ostrander Scholar Society provides college scholarships to Eagle Scouts who are active in Order of the Arrow.

Institutional Scholarships

Colleges and Universities offer scholarships to incoming and current students. These scholarships are generally awarded to students with high academic achievement as measured by SAT and ACT scores, class rank, and GPA, as well as students with experience in community involvement and leadership. Some scholarships require a separate application, which could be a standard institution application for some or all available scholarships, or a separate application for each specific scholarship, while others consider all admitted students automatically. This aid can be overseen by the university at large, the college (for example, the college of arts and sciences, or the school of education), or the department (i.e. English, History, etc.) The schools listed below are all located within the state of Colorado, but most schools have similar programs and give scholarship and grant aid to their students, which can be found by checking their financial aid site or contacting someone in the financial aid office. An important thing to keep in mind is not be dissuaded from applying to a school because of the sticker price, as this can often be much higher than the amount a family will be expected to contribute.

Military Academies

The United States Military Academies provide full tuition support and a stipend to all admitted students in exchange for a commitment to serve as an officer after graduation. Admission is very competitive, and the application is extensive. They look for applicants that are unmarried United States citizens between the ages of 17 and 23 with good moral character and high leadership, academic, and physical abilities. The links provided below direct you to the admissions website at each school.