Hit a Bullseye in College Funding Opportunities
Surprisingly, there are a number of archery scholarships now handed out by various schools and private organizations. There are at least three areas of special interest pertaining to the art of shooting a bow: it is viewed as a competitive sport, as a style of hunting, and also as a traditional woodsman’s skill, part of the Native American legacy.
There was at one time some interest in regularizing archery as an NCAA sport, but its designation as an emerging sport for women was terminated in 2009.
Scholarships From Archery Associations
National Field Archery Association Foundation
The National Field Archery Association Foundation (NFAAF) has joined forces with the Easton Foundations to offer scholarships (note: the last recorded year of distribution was 2012). NFAAF’s stated plan is to divide the scholarships evenly between recurve and compound archers, and also between men and women. Applicants must belong to the National Field Archery Association or to the National Archery Association/USA Archery (the country’s Olympic archery team).
Due to the number of participants who have not yet graduated from high school, any scholarships awarded to those younger members will be held until graduation, and recipients must attend a qualifying college (a two-year school, four-year school, or technical training institute is acceptable). Any student who applies must attend full-time, high school students must have a GPA of 2.0, and college students a GPA of 2.5.
In general, award amounts increase with age and level of accomplishment in archery. The range described in the documentation varies between $500 and $2,500, but can go as high as $20,000 in exceptional cases.
There is also a separate NFAA Memorial Scholarship Program restricted to high school seniors and college students who have belonged to the NFAA for at least two years. The number of scholarships given out depends on the number of qualified applicants and the program’s current funding, but a minimum of $100 has been established for each award.
State Archery Association of Massachusetts
The State Archery Association of Massachusetts (SAAM) provides scholarships for archers from Massachusetts and archers from other states, and the two groups fill out separate applications. The eligibility criteria for the in-state application are not restrictive: for example, you can reside in Massachusetts or participate in a Massachusetts archery club, if your activities include SAAM tournaments in the two current and previous years.
The out-of-state application also requires you to compete in SAAM tournaments. Both types of award have an age limit of 22, and you must submit a detailed essay covering topics like the role of archery in your life and your plans for a career.
World Sport Chicago
World Sport Chicago’s WSC Scholars Program hands out scholarships to high school juniors from the Chicago area. Candidates must take part in an eligible summer Olympic or Paralympic sport, such as archery. The program does not only dispense financial aid, but each student selected also receives mentoring for an entire year, including assistance in navigating the process of securing admission and arranging finances for college.
Ten renewable scholarships worth up to $5,000 each are available.
Minnesota State Archery Association
The Minnesota State Archery Association lists a Youth Scholarship as one of the benefits of family membership. Student archers graduating from high school are eligible to compete for two $500 college scholarships, and students in the first three years of college may also apply as long as they are members in good standing. The scholarship is a one-time award.
Nevada Bow Hunters Association
The Nevada Bow Hunters Association looks for a student who actively contributes to the sport of archery, and one who is sufficiently motivated to locate documentation on this relatively unpublicized scholarship program. You will need to supply proof of your academic record, discuss your involvement with the sport, and tell the committee your plans for using the award money.
Special Award: The Clarke Sinclair Memorial Archery Scholarship
This award is perpetuated by the family of a young archer who never had the chance to fulfill his potential. The Clarke Sinclair Memorial Archery Scholarship disburses donations the family receives in the form of one to three college scholarships of between $250 and $1,000 each awarded to applicants in college who have a 3.0 GPA. There is a second $500 award available for graduating high school seniors, and you should check with the site for the scholarship’s present status.
Scholarships Available Through Colleges
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
The College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point lists several scholarships that are suitable for student archers, especially those involved in hunting:
- The BOW Inc. Outdoor Skills Scholarship in the amount of $500 goes to a student who teaches traditional survival skills like hunting or fishing to others.
- The Michael Dew Scholarship for $1,000 is given to a junior or senior student who participates in hunting and outdoor recreation.
- The Wisconsin Traditional Archers Scholarship (two awards of $750 each), also for a junior or senior, is reserved for Wisconsin residents and has its own application form.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University has a group of Undergraduate Shooting Sports Scholarships available for students in the archery, rifle, and pistol shooting clubs, including the following awards for archers:
- The Hal and Jean Glassen Shooting Sports Endowed Scholarship is for first-year club members with an interest in marksmanship and a 3.0 GPA. This $2,000 award is renewable.
- The Shooting Sports Club Scholarships, also for first-year students, go to competitive shooters on the school’s teams who are distinguished by their leadership ability. This $500 scholarship is also renewable.