The National Eagle Scout Association offers two types of Eagle Scout scholarships:
The first type of scholarship offered by NESA is the academic scholarship, which includes a varying number of $3,000 NESA scholarships, and a varying number of $2,500 Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke scholarships. The Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke scholarships are awarded annually and include four $20,000 scholarships (payable at $5,000 per year) and one $48,000 scholarship (up to $12,000 payable for four years), plus a varying number of others.
NESA offers two additional academic scholarships including one $50,000 STEM scholarship (up to $12,500 payable for four years) to an applicant who plans to major in a science, technology, engineering, or math field, and one $25,000 United Health Foundation scholarship offered to an applicant who plans to pursue a career in the healthcare arena and is willing to reinvest his knowledge and skills in an underserved community.
NESA academic scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts graduating high school and entering college in the year for which they apply for a scholarship. Scholarships are awarded only to those who graduate from high school in the calendar year in which scholarships are presented. Exception: Scouts whose Eagle Scout boards of review are held the same year of their high school graduation may apply in that calendar year. They may receive a scholarship one time only.
Scholarship committees are formed each year in each of the four BSA regions (Northeast, Southern, Central, and Western) to recommend recipients of these scholarships, with the final determination made by the national NESA Scholarship Committee.
The second type of national Eagle Scout scholarship is the Hall/McElwain Merit Scholarship. Each BSA region reviews applications and awards a varying number of these $1,000 scholarships.
NESA merit scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts graduating high school or undergraduate college students no farther than completion of the junior year. Recipients may receive the scholarship one time only.
More than 5,000 NESA scholarship applications are received each year, and fewer than 150 are awarded, so the competition is stiff. Plans are being formulated to greatly increase the amount of funds available to award NESA Eagle Scout scholarships through future years.