Over the course of the history of the National Eagle Scout Association (“NESA”), one of its primary missions has been to provide worthy Scouts annual scholarships to utilize towards their college education.
The current Vice President of the NESA Scholarship Committee is Rich Brenner (10/2020)
There are three types of scholarships:
General Financial Scholarships
Glenn and Melinda Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award
Cooke Scholarship and General Financial Scholarships
Over the course of many years, NESA has accumulated endowment funds so that the earnings from these funds are able to support annual scholarships to thirty to fifty worth Scouts, depending on the year. The total annual amount allocated to scholarships is approximately $500,000 per year, depending on returns from the endowment funds.
The largest single scholarship each year comes from one endowment fund, and is for a four-year scholarship totaling $48,000 over 4 years of college (The “COOKE Scholarship”). Other scholarship winners are normally for approximately $5,000 each and are payable from one of the endowment funds, payable in one year. Applicants may apply while a high school senior and then for each year they are enrolled in a four-year college for one of the $5,000 scholarships.
The application process starts when an Eagle Scout, who must be a member of NESA, completes an application for a NESA scholarship through the NESA website portal. The applications are submitted during an open window for submission, usually between December 1st and January 31st of each school year. The application has both objective and subjective components for the candidate to complete. The categories include their Scouting record, service to scouting, academic record, service to their school, community service and religious service. Also included on their application are their financial need, and factors such as family size, and other extenuating circumstances that effect their financial need due to financial impacts on their family. There are four essays each applicant must also submit, which are about their citizenship, their character, their service to the community and their financial need.
Once their applications are submitted, they are reviewed by the National Scholarship Committee for completeness, and then are divided into smaller groups, historically by Regions. The Regions then meet to review the applicants from their Region. They first select the finalists for the COOKE Scholarship that they believe is their top candidate, which will then be reviewed against the winner for that same scholarship from the other Regions by the National Selection Committee to pick the one National COOKE Scholarship winner. The finalists not selected will instead be a winner for one of their Regional scholarships at the $5,000 level.
The number of $5,000 winners in each Region are dependent on the total pool available to be awarded for total scholarships each year. The total pool of scholarships to be awarded, less the COOKE Scholarship, is divided evenly between the Regions, and then divided by $5,000 to determine how many scholarships are awarded in each Region.
Once selected by the Regions, the National Scholarship Committee reviews the Regional winners and the COOKE Scholarship Winner to reconfirm that the selected applicants are actually Eagle Scouts in good standing, and are currently registered members of NESA. Once these facts have been confirmed, the applicants are notified that they have been selected, and the process for collecting their scholarship funds will begin in the college year.
Glenn And Melinda Adams Eagle Scout Service Project Of The Year
NESA is very fortunate that our past president and his wife, Glenn and Melinda Adams, have provided funds for an annual fund of $9,000, divided as $2,500 scholarship (plus $2,500 award to the recipients home Council), and four $500 Regional scholarships (plus $500 for their home Council) for service of an exceptional nature by an Eagle Scout candidate to a religious institution, a school, community or other entity through completion of an Eagle Scout project (the “Adams Awards”). Examples of projects that have been selected for the Adams Awards include projects that have benefited underprivileged children, recognized veterans, been international in nature, and have required significant time and resources.
The selection of recipients begins at the local level and is conducted through each council’s NESA committee (which may use a NESA awards sub-committee). Applications are due to the Council NESA Committee by January 21 each year. The council NESA committee selects a recipient for their respective council from the list of submitted nominations and then forwards a worthy candidate to the National Eagle Scout Association for regional consideration.
Regional Adams Award recipients are selected by each Region’s NESA scholarship committee. Regional Adams Award recipients will receive $500, to be available for their future educational purposes or to attend a national or international Scouting event or facility. Their home Council will also receive a $500 award.
The recipient of the National award is then selected from among Regional recipients by a National Selection Committee of the National Eagle Scout Association. The National recipient will receive $2,500 to be available for their future educational purposes, or to attend a national or international Scouting event or facility. Their Home council will also receive a $2,500 award.