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More than 5,000 NESA scholarship applications are received each year, and fewer than 100 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.
There are two types of nationally-awarded Eagle Scout scholarships:
Academic scholarships include a varying number of $3,000 scholarships awarded each year by the National Eagle Scout Association and a varying number of 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. 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.
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.
The other 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.
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.