Aim, Shoot, and Fire your Way to a Rifling Scholarship
Do you know how to handle guns? Are you one of your school's junior shooters? If pistols, shotguns, revolvers, and muzzle loaders interest you and your hobbies include target shooting, then you can get a scholarship grant for riflers. Yes, you read that right. You may qualify for an educational grant out of your shooting sport. In support of junior shooters, state-based rifling associations and national organizations are now offering financial aid to interested and highly-qualified members of rifle teams.
State-wide Rifling Scholarships
States like Ohio, Maryland, and New York have their own rifling associations who provide scholarship programs to highly-competitive junior shooters.
An annual contributor to the Friends of NRA, the Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association (ORPA) also supports the NRA Youth Education Summit and the Ohio Youth Hunter Education Challenge. It also offers two college scholarships to junior shooters who would like to earn baccalaureate degrees.
One of these is the Donna J. Deal Memorial Scholarship which awards $500 to qualified shooters who will enroll in affiliated college or university. To qualify, an applicant must be an ORPA member who has joined competitions for a minimum of two years before receiving financial aid. A minimum of 3.0 GPA during third and fourth years in high school is also required.
In Maryland, the Dave Ward Memorial Scholarship is awarded to qualified high school students (Grades 11 & 12) of any Maryland high school who are planning to get into college. Sponsored by the Monumental Rifle and Pistol Club, the program aims to promote good citizenship among students and provide financial support. An original, well-written essay with the title “What Citizenship Means to Me” must be submitted together with personal recommendations and application forms. Winners will be awarded with $1,000 each.
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. (NYSRPA) offers the Matthew J. Stoff Memorial Junior Scholarship Award to any high school graduate who is a member of any competitive rifling team. Applicants should be NYSRPA members who would like to earn college degrees. Two scholarships worth $1,200 each and plaques are to be awarded to qualified students at the NYSRPA Annual Meeting.
National Rifling Scholarships
Meanwhile, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has over 174 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships worth $7,500 each for competitive athletes. These are offered to male and female members of college rifle teams who would like to further their studies. Interested athletes must have a minimum of 3.2 GPA and should be full-time or part-time students by the time they finish their bachelor's degrees. For schedule of seasonal sports, you may check their website.
Another national advocate of the sport is the National Rifling Association who offers the Youth Education Summit (YES) Scholarship to qualified delegates of the week-long Youth Education Summit. The all-expense-paid workshop in Washington, D.C. is open to high school sophomores and juniors. Participants will be educated on federal government and the importance of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Over $30,000 worth of scholarships are to be awarded to qualified delegates. The monetary award is divided among two rounds. After the summit, a total of $10,000 will be given to deserving participants based on their on-site debates, initial application, and performance. The remaining $20,000 given during the second round is known as the Grand Scholarship and requires a second application from delegates. It may be given to multiple students or to only one student.
Another national grant offered to riflers is the Civilian Marksmanship Scholarship Program Award. To qualify, you must be an active ROTC or JROTC rifle team member or an undergraduate or high school student who has competitive rifle marksmanship skills and excellent grades and leadership skills. The ROTC rifle scholarships are worth $1,000 each and may be renewed for four years.
Scholarships for the Brave and the Non-rifler
Aside from state-based and national scholarships offered to support competitive junior shooters, there are also scholarship programs given to recognize bravery and loyalty among law enforcement officers who are members of the NRA.
The NRA sponsors the Jeanne E. Bray Memorial Scholarship Awards Program which awards its recipients with over $1,000 per semester. They should be dependents of any law enforcement officer who had been killed in the time of service and who was a member of the NRA when he died. Dependents of current or retired officers who are NRA members may also apply.
Financial aid is also given to non-riflers who can contribute to informing people about handling guns. The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund started the Law Student Scholarship Writing Contest where law students who can come up with winning essays on the legal right to carry firearms will receive awards from over $2,500 to $12,500.