NESA’s Eagle Scout scholarship window opens

Eagle Scouts, start your mouses.

The window for 2015 National Eagle Scout Association scholarships opens today. You have nearly three months to submit your application; the deadline is Dec. 31, 2014. Winners will be contacted by July 15, 2015.

Last year, NESA awarded more than $650,000 in scholarships to deserving Eagle Scouts.

NESA offers two types of scholarships: academic and merit.

Academic scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts who are graduating high school and entering college in 2015.

Exception: Scouts whose Eagle Scout boards of review are held the same year of their high school graduation may apply in that calendar year. For example: a Scout who earned Eagle in February 2014 and graduated high school in May 2014 wasn’t eligible to apply for 2014 scholarships. So he should apply for 2015 scholarships.

Academic scholarships require a minimum 1800 SAT or 28 ACT score to apply.

You may receive a scholarship one time only.

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.

Here’s what else you need to know:

Online only

As with past years, there is no paper submission form. You can only apply online, a move that saves NESA about $15,000 a year in printing, postage and other costs.

Paper copies from previous years are out of date and will not be accepted. If you see a paper application online, don’t use it. Applying with that may make you ineligible.

Judged by volunteers

NESA staffers process the applications, but judging and selection is done by volunteer committees based in the region in which you earned the Eagle rank.

Personal identifying info is removed, meaning judges don’t know the Eagle Scout’s name, address or troop number.

Applicants must be NESA members

To apply for a NESA scholarship, you must be a NESA member. It makes sense.

You can join NESA at this link and then apply once you’re a member.

NESA staffers will verify that each recipient is a NESA member using the official NESA database. NESA membership is based on the date and time the membership application is received by NESA.

No wiggle room on the deadline

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, the application window is closed. So get it in early. NESA does not grant extensions for any reason.

Also, the application requires references. So, be courteous and give the individuals who are writing references on your behalf plenty of time to get their reference letter in before the deadline.

Have questions?

Most of your questions are likely answered on the NESA scholarships page.

NESA might not see questions you post as comments below. It’s better to email questions to

Video: Scholarship tips from NESA

Photo from Flickr:  Some rights reserved by Monash University


  1. Last year I called NESA and posed a question that may be good to share here. Regarding the statement “must be Eagle Scouts who are graduating high school and entering college in 2015” I asked if this disqualified scouts who graduate from high school in a certain year but then defer college for a period of time to participate in a mission experience, such as LDS scouts who now have the option of going at age 18. The answer that I received was that this did not disqualify them but that they did need to apply during their graduation cycle and that NESA would then defer the award until they returned.

    With this said, they did not provide me with any written confirmation of this answer. (I had previously e-mail this question to them without a response so I called and found someone to talk with.) So I’m hoping that this is indeed the case. It would be nice, though, if they would list this somewhere in their literature. As of the time when I asked and in this post it appears to exclude these scouts.

  2. If the intent is to not disqualify LDS mission bound Eagle Scouts from scholarship eligibility, I think it would be best to state that a deferral is possible since male LDS missionaries begin their service at 18. I know I didn’t apply for NESA’s scholarship specifically because I began my mission the summer after High School and thus couldn’t meet the immediate college attendence requirement despite graduating with honors at the top of my class. I would hate for other worthy Eagles to also be denied the opportunity to apply.

  3. It should be noted that NESA does not appear to ever answer any written communications. That includes request forms submitted via the Web site, e-mails to their published address, or USPS mail. From time to time you may get a form reply which tells you how busy they are and that a reply will be forthcoming. Unfortunately, that reply never comes. After trying for months to correct a problem with my NESA account, I found that the only way to communicate with NESA was by telephone and even then the problem remains only half resolved.

      • I thought I was clear in my original posting. I note that there were others who said the same thing I said in my posting–along the lines of “I asked for an answer and nobody answered.” It turns out that a phone call to NESA was what was needed in my case. That was counter-intuitive since most entities on the Internet want e-mail. In my case I had been trying off and on to solve a problem with my NESA login. At first I could not set up an account. Several e-mails over several months later there was still no answer. Ditto for fill-in-the-form responses and ditto for the snail-mail letter I sent. Finally I decided to call and now I could login. But then the account didn’t recognize the fact that I am a member. I tried e-mails and Web forms again. No response. So I called again and the problem was sort of solved. The person handling the problem was VERY nice, by the way. I can now login and I am now recognized as a member, but now there are two accounts with my name on them–one as a member, one not, so I show up twice when searching for Eagles. I chuckled just a bit because I notice that one of my brothers shows up twice as well. Apparently there is some issue when Eagles with the same last name from the same troop try to set up NESA accounts and apparently there is a problem with a new account linking to the NESA membership without intervention from tech support. I am sure that the tech support person is very much overworked so I suppose I should have said in my posting “so instead of writing e-mails, just give NESA a call at the number on the Web site.”

        • Hank,

          We had an issue where our email was being forwarded to an unmonitored email account that we have since corrected. So, that might have been the issue.

          I think I corrected the issue with two listings. Try searching for yourself again.

          If you want me to correct your brother’s, just reply with his name…


        • Thanks for the intervention! It looks like there is just one of me at this point.

          Robert Manz is listed twice, once as Robert Manz, the other time as Robert Hayward Manz. Both listings are for the same person. The Eagle BOR dates match and the troop number is the same. I have no idea if he ever logs in.

          There are three listings for John Manz, but there are no mistakes with names there. They are three different people–my father, my older brother (Capt. Manz), and somebody I don’t know. The Eagle date for my father is interesting because it is listed as 10/26/2023. It is really 100 years earlier–10/26/1923.

          Thanks again for the help.

          -Hank Manz

  4. I have to second Eagle Scouter’s thoughts. My son did not apply for this scholarship because he was starting his LDS mission a month after graduation. It would be really helpful if the NESA folks would make it clear up front that those deferring college until after church missions (regardless of affiliation) were still eligible.

  5. What happens if you receive your eagle on 1/1/2015 and join NESA. Are you shut out from receiving a scholarship for your freshman year of college?

    • Yes, in those cases the disbursement of funds would be in the sophomore year of college.

      Ryan Larson
      Associate Director, NESA

    • Perhaps, that was a local scholarship? The NESA scholarship window is still open until 12/31/14 for funds that will be disbursed in 2015.

      Ryan Larson
      Associate Director, NESA

  6. My son filled out the application for a scholarship. He then paid the membership fee to join NESA today, December 28,2014. It is my understanding that as long as he joined NESA by the scholarship deadline date of December 31,2014,11:59pm, his application would be considered. When will he get confirmation that it has all gone through?

    • Hello Laurie,

      Yes, as long as he joined NESA by the deadline he will be fine. A lot of our employees have been out on holiday. So, he should get confirmation about his NESA application within the next two weeks.

      • Hi Ryan,

        I keep trying to contact NESA since I keep having trouble getting my account registered properly (I’ve even paid for membership again to see if it might get their attention). Could you help me out? I’m trying every way I can to get in contact with the people there. Thanks!

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