Eagle Scouts at this college get automatic $20,000 scholarship

If you want to see which institutes of higher learning place a high value on the Eagle Scout Award, simply follow the money.

That trail might take you to Hampden–Sydney College in Virginia.

Eagle Scouts who attend Hampden-Sydney, the 10th oldest college in the U.S., receive an automatic scholarship worth $5,000 per year for four years.

That’s $20,000 of free money toward an education at this highly ranked liberal arts school.

The hefty scholarship explains why 12.6 percent of students currently enrolled at Hampden-Sydney are Eagle Scouts. Exactly 132 of the 1,046 students at the college have earned Scouting’s highest honor.

So why does Hampden-Sydney offer such a sizable scholarship to Eagle Scouts? I asked Dr. Larry Stimpert, Hampden-Sydney’s president, for the scoop.

‘A perfect fit for Scouts’

Scouting is about more than learning outdoors skills. It’s about building character.

Similarly, Stimpert says, Hampden-Sydney teaches more than classroom lessons. In fact, students are encouraged to get out and explore the 1,300-acre campus and its many trails.

“The college emphasizes character development just as much as intellectual growth, and the values we believe in here are some of the same as those articulated in the Eagle Scout challenge,” he says. “This makes Hampden-Sydney a perfect fit for Scouts pursuing higher education.”

Living the Oath and Law

Scouts are guided by two codes: the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Hampden-Sydney students are guided by two codes as well.

“Our student code of conduct says that the Hampden-Sydney student ‘will behave as a gentleman at all times and in all places,’ and our honor code declares that the Hampden-Sydney student ‘will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do,'” Stimpert says.

In other words, they’re vowing to be courteous and trustworthy.

Building a network

What you’ve heard is true: Eagle Scouts hire other Eagle Scouts.

Similarly, Hampden-Sydney graduates enter a strong alumni network after college. This means access to a robust group of potential mentors, employers and friends.

“Entering Hampden-Sydney is about more than starting college; it’s about joining a lasting brotherhood,” Stimpert says. “And, one of our time-honored traditions at Hampden-Sydney is the expectation for students to say hello to those they pass on the pathways of our campus.”

In fact, that’s a big reason Mark Keefe’s Eagle Scout son, Duncan, enrolled at Hampden-Sydney.

“It is one of the reasons why my son looked at the college,” Mark says. “The brotherhood there was the deciding factor.”

Serving others first

One final parallel covers serving the community.

“Like the Boy Scouts, we also encourage a commitment to service,” Stimpert says.

On weekends, you’ll often find student groups at Hampden-Sydney participating in community service and raising money for local nonprofit organizations.

Duncan, the Eagle Scout, spends about 50 hours a week in the computer lab, but he still found time to be a counselor at a recent merit badge day for local Scouts

“Ultimately, like the Scouts, a Hampden-Sydney education is about transformation,” Stimpert says. “Just as Scouting gives a young man a wide breadth of skills and abilities, Hampden-Sydney provides the tools necessary for having not just successful careers, but rewarding lives.”


  1. University of Evansville (Indiana) offers Scouting scholarships as well. “Scouting – Awarded to those who have earned the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout, Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award, Sea Scouting Quartermaster Award, American Heritage Girls Stars and Stripes Award, or Venturing Silver Award.”

  2. Being a 44 year veteran of Scouting it is so refreshing and encouraging to read this article. I will share this with all I know in Scouting. One question, how many of the Eagles are also members of OA and possibly Honor Vigil.

    • Don’t know the number, but during a campus visit with my older son a few years ago the “model” dorm room had a Vigil sash hanging prominently at the foot of the bunk beds – there was no doubt in our minds it was intentional and a reminder that leadership and service were encouraged and that the school takes great pride in its support of Scouting.

    • A liberal arts education refers to academic subjects such as literature, philosophy, mathematics, and social and physical sciences

      • My son is studying Computer Science there, with additional majors in German and Math, and a minor in Music. He was accepted pretty much everywhere with his near perfect SATs, but chose HSC because he wants to develop his entire being, not just learn coding that he has been doing since he was 10! Draw your own conclusion.

        • I accidentally hit the thumbs down. THUMBS UP to this! Perhaps if I had studied computer science I would have figured out how to undo it. 😉

    • Wow, How arrogant. So if a boy in your troop wants to study: Applied Mathematics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biography, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics & Business, Engineering Physics, Foreign Affairs, Government, History, Mathematical Economics, Physics, Psychology, Military Leadership and National Security, you would look down on them? Those are all majors offered at this school. But you can draw your own conclusions.

        • I feel it was directed to the “Liberal Arts” comment. H-SC is an awesome school with a great program, great statistics on number of students in each class completing their programs, degrees and job placement. Sad that a scout would knock a program that has better turnout success than our beloved scouting.

        • Go up like 6 postings and read what Bart had to say. There is always “one” in any group or setting that has to be a bad-ass. Thinking it makes them good while in reality it shows people how bad they really are.

      • “Molecular biography”❓❓❓ 😕
        Maybe that is a new major at some college. 🎓 Interdisciplinary study of the life of a molecule.
        🔸 Did spell-check mean “Molecular Biology”.

    • This world would be a less colorful place if everything were engineering, business and medicine. If anyone thinks that liberal arts does not prepare you for life I would be happy to discuss being a double liberal arts major myself and directing a multi-million dollar publishing operation and enjoying 40-years as an adult Scouter.

    • Liberal arts schools can surprise you. The one I attended had amazing science, engineering, and healthcare programs. I graduated with my masters in Physical therapy. I had friends that interned with multiple departments at GE. For us it just meant taking a more well rounded core of courses to enhance our specialized ones.

    • HSC offers a significant number of science majors that lead to degrees, not the least of which are Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Computer Science. Bart maybe you should do some research before you just “put it out there” and insinuate it’s a lesser educational experience.

  3. Bryan,
    It seems there are other colleges out there that value high achieving scouts. Any chance you could put together a descriptive list? It would be helpful to many Scout parents.

  4. Sort of in line with the topic, but Eagle Scouts interview and HIRE Eagle scouts. So be prepared. When I completed my degree, I applied for research position at Cornell University. As I walked into the PhD’s office for the interview, I noticed an Eagle Scout paperweight on his book shelf. So the next thoughts were this..this guy has a son that is an Eagle Scout and/or he is an Eagle Scout himself.

    The first thing the guy did was toss me a section of rope and told me to tie a square knot. I then tied one and asked him if he needed to see more. I tied 8 more knots. I then asked him if he wanted to learn a few knots as well. I taught him a tug boat bowline and a zeppelin knot.

    What was behind the knot skills – not really anything other than the guy wanting to know if I was what I had claimed to say I was. I taught him some new knots because I was going for a job at a university and a teaching hospital. The BOR (oh I mean job interview) lasted over 2 hours. I walked away knowing that I had the job. During my work with the good Dr. I was introduced to over a dozen other brother Eagles that were either PhD’s, graduate students, and even a couple of undergrads and co-workers.

    Twenty years later, I was a lab director and had the chance of sitting on the other side of the interview table. I had several applicants that had earned their Eagle Scout rank and a Gold Star Girl Scout. I had one Eagle Scout that had applied for a summer student position for 2 years, but due to summer hire policies, other applicants here hired over him. The 3rd year, nobody had applied for the summer student position. I got a message to him to apply, that nobody had applied to the position, and it was open for me to hire outside of the summer hire policy. His response was that he was denied 2 times already. My response was that perhaps I was best to leave the position unfilled since the Eagle I know of was lacking the character for the position. I got his C.V. the next day and he was interviewed by myself and other technicians he would be working with.

    The guy was awesome in the lab, on the bench, with other FT and PT employees. I believe that he graduated college and is in Med School at the moment. If I was have someone to operate on me, I would want him cutting me open. So there is my confidence in him as a Eagle. I know the guy will succeed in what ever he puts his mind to. He even has a younger brother that is also an Eagle Scout that is of equal ability and character.

    I also got to know a medical doctor that we had planned to do research with. We would meet in my office for meetings. I had one of those large Eagle Scout Rank patches sitting over my desk. He asked me why I had it there. My reply was that sometimes I get an annoyed customer call and I would look at the patch to remind myself who I was and how I should act. A couple years later on a camp out, the Dr. walked into a Crackle Barrel meeting. It was my summer student’s Scoutmaster. He smiled and came over and I asked him why he never told me that he was a S.M. His reply was that he never told me that he was an Eagle Scout either and that you never know who people are when you talk to them.

    So all you scouts need to keep this in mind all through your life. You never know where the Eagle Scouts are and that you should always BE PREPARED. Even if a person is not an Eagle Scout, you still be a good example what scouting stands for. “Once a Scout, always a Scout”

    • I forgot to add that I did hired a gal that was involved in a Venture Crew. I did not call her references, but rather talked to a scouter that was one of the Crew advisors. I asked if she was a worker, did she keep her word, and did she work well with others. Yes on all accounts. She was hired and was a very good worker. So I expect that any female Eagles will be just as good as an guy Eagle Scout. I never saw a Gold Award mentioned in a resume’ though. I would have made them an offer if I had any applicants depending if their education and experience match the job description.

  5. My youngest son has joined his brother as an Eagle and OA brother. One is a high school senior and the other a junior. It would be great to have a list of colleges offering these opportunities for Eagles. Both know what their paths are and this could only help.

  6. While I celebrate the recognition of the Eagle Scouts, I do note that this college is fairly pricey at nearly $60 K per year in tuition, room, board and fees, making it the third highest four-year college in Virginia. Many Eagles simply cannot afford something of this magnitude, even with an 8% price break for being an Eagle scout. The $60 K is still more than double what a student pays at an in-state public college (scholarships and grants at both institutions notwithstanding). A Scout is Thrifty!

    • Agreed – pricy colleges. 💵 💰 💵
      I would be much more impressed with an institution that sets a fair tuition for ALL students, rather than sky high “list price” and then all kinds of “scholarships” and special deals “just for our.” Call it marketing. But for this consumer,, I am much more impressed by a fair price up front. If I want to haggle, I will go to a used car lot, etc.

      Also, I am not impressed by colleges trying to attract students (suckers?) by turning into country clubs, super fitness centers, and “‘A+”s in worthless majors. 🍺 Four plus years of luxury living, no job prospects after graduation and large student loan debt. $$$

      Look in to William Jeanings Bryant College, a small private school where all the young scholars work part of the day on campus and Zero Tuition! FEMA (IS) distant learning courses leading to transferable elective college credits. Life learning college credits. High school AP courses with attached college credits. College credit courses in the Military Services and trade/college benefits earned from service.
      🦉 AND best of all, live a home while attending local community college for two years, then transfer to the _name_brand_ four year college for the last two years and the degree. 🎓

    • Few students actually pay full tuition, thanks to H-SC’s generous scholarship programs aside from the Eagle Scout scholarship. I’m speaking from experience. My son graduated from there. With the ES scholarship, plus others, we paid about $22K per year.

    • My younger son is a junior at H-SC. After the scholarships and awards most students get, the net cost for him is about $21,000 per year, including housing and an unlimited meal plan. That’s about what it cost my older son to attend JMU (including room and board) with in-state tuition. So don’t let the sticker price scare you. For my money, H-SC offers an education at least equal to JMU and most of the public colleges and universities in VA, plus the added dimension of character development. According to my son, who spent a semester at VMI before transferring to H-SC, the honor code is taken more seriously at H-SC than at VMI, who borrowed it from H-SC.

  7. While I haven’t interviewed for a job for nearly thirty years, I’ve always been told — by people who do the interviews — that there are two things which will make your resume stand out: Eagle Scout; and Phi Beta Kappa. As an alumnus of H-SC, I can attest to the fact that both have a strong presence on campus.

  8. Fighting Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets has the Aggie Eagle program http://corps.tamu.edu/aggie-eagle-program/ . Our son started in the Corps of Cadets 25 years ago. This program did not exist then. He did receive a $2000 scholarship ($500 per semester for two years) . He had a Navy ROTC 3-year scholarship. He served in the top leadership positions all four years. Was recruited to be the Regiment Commander for the NROTC, but turned them down to be the Company Commander because, “I did not trust any of the other seniors not in Corps Staff positions to lead the outfit.” He told me, “Dad, it’s just like being SPL in the troop again.” He retired from commissioned service with the NAVY and NOAA and is back in College Station as a Human Resources Assistant with the NROTC detachment. He follows the “I will give back to Scouting . . .” from the Eagle Pledge as the camping and outdoor activities Dad for his daughter’s American Heritage Girls troop.

    • That is an awesome story. My Father, Uncle, 2 brothers and 1 nephew were all in the Aggie Corp of Cadets. I was raised being taught I had maroon blood 😀. Each of the men in my life went on to have fantastic careers, Colonal in e Army, VP Coke-Cola, Exxon Exec, Vetinarian, Four of the five were Eagle Scouts. I grew up and ended up as a female Administrator over Correctional Facilities for Juvenile Delinguents. I did a lot of hiring over my years. ( I was a Girl Scout 20 years) Any time I saw Eagle Scout- chances that’s the person who got the job. To me it represented leadership skills, group skills, flexibility, honesty, trustworthy, loyal and I could go on. Those traits matter when job seeking. An Eagle Scout should never hold back but find a place at an interview to bring up being and Eagle along with the traits he acquired earring that honor.

  9. Texas A&M has a program called “Aggie Eagle” for any prospective students that have earned Eagle or the GS Gold Award. Its designed around joining the Corps of Cadets and is a great weekend program for the kids and parents. I believe all attendees leave with a Corps scholarship if they choose to attend the university and join the Corps.

  10. Different colleges appeal to different folks. But, what you have to look at is not how much the scholarship is, but how much you still have to pay. With the $5,000 Eagle Scholarship you only have to pay around $53,000 for your freshman year and over $45,000 for your other three years! What a deal – a discount of less than 10%, but it sure sounds good if you say it is a $5,000 scholarship and don’t mention that it still leaves over $50K to pay.

    At Hampden-Sydney the per year cost is broken down for 2016-17 as
    Tuition: $42,470
    Room: 6,012
    Mandatory Freshman Meal Plan: 7,408
    Technology Fee for double room: 1,054
    Parking Permit/Registration Fee: 276
    Orientation Fee: 446

    see: http://www.hsc.edu/admissions-and-financial-aid/tuition-and-fees

    • H-SC offers a variety of other scholarships and financial aid options. My son graduated from there and we paid about $22K per year, thanks to the ES scholarship, plus a number of other merit and academic-based awards. Only a small fraction of students pay full tuition.

  11. Eagle Scouts who are open to being challenged may want to consider Wyoming Catholic College. They have rigorous required academic and leadership programs with values similar to many scout programs.

    Having met many students and alumni of several colleges I have learned great respect for liberal arts colleges and those who graduate from them. The lack of respect for liberal arts seems to be mostly a southern, which is where I live.

    Being a Texas Aggie myself I can say WCC is not for everyone but I wish it had been around when I was younger! A US Air Force Academy friend says she wishes the same. I was in Aggie Scouts and outdoor programs while at A&M but nothing like the outdoor programs and leadership required at WCC. It is certainly worth a look.

    While they do not offer an Eagle scholarship this school would be attractive to many Eagle Scouts.

    • I respectfully disagree. OA vigil is dependent on the clique of each specific lodge. Some are great, others not so much. I respect Eagles 1000 times more than vigil brothers, because an Eagle is an Eagle because he wants to be one, and works for it. Vigils are handed out like candy to friends in the lodge where we live. Not based on honor, but based on “what can you do for me?”.

      • OA seems to be like a highschool year book. People want their picture in the year book in all these clubs, but seldom show up after the picture has been taken. “Work” or “Service” are considered a swear word by some people. There are people out there. In OA that do work, but that number seems to be small. I have it heard in my council that if ” You are wearing the lodge flap, you need to work. If you are not working in the lodge then remove the lodge flap.”. So Eagle means more to me.

  12. Very nice that they honor Eagles this way but this is a really expensive school. I’d rather send my kids to our local 2yr college.

    Where you attend school has no real bearing for the majority of grads these days. I’m not interested in being in debt for meal plans or dorming expenses. I’m also not interested in having my kids saddled with rediculous debt from student loans for the same. The future is tough enough without being held underwater financially, for 2 decades after you graduate. My kids will work and go to school just as we did, paying as they go, with our assistance. ( personal accountability every step of the way)

    Character developement was and is my job and the reason we became involved in scouting. The money we saved for college will be spent in a thrifty manor and if we do it right, based on all we now know, each of our 4 kids will start life with a nest egg instead of debt. (Sadly, their mates in life will probably come with this debt) A scout is prepared.

    I know many people who bought into the “college experience” and now in their mid forties they are miserable. Some divorced because of the financial strain of double student loans. Still slaves to their college debt while trying to own homes and raise families. (some have kids about to enter the same catch 22) No, thank you.

    • Great story Jane, your way of thinking mirrored that of ours in this household. Both kids in late 30’s, families, kids and happy with zero debt when they both tied the knot. The ‘Eagle’ got a great technical education at a two year school and is gainfully employed at a local nuclear station, hired by another Eagle who just happened to be the Maintenance Superintendent.

  13. First of all how much is tuition because I’m willing to bet that that is only a drop of the cost and second you must add in the human factor because that be real these are college students

  14. Stanford University also has a scholarship for Eagle Scouts, the Dofflemyer Scholarship. It is used to fill the gap in a person’s financial need, so the amount awarded varies. In my case, it was quite substantial!

  15. Along the original thread lines of Hampden–Sydney College (H-SC) offering a $20K scholarship to Eagle Scouts, I can also say that H-SC also provided an American Legion (AL) Keystone Boys State (KBS) (PA) Citizen/Alumni a $20K scholarship for being a graduate of AL KBS/Boys State. AL Boys State, offered in 49 of the 50 states (sorry, not offered in HI) is ONLY available to young men during the summer between their junior and senior years in HS. Many past and aspiring AL KBS Citizens are Eagle Scouts, as reported AL KBS Citizens in a survey completed on their last day of AL KBS. As a Legionnaire and Scouter, I frequently inform Scouts of the AL Boys State http://www.Legion.org/BoysNation and the annual AL Eagle Scout of the Year http://www.PA-Legion.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/2018-EAGLE-SCOUT-APP.pdf scholarship available to Boy Scouts. Famous Boys State Alumni include a former U.S. President, a sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice, the last 4 Star Admiral Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) (and USNA and AL KBS Graduate), Garth Brooks, Jon BonJovi, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Jordan and his coach Phil Jackson, U.S. Senator and Army Combat Veteran Tom Cotton, RG Griffin III, and more. To find a sponsoring AL Post go to: http://www.members.legion.org/CGI-BIN/lansaweb?webapp=MYLEPOST+webrtn=wr_dsplcr+ml=LANSA:XHTML+part=TAL+lang=ENG

    U.S. Army (Retired)
    AL KBS Mentor
    AL Chartered Organization Representative for Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop
    District Eagle BOR Member
    1 of 3 Eagle Scout brothers
    Wood Badge N6-544-16, Fox Patrol

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