Marksmanship is one of those rare disciplines where you may have more luck looking
outside of your college for scholarship funding to land the most generous awards.
As rifling grows in popularity, state-wide and local groups looking to promote the
sport do as well. While some of these groups can get political on the issue of gun
laws, others are more concerned with keeping competitive rifling alive, and only
want to know that you have a history in the sport before considering you for an
award. If you’re a member of these groups, you’re in even better shape, as some
groups require membership in their organization before awarding you a scholarship.
To make yourself stand out among these organizations, try out a few competitions.
Some want to see that you’ve had a sustained interest in the sport, even if you
plan on only pursuing it as a hobby while in college.
Many outside organizations also award scholarships based on criteria outside of
your marksmanship abilities. If you’re good at the sport but don’t necessarily want
to compete in the sport on the college level, look at scholarships from rifle groups
that reward you for other criteria, such as academic achievement or community service.
Some groups also consider your financial need before making a determination. Those
interested in pursuing marksmanship on the college level, however, should be aware
that college-based awards will require a minimum GPA for you to get on a team and
receive an award. The NCAA, while usually more competitive than awards doled by
outside groups and organizations, also rewards athletes on the postgraduate level.
Check out some examples of where to find marksmanship scholarships below. For additional
information about scholarships and awards based on different criteria, try conducting
a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
About $1 billion in full and partial athletic scholarships are awarded each year
by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to more than 126,000 undergraduate
student-athletes at Division I and Division II schools. Although these scholarships
are awarded and administered directly by each academic institution, not the NCAA,
you’ll be required to meet the requirements of the NCAA to receive any funding.
Those requirements include a minimum GPA for both the college-bound and those already
on campuses, and qualifying standardized test scores. Contact your intended school’s
athletic department for more information if you have the academics and the skill
to play on a college team.
If you plan on rifling in college your intended institution could have funds and
endowments set up by alumni who participated in the sport before you ever set foot
on that campus or in honor of relatives and important figures to your school. The
University of Wisconsin at Madison, for example, offers the Doctor Herbert M. Aitken
Scholarship to promote rifling and marksmanship. The amount of each annual award
varies, but the scholarship is part of a permanent endowment fund. Make sure you
do your research, and talk to your financial aid office and athletic departments
about local and college-based awards you could be eligible for.
Scholarships by State
State and local rifle and pistol organizations can be good sources of scholarship
money. The Dave Ward Memorial Scholarship, for example, is available through the
Monumental Rifle and Pistol Club in Maryland. High school juniors and seniors are
eligible to apply for the $1,000 award, and you don’t need to be a part of the association
to win. Make sure you’re looking locally when applying for scholarship funding to
fund your college education and interest in the sport, especially if you already
belong to a rifle or pistol club in your community.