Whether you are an avid outdoor sports adventurist, aspiring nature conservationist, or simply an outdoor recreation junky, there are numerous scholarships for outdoor enthusiasts just like you.
Not only are outdoor extra-curricular activities an excellent way to stay healthy and spruce up a college application, but they can also contribute to a potential payoff when it comes to scholarship funding.
If you are searching for more resources to afford gaining a college degree, the following are 25 of the most generous outdoor recreation scholarships to help you in achieving your professional goals.
1. Alma Natura Trust Scholarship
Deadline: October 1st
Sponsored by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA), the Alma Natura Trust Scholarship is granted annually for $750 to one resident of Canada, the United States, or Mexico who wishes to nurture interactions with nature by pursuing post-secondary education or training in wildlife rehabilitation. Along with the completed online application, eligible candidates are asked to submit two signed letters of recommendation and compose a paragraph or two about their experiences as a wildlife rehabilitator.
Alma Natura Trust Scholarship
2625 Clearwater Rd. Suite 110
St. Cloud, MN 56301
2. Bodie McDowell Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
Each year, the Outdoor Writers Association of America presents three or more Bodie McDowell Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to junior or senior-level undergraduate and graduate students who are actively pursuing an accredited degree full-time to enter the outdoor communication fields of print, photography, film, art, or broadcasting. Selection for the annual awards is strongly based on career goals in outdoor communications, work samples, letters of recommendation, financial need, and academic achievement.
Bodie McDowell Scholarships
615 Oak St. Suite 201
Missoula, MT 59801
3. Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest
Deadline: October 31st
Honoring the memories of the legendary champion duck callers, the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce hosts the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest at the Main Street Stage for any current graduating high school seniors. With a total of $4,250 of scholarship funding available, the first place winner will receive $2,000, second place will receive $1,000, third place will receive $750, and fourth place will receive $500 for the university of their choice.
Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest
P.O. Box 1500
Stuttgart, AR 72160
4. Clarke Sinclair Memorial Archery Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
With the goal of promoting youth and collegiate archery, the Clark Sinclair Memorial Archery Scholarship awards up to $1,000 to currently enrolled full-time undergraduate college students who are outstanding amateur archery athletes and active in competition. Qualified candidates must have at least one year remaining for their degree completion, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, submit a letter of recommendation from a coach, and compose a short essay on what archery means to them.
Clarke Sinclair Memorial Archery Scholarship
26801 Calle Real
Capistrano Beach, CA 93624
5. Delta Wildlife Annual Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Funded by a conservation organization striving to improve wildlife habitat and the environment, the Delta Wildlife Annual Scholarship is awarded each year to permanent residents of Mississippi who are enrolled in the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University with a major in Wildlife Management, Fisheries, Aquaculture, or Forestry. Selection for the renewable $1,000 scholarship will be based on scholastic achievement, leadership, financial need, and participation in career-related outdoor activities.
Delta Wildlife Annual Scholarship
107 Thompson Hall
P.O. Box 9680
Mississippi State, MS 39762
6. Ed Hiestand Memorial Veterinary Student Scholarship
Deadline: January 15th
In memory of a dedicated wildlife rehabilitator and outdoor enthusiast who devoted his career to working at the Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Center, the Ed Hiestand Memorial Veterinary Student Scholarship is open to all current enrolled veterinary students, interns, and residents. Eligible candidates must write an original paper covering a topic related to a veterinary aspect of wildlife rehabilitation, including the diagnosis, transmission, pathogenesis, treatment, or prevention of a specific wildlife-related disease.
Ed Hiestand Memorial Veterinary Student Scholarship
110 Possum Hollow Rd.
Newark, DE 19711
7. Every Drop Counts Earth Science Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 3rd
Administered by Ozarka Natural Spring Water, the Every Drop Counts Earth Science Scholarship Fund awards $10,000 scholarships to Texas outdoor enthusiasts who are currently pursuing a major in geology, hydrogeology, environmental science, environmental law, environmental education, forestry, oceanography, or ecology at an accredited four-year U.S. institution. Eligible candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, submit an official college transcript, and compose an essay on career goals in Earth sciences.
Every Drop Counts Earth Science Scholarship Fund
3265 FM 2869
Hawkins, TX 75765
8. Florida Outdoor Writers Association Scholarship
Deadline: May 16th
The Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA) offers a $1,000 annual scholarship to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at any Florida institution with a major related to communications, journalism, English, literature, natural resources, conservation, or other environmental studies. In order to be considered, applicants must demonstrate clear career goals in communicating to the public a love and appreciation for hunting, fishing, or other aspects of the outdoor experience.
Florida Outdoor Writers Association Scholarship
24 NW 33 Court St. Suite A
P.O. Box 110409
Gainesville, FL 32611
9. J. Frances Allen Scholarship Award
Deadline: March 6th
Established to honor a pioneer for women’s involvement in the field of fisheries, the American Fisheries Society (AFS) Equal Opportunity Section presents the J. Frances Allen Scholarship Award for female members who are pursuing a doctoral degree and conducting aquatic research related to fisheries science, aquatic biology, fish culture, limnology, oceanography, and marine engineering. Qualified candidates must submit a current resume, official college transcripts, a dissertation research proposal, and three letters of recommendation.
J. Frances Allen Scholarship Award
5103 Junction Highway
Mountain Home, TX 78058
(830) 866-3356 ext. 211
10. Janice and Paul Keesler Scholarship Fund
Deadline: November 1st
As a memorial for two individuals who loved New York State and the great outdoors, the Janice and Paul Keesler Scholarship Fund distributes annual awards for up to $1,000 to any New York residents who have been accepted into an accredited institution of higher learning and will be working toward obtaining a degree in some facet of wildlife management. For consideration, applicants are required to submit a 300-word essay covering outdoor interests, involvement in community organizations, and future career plans.
Janice and Paul Keesler Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 485
Newport, NY 13416
11. Jeff Baumrucker Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: July 22nd
In memory of a generous dentist and long-time supporter of hiking miles for smiles, the Climb for a Cause organization awards the Jeff Baumrucker Memorial Scholarship for up to $5,000 to deserving third or fourth-year dental students who are outdoor enthusiasts, active members of their local ASDA chapter, and members of the Academy of General Dentistry. Candidates of the funding must be interested in gaining real-world dental experience by joining the Global Dental Relief for an oral health treatment project in Guatemala.
Jeff Baumrucker Memorial Scholarship
747 Brighton Circle
Port Barrington, IL 60010
12. Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America Scholarships
Deadline: July 27th
With the mission of building a growing community of Jewish outdoor enthusiasts across North America and fostering a greater outdoor knowledge of environmental conservation, the Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America delivers annual scholarships to financially needy high school or college students to attend the North American Jewish Adventure Getaway. In order to apply, eligible Jewish candidates must submit a three-paragraph essay on outdoor interests and a detailed financial statement demonstrating need. (See also: 25 Great Scholarships for Students With Environmental Interests)
Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America Scholarships
18 Lucas Pond Rd.
Northwood, NH 03261
13. Michael Woolley Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 14th
In honor of a dedicated student of language and outdoor enthusiast who died tragically in a climbing accident in the Andes Mountains, the Michael Woolley Memorial Scholarship is awarded for up to $1,500 by the Rassias Center at Dartmouth College to enrolled full-time students who exhibit a great love for languages and the great outdoors. Eligible applicants must be accepted into one of the center’s Accelerated Language Programs (ALPs) for Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Italian, Spanish, French, German, or English.
Michael Woolley Memorial Scholarship
6071 Blunt Suite 315
Hanover, NH 03755
14. National Wild Turkey Federation Annual Scholarships
Deadline: January 1st
Each year, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) gives away more than $500,000 in scholarships to high school seniors who display a strong commitment to the preservation of the association’s hunting heritage by actively participating in hunting sports. Qualified students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, be pursuing a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary education, demonstrate community leadership involvement, and submit three letters of recommendation showing dedication to conservation.
National Wild Turkey Federation Annual Scholarships
770 Augusta Rd.
Edgefield, SC 29824
15. Norman S. Baldwin Fishery Science Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Sponsored by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in honor of a life-long fisheries scientist and leader, the Norma S. Baldwin Fishery Science Scholarship is granted for $6,000 by the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) to one deserving Master’s or Ph.D. student who is conducting research pertaining to Great Lakes fisheries. Complete applications must include a detailed research proposal, a letter of endorsement from a supervising professor, and a statement on how the research will contribute to fishery management.
Norman S. Baldwin Fishery Science Scholarship
4840 South State Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
16. Pete Petersen Memorial Scholarship for Outdoor Leadership Development
Deadline: April 15th
In memory of beloved outdoor educator who played a significant role in the early formation of the Wildlife Education Association (WEA), the Pete Petersen Memorial Scholarship for Outdoor Leadership Development is presented annually for up to $3,000 to assist undergraduate or graduate students who wish to advance their careers as outdoor educators. Qualified applicants must be enrolled full-time at a WEA-accredited institution in a relevant major program and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Pete Petersen Memorial Scholarship for Outdoor Leadership Development
2150 North 107th St. Suite 205
Seattle, WA 98133
17. Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship
Deadline: April 20th
Named for a 15-year-old skater who was extremely active in raising funds for public skateparks and non-profit skateboarding organizations, the Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship presents $5,000 to graduating high school skateboarders who will be enrolling full-time at an undergraduate two or four-year institution. In order to be considered for the funding, applicants must attach a typed 300-word essay on how skateboarding has been a positive influence in achieving personal and professional goals.
Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarship
22431 Antonio Parkway Suite B160
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
18. Richard J. Guadagno Scholarship Fund
Deadline: December 16th
In honor of a dedicated conservationist at the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge who was a passenger on the hijacked flight that crashed in western Pennsylvania on 9/11, the Richard J. Guadagno Scholarship Fund was established by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide four $5,000 annual awards to natural resources and sciences students at Humboldt State University. Eligible candidates must be enrolled full-time, be in good academic standing, and sustain the legacy of Guadagno’s commitment to protecting the outdoors.
Richard J. Guadagno Scholarship Fund
1133 Fifteenth St. NW Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
19. Rick and James Beck Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
At the University of Texas A&M University, the Rick and James Beck Scholarship is annually awarded for $1,000 to outdoor enthusiasts who are enrolled full-time in the undergraduate degree program for fisheries/aquaculture within the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. Eligible students must have achieved junior or senior-level status, be Texas residents, demonstrate financial need, and exhibit determination to work harder to finish the degree despite learning struggles or disabilities.
Rick and James Beck Scholarship
454 Throckmorton St.
College Station, TX 77840
20. Southern Sportsmen Foundation Outdoor Scholarships
Deadline: April 12th
As a non-profit organization striving to provide exceptional outdoor activities, the Southern Sportsmen Foundation offers two annual scholarships for up to $2,500 each for residents of Little River County in Arkansas who are pursuing post-secondary education to enter the field of forestry, veterinary medicine, biology, zoology, or other outdoor-related disciplines. Along with the application, candidates must submit a list of school and community activities, statement of career goals, and essay detailing their love of the outdoors.
Southern Sportsmen Foundation Outdoor Scholarships
600 Highway 41 South
P.O. Box 209
Foreman, AR 71836
21. Surfrider Foundation Thomas Pratte Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation in remembrance of a dedicated advocate for our oceans, the Thomas Pratte Memorial Scholarship is presented annually for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts who are pursuing a career in coastal environmental science, oceanography, marine affairs, environmental science, public policy, natural resources, or community planning. With a total of $10,000 of funding available, one undergraduate student will receive $2,000, one Master’s student will receive $3,000, and one Ph.D. student will receive $5,000.
Surfrider Foundation Thomas Pratte Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 6010
San Clemente, CA 92674
22. Tim Tucker Memorial Outdoor Communications College Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
Founded in memory of a legendary fishing writer who died in a tragic automobile accident in 2007, the Tim Tucker Memorial Outdoor Communications College Scholarship is presented each year for $1,000 by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) to one deserving college student majoring in communications. Eligible candidates must have the intent to work in the outdoors industry after graduation as a writer, publisher, photographer, blogger, broadcaster, and/or public relations specialist.
Tim Tucker Memorial Outdoor Communications College Scholarship
P.O. Box 115
Badin, NC 28009
23. USSA Tuition Assistance Program
Deadline: July 13th
Funded by the Borgen-Swartz Endowment, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) provides the Tuition Assistance Program skiing, snowboarding, and free-skiing elite athletes or retired members on the national team who are admitted to a bachelor’s degree program at any accredited four-year institution in the United States. Qualified candidates must be in good financial standing with no outstanding debts to the USSA, earn less than $50,000 per year, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
USSA Tuition Assistance Program
1 Victory Lane Suite 100
Park City, UT 84060
24. Vancouver Wildlife League Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 1st
As an organization of outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists, the Vancouver Wildlife League Scholarship Program offers one $1,000 award and one $500 award annually to deserving Clark County, Washington graduating high school seniors or college students who are interested in fields related to conservation, the environment, fish or wildlife management, or other outdoor opportunities. Selection is based strongly on academic achievement, participation in community or volunteer activities, involvement in outdoor activities, and career aspirations.
Vancouver Wildlife League Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 1662
Vancouver, WA 98668
25. Yosemite Winter Club Nic Fiore Award
Deadline: March 17th
Annually, the Yosemite Winter Club presents the Nic Fiore Award to a young person who has clearly demonstrated enthusiasm, commitment, and a love of winter sports as well as made significant contributions to the enjoyment of winter sports at the Yosemite National Park. In order to be considered for the award, candidates must be nominated by a non-family member and nominators must provide a short reason why the nominee is worthy of the recognition.
Yosemite Winter Club Nic Fiore Award
P.O. Box 717
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
If you are searching for scholarship funding to avoid accumulating mountains of student loan debt, it is important to remember that scholarships are not just about academics. Many scholarship committees and foundations are specifically looking for students with diverse extra-curricular interests with the drive to follow their passions. Therefore, it is highly recommended that those with a love of the great outdoors and a strong drive to conserve its beauty check out these 25 great scholarships for outdoor enthusiasts to relieve the financial burden of tuition costs.