In recognition of their outstanding athletic abilities and strong academic performance as student-athletes throughout high school, many organizations have established scholarships for runners to reduce the financial burden of achieving a college degree.
As one of the most physically demanding sports in the athletic world, becoming a top-level distance runner is a task that requires an extensive amount of endurance, dedication, and strength. Since these are qualities that can help high school graduates compete at the collegiate level and translate perfectly into virtually any program of study, a passion for running could help you do more than just stay in shape. Read on to learn about 25 great scholarships available specifically for students who are committed to involvement in running-related activities.
1. Brian E. McClanahan Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Established in memory of a four-year letter winner in track from 1982-1985 at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, the Brian E. McClanahan Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $1,000 to current members of the men’s track team who are have earned at least one varsity letter for their running abilities. To qualify, applicants must have completed at least 60 credits in full-time undergraduate studies for junior or senior-level status, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and be recommended by the track and field team captain.
Brian E. McClanahan Memorial Scholarship
200 Prospect Street
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
2. Charlie Reynolds Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: May 3rd
Named in honor of the Baltimore Road Runners Club’s late president and a devoted high school cross country coach, the Charlie Reynolds Memorial Scholarship is awarded for $3,000 each year to one graduating male and one graduating female high school senior who exemplify Charlie’s passion for running. Eligible student-athletes must reside in Baltimore, be accepted for full-time enrollment in a U.S. post-secondary institution, and have participated on a varsity-level cross country or track and field team.
Charlie Reynolds Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 9825
Baltimore, MD 21284
3. David Sardella Incentive Track Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
At Eastern Illinois University, the David Sardella Incentive Track Scholarship is presented annually for incoming freshmen who have been accepted as full-time undergraduate students and are committed to participating on the track and field team. Qualified applicants must carry at least 12 credit hours per semester, remain academically and athletically eligible, not be receiving any other athletic scholarship, and demonstrate the greatest potential for achieving success in track and field.
David Sardella Incentive Track Scholarship
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
4. Davis Law Group Sportsmanship Scholarships
Deadline: April 15th
Initially established to provide recognition to exceptional student athletes who perform well in the classroom and on the field, the Davis Law Group Sportsmanship Scholarships are awarded each year for $1,000 apiece to two outstanding graduating high school seniors in the greater Seattle area who exhibit dedication to participating in their sport of choice, including cross country or track and field. Applicants must compose a well-written essay to discuss what sportsmanship truly means to them and how they have promoted it in their career.
Davis Law Group Sportsmanship Scholarships
2101 Fourth Avenue Suite 1030
Seattle, WA 98121
5. Delaware Open Cross Country Championship Scholarship
Deadline: November 1st
Administered within the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware Open Cross Country Championship Scholarship is offered for $2,000 each year to one male and one female graduating high school senior who has been nominated by their cross country coach. Eligible candidates must be legal Delaware residents, have participated in high school cross country programs in the junior and senior years, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and be planning to enroll full-time at a regionally accredited college.
Delaware Open Cross Country Championship Scholarship
401 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901
6. Donald Clarke-Pearson Runners’ Scholarship
Deadline: April 19th
Within the Triangle Community Foundation (TCF), the Donald Clarke-Pearson Runners’ Scholarship is awarded for $1,000 annually to graduating senior varsity cross country or track athletes who are currently attending East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill High School, or Carrboro High School. In order to qualify, applicants must demonstrate the qualities of academic excellence, leadership, team spirit, dedication to running, and commitment to pursuing a higher education after graduation.
Donald Clarke-Pearson Runners’ Scholarship
324 Blackwell Street Suite 1220
Durham, NC 27701
7. Ed Thompson Memorial Scholarship
In honor of a devoted member of the Lehigh Valley Road Runners (LVRR) who lost his battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer in 1983 at the age of 27, the Ed Thompson Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $2,000 to an eligible male graduating senior from Emmaus High School in Allentown. Applicants must be college bound, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and have placed in a District XI Cross Country meet with a solid finish time.
Ed Thompson Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 592
Allentown, PA 18105
8. Finger Lakes Runners Club Scholarships
Deadline: March 31st
Each year, the Finger Lakes Runners Club provides at least two unrestricted scholarships for $1,000 apiece to deserving male and female graduating high school seniors from Tompkins or a surrounding county who have participated on their school’s cross country and/or track and field team. For consideration, candidates must attach two letters of recommendation, a list of running achievements, and a letter describing their future plans for a running career after graduation.
Finger Lakes Runners Club Scholarships
P.O. Box 185
Locke, NY 13092
9. Fox River Trail Runners College Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 10th
Annually, the Fox River Trail Runners College Scholarship Fund distributes up to six scholarships for a total amount of $10,000 to eligible club members in good standing who are involved in running-related activities and will be entering their first year of undergraduate college studies at an accredited U.S. institution. Selection will be based on academic achievements, essay content, extent of volunteer work with FRTR, coach’s recommendation, and participation in running-related or other extra-curricular activities.
Fox River Trail Runners College Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 371
Geneva, IL 60134
10. Garrett La Force Scholarship Program
Deadline: November 15th
In memory of a teacher who had a passion for educating students in both academics and athletics before his life was cut short in a tragic car accident on the 4th of July holiday, the Garrett La Force Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Human Potential Running Series to provide up to $1,000 to financially needy runners. Eligible candidates must write a 200-word essay describing why they are in need of funding, reasons they deserve the scholarship, and how they dare to explore their human potential.
Garrett La Force Scholarship Program
2230 East 126th Way
Thornton, CO 80241
11. Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships
Established in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt who was a student services’ pioneer for the Big 12 Conference until 2005, the Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships are granted for $9,000 each to student-athletes who have participated in at least two years of intercollegiate athletics, including cross country or track and field, at a Big 12-member institution. Applicants must plan to enroll in graduate or professional school within two years of graduation and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships
400 East John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, TX 75062
12. Green Mountain Athletic Association Scholarships
Deadline: April 30th
As the premier running organization of Vermont with over 400 members, the Green Mountain Athletic Association (GMAA) is proud to present two $750 scholarships each year to graduating seniors from Northern Vermont high schools who have participated in cross country running and/or track events in grades 11-12. Qualified applicants must be accepted at an accredited two or four-year college, maintain at least a B average throughout high school, and demonstrate good sportsmanship in participating in running-related activities.
Green Mountain Athletic Association Scholarships
P.O. Box 194
Essex Junction, VT 05453
13. Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship
Deadline: April 20th
Created in memory of the past president of the Hillstriders Running Club Fritz Kauffman who completed over 100 marathons as an avid runner, the Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship is presented for $2,000 annually for at least three college-bound distance runners in McHenry County who truly love the sport. Eligible applicants must be graduating high school seniors in good academic standing, be distance runners for 800 meters or longer on their school’s cross country team, and write a 250-word essay describing how running has changed their life.
Hillstriders Distance Running Scholarship
P.O. Box 1695
Crystal Lake, IL 60039
14. “Hooked on Running” Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
Within the Taconic Road Runners Club, the “Hooked on Running” Scholarship is granted annually for $1,000 to graduating high school seniors from Northern Westchester and Putnam County who are involved in the sport of running. Applicants must provide proof of acceptance to a post-secondary institution for the upcoming fall term, attach a letter of recommendation from a track and field or cross country coach, and compose a 300-word essay on how running has positively influenced their life.
“Hooked on Running” Scholarship
P.O. Box 711
Shrub Oak, NY 10588
15. Margaret Bradley/Paul Phinney Scholarships
Deadline: May 2nd
As a public service to the community, the Margaret Bradley/Paul Phinney Scholarships are awarded each year for $1,000 by the Falmouth Track Club for up to five deserving graduating college-bound seniors who have been active in cross country and/or track and field throughout their high school career. Preference will be given to students attending Falmouth High School who have volunteered for FTC-sponsored events or have obtained membership in the FTC.
Margaret Bradley/Paul Phinney Scholarships
P.O. Box 699
West Falmouth, MA 02574
16. Midnight Sun Run Scholarship
Deadline: May 21st
With four scholarships offered at $1,500 apiece annually, the Midnight Sun Run Scholarship program is designed to provide recognition to graduating high school seniors in the Fairbanks area that have achieved an optimum balance between their academic and athletic achievements. Applicants must have actively participated in high school-sanctioned cross country or track, be enrolling full-time in a two or four-year college, provide two letters of reference, and possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Midnight Sun Run Scholarship
805 Airport Way
Fairbanks, AK 99701
17. Norma S. Phillips Cross Country Runners Scholarship
Deadline: March 4th
In honor of an avid runner who took up running at the age of 47 and ran races for 22 years while serving as the secretary for the River City Runners in her own home, the Norma S. Phillips Cross Country Runners Scholarship has been established for $2,000 in the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. Eligible candidates must be graduating high school seniors from Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Pleasants, Mason, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, or Wood counties in West Virginia who are participating in their school’s cross country team.
Norma S. Phillips Cross Country Runners Scholarship
P.O. Box 1762
Parkersburg, WV 26102
18. Prefontaine Endowed Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
With the goal of giving back to student athletes in honor of an international track star and running legend, the Prefontaine Endowed Scholarship is awarded for $1,000 annually to graduating high school seniors who have shown tremendous dedication in competing in cross country or track and field. Applicants must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, have resided in Coos County of Oregon for at least one year, and provide an activities chart showing their involvement in school or community extra-curricular activities.
Prefontaine Endowed Scholarship
P.O. Box 1541
Coos Bay, OR 97420
19. Richmond Road Runners College Scholarship
Deadline: May 30th
Founded as a one-year non-renewable academic award of $2,000 to reduce the tuition expenses of attending higher education, the Richmond Road Runners College Scholarship is granted for at least two graduating high school seniors from the Richmond area who are involved in running-related activities. Along with the application, students must submit a one-page essay describing contributions to the sport of running, one letters of recommendation, and an official acceptance letter to a two or four-year college.
Richmond Road Runners College Scholarship
3413 Riverview Drive
Richmond, VA 23225
20. Sean Patrick French Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: December 15th
Administered through the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in honor of a record-setting runner at Chatham High School who was killed as a passenger in an underage drunk driving accident in 2002, the Sean Patrick French Memorial Scholarship is awarded for $1,000 to two college-bound high school seniors annually. Eligible applicants must reside in Columbia County, have participated in cross country or track and field for at least two years, and submit one example of their good sportsmanship.
Sean Patrick French Memorial Scholarship
800 North Main Street
Sheffield, MA 01257
21. Sue and Jack Wakeley Scholar-Athlete Award
Deadline: February 1st
In honor of the former vice chancellor for academic affairs at Western Carolina University who become a volunteer assistant for the track and field squad, the Sue and Jack Wakeley Scholar-Athlete Award is presented for $2,000 annually to one female and one male full-time undergraduate student participating on the intercollegiate track and field or cross country squad. In order to qualify, candidates must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, have tallied points in a conference championship meet, and exhibit a physically active lifestyle.
Sue and Jack Wakeley Scholar-Athlete Award
118 Killian Annex
Cullowhee, NC 28723
22. Tal Morrison Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 5th
Within the Dallas Running Club (DRC), the Tal Morrison Scholarship Fund has been created to honor the great contributions of the organization’s founder, inspire individuals to make time for physical exercise, and provide financial assistance to local high school runners. To be eligible for up to $1,500 in funding, candidates must be graduating high school seniors, have been an active participant in a cross country running program, be enrolling full-time in higher education, reside in the Dallas area, and exhibit competitiveness in the sport.
Tal Morrison Scholarship Fund
1130 Beachview Street
Dallas, TX 75218
23. Twin Cities in Motion College Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 1st
Each year, the Twin Cities in Motion College Scholarship Program will award $5,000 to one female and one male high school senior within the 12-county metropolitan area who has participated in at least two years on their school’s varsity cross country or track team on running events 800 meters or longer. Eligible applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, be a proven leader in their school’s community, and demonstrate sincere commitment to maximizing their running potential in higher education.
Twin Cities in Motion College Scholarship Program
2635 University Avenue West Suite 190
St. Paul, MN 55114
24. Verizon Youth Progress Scholarship Award
Deadline: February 15th
In partnership with USA Track & Field (USATF), the Verizon Youth Progress Scholarship Award is granted for $5,000 annually to four outstanding male and female student athletes to get on the fast track towards higher education. Qualified applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, have participated in a Verizon Youth Series track and field or cross country event in the last two years, reside in an area served by Verizon Communications, and plan to enroll full-time at an accredited U.S. institution.
Verizon Youth Progress Scholarship Award
132 East Washington Street Suite 800
Indianapolis, IN 46204
25. Wicked Frosty Four Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Sponsored by the Wicked Running Club of Salem, the Wicked Frosty Four Scholarship is awarded for $1,500 each year to four student-athletes from Essex County in Massachusetts who have participated in a cross country or track distance running program of over 800 meters in length. Eligible applicants must be graduating high school seniors, have been accepted into an accredited two or four-year post-secondary institution, and exhibit a combination of academic achievement with positive contributions to their team.
Wicked Frosty Four Scholarship
P.O. Box 601
Salem, MA 01970
Whether or not your bank account is running on empty, it is likely that you will need to find several sources of financial aid in order to keep up with rising tuition expenses in higher education. Luckily, these are just 25 of the great scholarships for runners offered across the United States to help student-athletes afford the hefty cost of achieving their academic dreams from freshman year to the finish line at graduation.