Applying for scholarships is a big job, but it’s certainly worth your time in the long run. If you are actively involved in model aviation, you should plan to apply for an AMA scholarship to help pay for college. We’re looking for students who participate in our great hobby of aeromodeling… but that’s not the only thing. Candidates who win AMA scholarships usually share the following traits:
- They work hard in school and achieve good grades.
- They show leadership in school, work, or other community involvement.
- They are active participants in model aviation as pilots, builders, competitors, and club members.
Here are some tips for making sure you know exactly what the AMA Scholarship Committee looks for in a winning candidate.
- Plan early. If you’re not already an AMA member, become one as soon as you can, before the middle of your Freshman year. (The requirement is 36 months of continuous AMA membership prior to application.) AMA youth memberships are free, and they are automatically renewed until you turn 19. Make sure you take the required placement tests early enough to get your scores before February of your senior year. The committee uses your SAT, PSAT and/or ACT scores, along with GPA, to rank your academic achievements against the other applicants. If you do not have a test score, you can still apply, but your total academic score will suffer.
- Keep track of your achievements and activities throughout high school. It’s tough to sit down in your senior year and try to remember all the things you’ve done through the years that scholarship committees appreciate. So, start now! Write down all the things you do that will show us that you are dedicated to your community and developing your leadership skills. We like reading about young people who participate in charitable events, Boy & Girl Scouts, church fund raisers, and other events that are important to the community. Did you serve as captain of your sports team or head of the student council? Write it down! It shows that you are motivated to succeed and help others along the way.
- Tell us the details of your modeling experience! If you participate in club events as a competitor, volunteer, judge, promoter… we want to read about it. Have you served as a club officer or helped write the newsletter? Have you built your own models from kits, plans, or even your own design? That will make you stand out from applicants who fly the typical store-bought models. If you take the initiative to build and repair your own models, it shows that you are not content to be the average modeler- you appreciate learning new skills and probably hold yourself to a certain level of craftsmanship. The same applies for competitions. Keep track of the modeling events you participate in and the awards you win. Most importantly– Don’t pass up an opportunity to help others with modeling. Students who help others succeed in modeling are ranked higher than those who simply participate– so if you are a flight instructor, a Science Olympiad coach, or even if you help elementary school kids build Delta Darts, let us know. You are just the type of leader we’re looking for. And don’t forget– If you’re an active competitor in AMA or FAI sanctioned contests, you are also eligible for the Telford Scholarship, which is presented to the competitor with the best record.
- How has model aviation affected YOU? My experience in modeling as a kid helped to shape my entire career as a full-scale pilot and writer. Model building even inspired me to build my own full-scale airplane– it’s really just like a balsa plane, only it’s made of aluminum. Obviously, not every kid will be as obsessed with aviation as I am… but if you’ve been influenced by what you’ve learned or who you’ve met as a modeler, we want to hear about it. Are you going to engineering school because you love designing and building model airplanes or rockets? Did someone you met in the club help you to see your true potential as a teacher, writer, mechanic or craftsman? Write it down! (And send them a thank you note!) Did modeling help you to discover something about yourself– a talent you didn’t know you had? That’s just one of the things we love about our hobby–it tends to bring out the best in us. Share it with us. The applicants who have the deepest appreciation for where modeling has taken them are more likely to keep modeling and pass it on to the next generation, and we appreciate that.
- One last thing– PLEASE TYPE your application! Hand-scribbled notes do not give the sense of pride and precision that a good modeler and a good student should have.
We look forward to hearing from you in your senior year… til then, keep track of your good work and keep your eyes in the sky!
The deadline for the AMA 2018 scholarship application is February 1st. Please follow the link below to apply.