The EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship is a scholarship program that is funded by the Ray Foundation, managed by EAA, and administered through the EAA chapters network. Through the generous support of the Ray Foundation, EAA provides up to $11,000 to deserving youths to cover their flight training expenses and help them earn their pilot certificates.
To learn more about this program, visit EAA.org/RayScholars.
The Ray Foundation has increased its funding for the EAA Ray Aviation Scholarship in 2023. EAA has received $1,800,000 from the Ray Foundation for the scholarship program this year. Of these funds, $1,650,000 will be used for scholarships, with the remaining $150,000 used for program administration.
In addition, the size of the regular Ray Aviation Scholarship has been increased from $10,000 to $11,000 for the 2023 program year and beyond. EAA has been keeping an eye on the flight training costs incurred by Ray scholars. We learned that scholars completing flight training in 2022 had average and median total flight training costs that were between $10,000 and $11,000. Therefore, we decided to increase the size of the full scholarship to match the increases in flight training costs. We will continue to monitor training costs and respond accordingly as time goes on.
Chapters that applied for a regular scholarship in 2023 and are approved by EAA will receive a $11,000 Ray Aviation Scholarship to be awarded to a scholar of their choice. Scholars pursuing a private pilot certificate will receive the full $11,000. Those pursuing a sport pilot certificate will receive $8,250 (75% of the full scholarship). Those pursuing a glider pilot certificate will receive $5,500 (50% of the full scholarship).
In addition, the matching Ray Scholarship has been revised for 2023 and beyond. Chapters with at least one completed Ray scholar were eligible to apply for matching scholarships this year. Originally, we used a 50/50 arrangement, where the chapter provides 50% of the scholarship funds and the Ray Foundation provides the other 50%. Starting this year, we are implementing a 25/75 arrangement: the chapter provides 25% of the scholarship funds and the Ray Foundation provides the other 75%.
This revision is meant to encourage more chapters to participate in the matching program by lowering the barrier to entry. Under the 25/75 model, the chapter will provide $2,750 and the Ray Foundation will provide $8,250, for a total of $11,000 for the scholar. (Note: these figures are for private pilots. Payout amounts will be smaller for scholars pursuing sport pilot or glider pilot certification.)
To participate in the matching program, a chapter must have had at least one Ray scholar who completed flight training and received their pilot certificate through the program, and the chapter must commit to providing 25% of the scholarship funds.
The payout structure for the 2023 Ray Aviation Scholarship will remain the same as in previous years:
- The first 40% of scholarship funds will be sent to your chapter after EAA has approved your scholar and after your chapter has submitted the required paperwork (a grant agreement and a flight training waiver, which will be sent to the scholarship coordinator after the scholar is approved).
- The second 40% of scholarship funds will be sent after your scholar completes their first solo flight and the solo progress report has been submitted in the Ray Aviation Scholarship Chapter Portal (the same place where you submitted your chapter’s application).
- The final 20% of scholarship funds will be sent after your scholar passes their written exam and the written exam progress report has been submitted in the Ray Aviation Scholarship Chapter Portal.
Note that if your Ray scholar soloed pre-scholarship, then the post-solo funding installment is excluded from their scholarship.