Chapter 706

Wisconsin Rapids

Considerations when Applying for the Ray Scholarship

EAA Chapter 706 in Wisconsin Rapids been approved for to sponsor a Ray Aviation Scholarship in 2024!  This scholarship provides $11,000 towards earning a private pilot's license for youth ages 16-19.

If you are interested in applying for this scholarship, here are some things you need to consider:

  1. Only apply if you are willing to make earning a Private Pilot's license a priority in your life.  While the EAA and our Chapter 706 members recognize that you will have some other commitments and responsibilities, you cannot let yourself be distracted from your commitment to flight instruction and to the studying that accompanies it. Learning to fly is fun, but it is also hard work. You absolutely must be willing to put in the time and effort that it requires. There have been young people in our area who have been awarded a Ray Aviation Scholarship but have not followed through. While their reasons for not completing the training were reasonable (school, sports, job, for example), these could have and should have been anticipated, and the scholarship should not have been accepted, so that it could have gone to someone who could have completed it. An $11,000 Ray Aviation Scholarship should not go to waste!
  2. The EAA will require you to affirm that you will have the funds available to complete your training if the scholarship money is used up before you finish. This could amount to several thousand dollars, depending on the circumstances. For many scholars the $11,000 is enough to cover the entire training; others need more time and therefore more money. You must have the funds to cover anything beyond the $11,000.
  3. If you are selected for the 2024 Ray Aviation Scholarship, you are required to become a member of our EAA Chapter 706, and you will be expected to attend our monthly meetings and to give a report on your progress each time. Given the commitment our chapter is making toward your flight training, this surely is a reasonable expectation.
  4. Once you are selected as our chapter’s Ray Aviation Scholar, you still must be accepted by the EAA. They have a separate application process, which is outlined on the EAA's Ray Scholarship website.  It is not a difficult process, but you will not be a Ray Scholar until the EAA approves your selection. If you are under 18, a parent/guardian must give approval for you to undertake flight training. As noted in #2 above, the EAA requires assurance that you will be able to complete flight training if the $11,000 runs out before you take your Private Pilot practical (flight) exam. It’s important to know, too, that the EAA will not accept your application until you have obtained an FAA medical certificate. Also, just as our chapter has some specific expectations of our Ray Scholar, so does the EAA.  The following information comes from the EAA's website, outlining expectations of scholarship recipients.
  • Contribute two hours of chapter volunteer service per month, such as:
    • Young Eagles rally volunteering.
    • Volunteer at pancake breakfast/fly-ins
    • Chapter build project support
    • Chapter gathering participation
    • Chapter social media and website maintenance
  • Submit regular progress reports during monthly check-ins
  • Reach designated flight training milestones, as outlined by EAA's training timeline


How to Apply for Chapter 706's Ray Scholarship

The selection process for Chapter 706 has two steps:

1.  Write an essay (250 to 500 words) explaining your inspiration for earning a private pilot's license and explaining your aviation-related life goals.  Send that essay to the chapter's scholarship coordinator, Bill Menzel at  Essays are due by February 21, 2024.

2.  Participate in an interview with the chapter scholarship selection committee.  These interviews are planned for the evening of February 28, 2024.

Thanks for applying and good luck!



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