Leadership Scholarships

The Christopher Reeve Award

The Heart of America Foundation® Heroes of the Heart® Christopher Reeve Award is presented each year to an extraordinary youth who has demonstrated tremendous compassion and caring in serving his or her community.

Nominate a Hero for the Annual Christopher Reeve Award

Nominees must be high school seniors or younger and the awardee must be a high school senior or younger at the time the recipient is notified in March. Nominations are accepted from September 1 through October 31 each year. One award recipient is selected in March and will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Merriam-Webster, Inc. for post-secondary education.

Please note that the nominator cannot be a relative of the nominee.

Download Award Application (Word doc)

Nominations and questions should be emailed to scholarships@heartofamerica.org or mailed to The Heart of America Foundation at 401 F Street NW, Suite 325, Washington, DC 20001 to the attention of “Christopher Reeve Award.” The nominator and nominee will be notified in March only if the nominee is selected as the recipient.

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors outstanding young leaders who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Nominees, who may range in age from 8 to 18 years old, must have been the prime mover of a service activity, and demonstrated positive spirit and high moral purpose in accomplishing their goals. Nominees must be nominated by responsible adults who have solid knowledge of the young person’s heroic activities, and who are not related to the nominee. Winners of the Barron Prize receive:

  • $2,500 to be applied to their higher education or to their service project
  • a recognition plaque
  • a certificate of recognition
  • a signed copy of The Hero’s Trail, by Barron Prize founder T.A. Barron
  • a copy of Dream Big, our new documentary film featuring several Barron Prize winners
  • a heroes study guide, curriculum, and bibliography
  • the opportunity to be paired with an adult mentor who is passionate about and working in the winner’s area of interest
  • the opportunity to connect with other Barron Prize winners through the Young Heroes Listserv
  • numerous media opportunities – print, television, and radio

By submitting an entry in the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, each entrant acknowledges reading and understanding all the eligibility requirements and selection criteria published on the Prize’s website and agrees to observe them. Further, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that as a condition of receiving the Prize, the selected individual will cooperate in publicizing the Barron Prize and will grant rights in the entrant’s nomination materials to the Barron Prize.

April 30th: *NOMINATION DEADLINE* The Prize must receive completed nomination materials.

July 1st: The Prize will notify nominees that materials have been processed.

September 30th: The Prize will announce winners.

Jesse Brown Scholarship

In memory of the late Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jesse Brown, the Disabled American Veterans has established the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program. Mr. Jesse Brown enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963. Two years later, while on patrol in the DaNang area of Vietnam, Mr. Brown sustained a serious injury due to a gunshot wound while engaged in combat. From that point and over the next 39 years, the lives of millions of veterans changed for the better. Mr. Brown devoted himself to the cause of building better lives for America’s disabled veterans.

Mr. Brown joined the Disabled American Veterans professional staff in 1967 as a National Service Officer in Chicago, Il. He moved to Washington, DC in 1973 to supervise the DAV’s National Service Office. In 1976, he was promoted to Supervisor of the DAV National Appeals Office at the Board of Veterans Appeals. In 1981, Jesse was appointed to join the National Service and Legislative Headquarters staff as the Chief of Claims.

In 1983, he was named Deputy National Service Director and later served as Executive Assistant to the National Adjutant. Ultimately, Mr. Brown served the DAV as Executive Director of the National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, DC.

In January 1993, Mr. Brown was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Brown was so committed to the cause of veterans that he earned a new title, he was simply known as the Secretary for Veterans Affairs. In December 1996, President Clinton reappointed Mr. Brown to serve a second four-year term. Mr. Brown resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in July 1997 and began his personal battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jesse died in August 2002.

The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program encourages young volunteers to play active roles in the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) programs. It recognizes outstanding young volunteers who give of their time by awarding annual scholarships that may be used to continue their education. The Disabled American Veterans has awarded 123 scholarships worth $450,066 since the inception of the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program in 2000.

  • Scholarships can be awarded to any volunteer who is age 21 or younger and has volunteered for a minimum of 100 hours at a VA medical center during the previous calendar year. All volunteer hours must be credited to the Disabled American Veterans.
  • Volunteer hours accumulated under the DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP) are also eligible for consideration.
  • Scholarships can be used at any accredited institution of higher learning; to include universities, colleges, community colleges, vocational schools, etc.
  • Scholarships must be utilized in full prior to the recipient attaining the age of 25, or within 6 years of receiving the scholarship, whichever is later.
  • Immediate family members of the DAV national organization are eligible to receive a scholarship.
  • Nominations for this award may be submitted by the Voluntary Service Program Manager at the VA medical center, DAV Department Commander, or the student may complete a self-nomination form which is available on-line. If you are submitting your own nomination, please include an essay discussing “What volunteering at a VA medical center means to you.” (Essay should be 750 words or less).
  • All nomination packets should include a nomination form, essay, and any supporting documentation which you would like to have considered by the Selection Committee.

Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship

Every year, Comcast and the Comcast Foundation ask High School Principals and Guidance Counselors to collaborate in identifying the best and the brightest high school seniors in their communities. Why? Because we want to motivate young people to achieve their potential, to be involved in their schools, and to be catalysts for positive change in their communities. The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program recognizes students who exemplify these ideals – and who serve as models for their fellow students. We know it’s not easy to be a kid today, and every bit of encouragement helps. That’s why we award recipients a one-time grant of $1,000 to be used toward their pursuit of higher education. Since 2001, the program has recognized more than 17,000 students around the country-and given away more than $17.4 million in scholarship grants.

The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Philosophy:

  • To give young people – the leaders who will build and shape our communities – every opportunity to be prepared for the future.
  • To engage youth in their communities and help them increase their self-esteem, develop a sense of citizenship and an ethic of service, and become stronger leaders.
  • To demonstrate the importance of civic involvement, and the value placed on civic involvement by the business community.

Nomination/Application Process

All nominations for the Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program must be made exclusively by the Principal or Guidance Counselor. Principals and home-school instructors may e-mail comcast@applyists.com to verify school eligibility status and to request program materials.

A student nominated by a Principal or Guidance Counselor must:

  • be a full-time high school senior
  • demonstrate a strong commitment to community service and display leadership abilities in school activities or through work experience
  • have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher.

Nomination deadline is December of each year.


Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC, and Navy ROTC Scholarships

For the student committed to becoming an officer in the military and able to successfully balance college and military training, the military scholarship program can be a pathway to a college degree and career. However, opting out of the military commitment, under certain circumstances, will require that the student repay all of the money paid toward the student’s tuition.

Air Force ROTC Scholarships

In Air Force ROTC, you’ll get to experience college life like every other student while developing lasting friendships and valuable leadership skills. All while paying for school with an AFROTC scholarship. To begin your future today, fill out a scholarship application by clicking on the link below.


Air Force ROTC can take your college experience to the next level while helping you with the rising costs of education with an array of full or partial scholarships that cover:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and other expenses
  • Extra spending money

With an AFROTC scholarship, you’re free to concentrate on your studies and enjoy college instead of worrying about how to pay for it.

How It Works

Several steps are required when applying for an Air Force ROTC scholarship:

  • Complete your online application by December 1
  • Submit counselor certification/signed copy of transcript (must have a 3.0 GPA at end of 11th grade. Only 9th through 11th grades are considered), extracurricular activity (bubble) sheet, physical fitness assessment and résumé
  • Take and submit your SAT or ACT scores. No test scores taken after 1 Dec will be accepted. You must also have an ACT Composite of 24 (Writing Portion not included) or an 1100 SAT Score (We do not mix and match scores and Writing Portion is not included).
  • Meet with an Air Force officer

The opportunities that await those recipients of an AFROTC scholarship are worth the time it takes to apply. But don’t wait too long. The sooner you begin, the easier it will be to fulfill the application process.

Army ROTC Scholarships

Army ROTC scholarships consist of:

  • Two-, three-, and four-year scholarship options based on the time remaining to complete your degree
  • Full-tuition scholarships
  • The option for room and board in place of tuition, if you should qualify
  • Additional allowances for books and fees

Living Expenses

Army ROTC scholarships also provide monthly living allowances for each school year. You can earn certain amounts depending on your level in the Army ROTC curriculum:

  • 1st year, $300 per month
  • 2nd year, $350 per month
  • 3rd year, $450 per month
  • 4th year, $500 per month

This allowance is also available to all non-scholarship Cadets enrolled in the Army ROTC Advanced Course (3rd and 4th years).

Navy ROTC Scholarships

Applicants should use the online scholarship application to complete and submit all the required information. Applicants are asked to pick five colleges or universities on their scholarship application. Each school must be for a different NROTC unit and one must be a state school, not necessarily in the candidate’s home state. Each applicant must also select an academic program in which he/she wishes to major. All academic programs fall into three tiers relative to the Navy’s technical needs.

Scholarships will be awarded to an NROTC unit in conjunction with the academic major and tier the applicant specified on his/her application. If offered the scholarship, the student will be expected to attend the school at which their scholarship is placed.  In order to change this placement, the student must submit in writing to the NROTC Placement Office a request to change their placement.  The student must be mindful if they choose a cross-town school that there may be cross-town commuting costs and class timing issues which will need to be resolved. The enrolled school must support the academic major or equivalent for which the scholarship was awarded. Also, the student must have applied for admission to and been accepted at any school for which he/she wishes to utilize the scholarship.

This application is extensive and may require several hours to complete. We have provided an Application Information Checklist to assist you in gathering information and to ease the process of applying for a scholarship

The Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Scholarship Program

Beyond the national scholarship program, which is highly competitive, goes before a national review board, and has more aggressive deadlines, the NROTC offers scholarships to students who attend MSI schools, which encompass Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), High Hispanic Enrollment (HHE) schools, and other Minority Serving Institutions (MI). This list of schools are:


Allen University
Clark Atlanta University
Dillard University
Florida A&M University
Hampton University
Howard University
Huston-Tillotson College
Morehouse College
Norfolk State University
Prairie View A&M Univ.
Savannah State University
Southern University and A&M College
Spelman College
Tennessee State University
Texas Southern University
Tuskegee University
Xavier University


Central New Mexico Community College
Pima Community College
University of New Mexico

Other MI (not HHE/HBCU)

Kennedy King College

Frederick C. Branch Marine Corps Leadership Scholarship

Nominations for the Frederick C. Branch Marine Leadership Scholarship, for Fall enrollment, will be accepted from 1 October to 15 July if applying through a NROTC unit.  If applying for the Four-Year scholarship board through the local Marine Recruiter, the NROTC on-line application will be used.  The deadline for completing online applications is 31 Jan.

THE FREDERICK C. BRANCH LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP Program is named in honor of the first African American Marine Corps officer who was commissioned as a second lieutenant (2ndLt) on 10 November 1945.  It is available at 17 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) affiliated with NROTC.  The Four-Year program is open to civilians and Marines and the three- and two-year program is open to civilians and College Program Midshipmen that are attending or have been accepted and will attend a NROTC affiliated HBCU. This program is not open to U.S. Navy Scholarship Midshipmen or Marines in an Active Reserve status. Any eligible male or female of any race or ethnic background may be awarded a Frederick C. Branch Scholarship. Eligibility is determined primarily by attendance at an HBCU.  Scholarships and benefits are the same as those of any NROTC Marine Option Scholarship student.

Affiliate HBCUs

Allen University
Clark Atlanta University
Dillard University
Florida A&M University
Hampton University
Howard University
Huston-Tillotson College
Morehouse College
Norfolk State University

Prairie View A&M University
Savannah State University
Southern University and A&M College
Spelman College
Tennessee State University
Texas Southern University
Tuskegee University
Xavier University

Important to Note

The Air Force, Army, and Navy ROTC programs, and the Frederick C. Branch Marine Corps Leadership scholarship are full tuition scholarships. Students are responsible for paying their room and board, which may amount to over $10,000 per year. A limited number of colleges provide room, board, or both to AFROTC cadets and NROTC midshipmen based on their own restrictions. The AFROTC website provides a listing of schools and the type of subsidies offered. Following is a listing of colleges, and their NROTC unit code, purported to offer assistance toward room and board. Students should contact the unit commander at each college to confirm the type, amount, and qualifications for the room and board subsidy.

  • Carnegie-Mellon University 067 (412) 268-2000 Free Room & Board (on a case by case basis)
  • College of the Holy Cross 011 800) 442-2421 Free Room & Board
  • Boston University 061 (617) 353-2000 Free Room & Board
  • Florida A&M University 009 (850) 599-3796 Free Room & Board (nomination from NROTC unit)
  • George Washington University 063 (202) 994-1000 Free Room & Board (prior active duty recipients) (tech majors eligible for a stipend of $4000 for room & board)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology 013 (312) 567-3000 Free Room & Board
  • Iowa State University 015 (515) 294-4111 $2000/year Room & Board (top 25% incoming freshmen)
  • Jacksonville University 016 (904) 744-3950 Free Room & Board
  • Louisiana State University 046 (225) 388-1175 Free Room & Board
  • Maine Maritime Academy 019 (800) 227-8465 Free Room & Board
  • Marquette University 020 (608) 262-3961 Free Room & Board
  • Morehouse College 068 (404) 681-2800 Free Room & Road
  • New York Maritime College 056 (718) 409-7220 Free Room & Board
  • Norwich University 065 (800) 468-6679 Free Room & Board
  • Prairie View A&M University 038 (409) 857-2310 Free Room & Board
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 040 (518) 276-6000 Free Room & Board
  • Savannah State University 043 (800) 788-0478 Free Room & Board
  • Southern University and A&M 046 (225) 771-2430 Free Room & Board
  • Tulane University 049 (504) 865-5000 Free Room & Board
  • University of Southern California 045 (213) 746-1879 $2500/year Room & Board
  • University of Michigan 023 (734) 764-1817 Room & Board Scholarship (eng students, case by case)
  • University of Mississippi 025 (662) 915-7211 Free Room (out of state residents)
  • University of Missouri 026 (573) 882-2456 $1000/year to Free Room & Board (varies)
  • University of Rochester 042 (716) 275-6111 Free Room & Board
  • University of San Diego 059 (619) 260-4600 75% Room & Board
  • Washington State University 012 (509) 335-3564 Free Room & Board

Pathways to the NROTC scholarship program

Students have a choice of five distinct pathways to receiving the NROTC scholarship. Students must carefully consider the commitment involved and the penalty of not fulfilling their military commitment.

High School Senior/Graduate

Selected applicants for the NROTC scholarship program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process. The recipient will be commissioned a Naval officer upon graduation and is obligated to a minimum of 4 years active duty in the U.S. Navy. The scholarship recipient will receive full tuition and other financial benefits including an allotment for textbooks, class fees and monthly subsistence at many of the country’s leading colleges and universities. NROTC scholarships do not pay for room and board or personal items such as computers.

Students that have more than 1 year of college credit are not eligible for the 4-year scholarship and should discuss other options with the Professor of Naval Science at the university they attend.

College Freshman/Sophomore

The 2 year scholarship program covers tuition, fees, an allotment for textbooks and uniforms plus monthly subsistence for a maximum of 20 academic months for the junior and senior years of college only. For application information and deadline dates contact your nearest university NROTC unit.

College Programmer

The Navy also offers a two-year or four-year non-subsidized college program for college students who want to serve their country in leadership roles as officers in the Navy or Marine Corps. Applicants for the college program are selected from the students already attending or accepted by colleges or universities with NROTC units. Information about the NROTC college programs can be obtained from any of the NROTC units.

College Junior/Senior

The Navy offers several other opportunities to become a naval officer. If you are a college student in your junior or senior year, visit the Navy or Marine Corps website to find out about the Direct Input and Officer Candidate School opportunities.


Four-year NROTC scholarships are available to students interested in pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing (BSN). If selected for a scholarship, the selectee must major in a nursing degree program leading to a BSN. Upon graduation, Nurse NROTC Scholarship Program midshipmen will be commissioned as reserve officers in the Navy Nurse Corps. Nurse NROTC eligibility and selection procedures are the same as the regular four-year NROTC Scholarship Program requirements. Academic, physical and military requirements differ slightly from regular NROTC.