Since the National Archery in the Schools Programs inception in 2002 the renowned archery program has been achieving its mission of growing the shooting sports and improving students educational performance, one arrow at a time, with students in grades 4-12. NASP® has a prolonged reputation of building youth confidence by presenting a sport to students they can excel in. It has expanded extracurricular programs for students giving them more options for after school activities. It has motivated academic performance. Last, but certainly not least, NASP® has supported young men and women financially by awarding scholarships to top performers at state, national, and world level tournaments. These scholarships can be used at any post-secondary education institution of the archers choosing including: college, university, tech school, specialty schools, and even military training.
In fact, since NASP®’s inception, just under 1.8 million dollars in cash scholarships have been awarded to its student archers. A total of 351 scholarships have been awarded to top NASP® performers at the national and state bulls-eye tournaments. Beginning in 2015, NASP® decided to encourage states and provinces to offer or increase scholarship awards at their state and provincial NASP® tournaments. Since that time, twenty states and Canada have awarded $490,450, and the parent NASP® organization has matched $321,700 of those funds.
Partly because NASP® is a successful, private non-profit organization, it receives tremendous donor support from various companies and non-government organizations such as: Whitetails Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rinehart Targets, Mathews Archery, Gordon Composites, Morrell, Plano, Saunders Archery, Feradyne, BCY, NAP, Lancaster, NEET, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Easton Technical Products, and American Whitetail Targets. Nearly fifty percent of all scholarship dollars that NASP® awards, are provided by these donors, which generally go to the highest-ranking archers or teams in the NASP® bulls-eye competition and the International Bow Hunting Organizations (IBO) 3D competitions. IBO, NASP®’s companion event at state, national, and world tournaments has awarded 128 scholarships totaling $93,750! Without sponsor support, NASP® would not be on the brink of topping two million dollars in cash scholarship awards!
You may be wondering how NASP® awards these prestigious scholarships. Money awarded by the NASP® parent organization is determined by results at the annual national tournament held in Louisville, KY (Eastern Nationals) and Salt Lake City, UT (Western Nationals). Ten to sixteen individual scholarships are awarded, divided equally among girls and boys. To determine how much money, ranging from $1,000-$20,000, is awarded, a “Scholarship Shoot-Off” is held during the awards ceremony. Each of the top archers from the national tournaments (Eastern and Western) is brought forward at the award ceremony, in front of more than two thousand spectators including parents, coaches, friends, and family. They are thrilled to watch “their” archer(s) shoot five arrows for practice and then five arrows for score at 15 meters. The top boy and top girl in the shoot-off each receives $20,000. The second, third, fourth, and fifth place archers receive $15k, $10k, $5k, $2.5K in scholarship awards. The first, second, and third place high school teams at nationals are awarded $24k, $18k, or $12k. Each team has up to twenty-four members, so the individual archers receive $1k, $750, or $500 in cash scholarships.
While archers generally improve their accuracy from year to year, most of the 351 scholarships have been awarded to different, unique students. However, eleven young people have won three scholarships, and one student archer from Michigan has earned $42,500 in scholarship funds. That’s almost a full-ride to a four-year post-secondary educational institution!
“NASP®’s board is intent on increasing scholarship awards even more over the next few years. In fact, a new scholarship, $10,000 to two additional teams will be presented in 2019. Lancaster Archery, the Kentucky Exposition Center, and Louisville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau are the sponsors of these new awards,” reports Roy Grimes, CEO and President of NASP®.
As NASP® changes the lives of youngsters all over the world, it also continues to achieve its mission. According to recent surveys, representing more than two million participants, NASP® is working for the students, conservation, and the archery industry. Almost two-thirds of NASP® students have purchased or plan to purchase their own personal, non-NASP® bow. More than fifty percent of NASP® students report having bow hunted or wanting to bow hunt but haven’t yet. On the conservation front, more than forty percent of NASP® students, after mastering archery, have taken or plan to take Hunter Safety Education with hopes to hunt or target shoot with firearms. Finally, fifty-eight percent of NASP® students say they feel more connected at school because of NASP®, and forty percent report working harder in the classroom because of the archery program.
You can find the full student survey report at: https://naspschools.org/about/news/nasp-is-excited-to-announce-the-results-of-the-2017-student-survey. NASP® has always received kudos for building youth confidence, expanding extracurricular activities, and enhancing academic performance, but because of NASP®, more and more students are making and fulfilling educational dreams, far beyond high school, all the while participating and enjoying the sport that took them there, archery.
Photo: NASP® National Tournament Scholarship Recipients with Parents