WSPA Scholarships

The purpose of the Women’s Soaring Pilots Association is to encourage women to fly gliders. One way we do this is through our scholarship program. Applicants are required to be members of WSPA and, if living in the U.S., members of SSA. Scholarships are offered to women of all skill levels, from beginning students to advanced licensed pilots. Persons interested in applying for a scholarship should review the list below and select the scholarship that best meets their needs. Applicants may submit only one application per year. Scholarships can be used at any glider training facility, and funds must be used within 18 months of scholarship award.

Scholarship Deadline:  March 15, 2020

Click on the name of the scholarship for an application form and more details.

If you are a beginning student glider pilot there are three scholarships that may work for you.

  • The Sky Ghost Scholarship is for a woman under the age of 25.
  • If you are over the age of 25, the Mid Kolstad Scholarship would be for you. Both of these scholarships can be used at any glider training facility.
  • The Briegleb Scholarship is for a woman of any age to help pay expenses related to attending the Women Soaring Seminar. Deadline for this scholarship only is May 31, 2020.

If you want to become a Commercial Glider pilot or CFIG, one of the following scholarships can assist you.

  • Monique‘s Scholarship offers financial assistance for Commercial Glider Pilots working toward CFIG.
  • The Flying Montagues scholarship can assist you with incentives for accomplishing goals in obtaining your Commercial license and CFIG.
  • The Glider Girl Scholarship provides funds for a Commercial or CFIG license or tow pilot endorsement.

And last but not least, here are some scholarships if your goal is cross country or competition soaring.

  • If you want advanced training in cross country, aerobatics or for obtaining badges and records, The Maria Faber Scholarship is for you. This scholarship can also be used to obtain a tow pilot endorsement if the applicant is licensed in airplanes.
  • If you are already an accomplished glider pilot and you want to fly in an SSA sanctioned contest, The Competition Scholarship will provide funds to help pay for your expenses. This scholarship is only available to members living and flying in the U.S.

Applications are reviewed by a committee of three WSPA members and judged on:

  1. Realistic goals.
  2. Dedication to those goals.
  3. Commitment to soaring and WSPA.

Mentors are assigned to scholarship recipients to offer encouragement and guidance.

For more information contact:

Alice Palmer
WSPA Scholarship Chair

And, you can support the US women competing in the next FAI Women’s World Gliding Championships, in January 2020 at the Lake Keepit Soaring Club in New South Wales, Australia. Three pilots are interested in going, and WSPA is kicking off a donation fund drive to help support their participation. You can donate by sending a check to the WSPA Treasurer or via Paypal; please mark your donation “WWGC Fund”. And then watch the flights and results on-line!

How to Prepare the Application

Your application for a WSPA scholarship will be judged in two categories.

  1. How well you follow the instructions on the application form (meet the criteria and provide required documentation).
  2. How well your essay describes your attributes that make you a good candidate to receive a scholarship.


  1. Plan ahead. Think about your goals for the coming year and beyond. Decide which of our scholarships will best help achieve your goals in a timely manner. You can only apply for one scholarship per year, but you can apply for additional scholarships in future years.
  2. Contact the Scholarship Chair ( if you have any questions. She is available to help you prepare the best application possible. She can also suggest which scholarship will best fit into your goals. The Scholarship Chair does not judge your application. It is judged and scored by three members of WSPA.
  3. Submit your application well before the deadline. When your application is received it is reviewed for completeness. If you are missing some documentation you will be notified. If there is time left before the deadline, you may add the missing items. You may be told that you do not qualify for the scholarship you applied for and you may want to change to another scholarship.
  4. Make sure you meet all the criteria listed on the application form. If you are required to have taken the FAA Knowledge Test, allow time to prepare and take the test and include a copy of your test results. Make sure you meet age and/or other specific requirements. If asked to submit one letter of recommendation, do not submit 2 or 3.
  5. Put a lot of thought into your essay. This is a critical part of your application. You need to convince the judges that you are the best candidate for the scholarship. This is not a college exam on essay writing – it is instead an opportunity to tell the judges about yourself. Good writing, including proper spelling and punctuation, will help your essay stand out. Do not simply copy an essay you submitted for other aviation scholarships and change a few key words. We want to know why you specifically desire a WSPA scholarship.
  6. Be specific in writing your essay. If you have helped at the gliderport, what exactly did you do? Have you helped with club projects, read about glider flying, given a talk about gliders? How are you involved with WSPA? Have you accomplished other things that show you can set and complete goals? Do you have skills that help you be a good pilot?
  7. Ask others to critique your essay. How well did you promote yourself? Did you include specific achievements and give examples? Did you stay within the 500 word limit? Did you state your goals and is your plan to achieve them realistic?
  8. Submit an organized, neat application package. All materials should be attached to the online application, preferably in PDF form, except for your photo, which should be in JPG format. Check off the criteria on the application form and confirm that you have included it. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your materials. If there is anything missing, you may be able to add it if the deadline has not passed.