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. Funds must be used within 18 months of the scholarship award. Most scholarships can be used at any club or commercial operation.
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. Applicants for the Sky Ghost Scholarship must be 15 years old by May 1 of the year she applies.
- If you are at least 25 years old on or before the scholarship deadline (normally March 15), the Mid Kolstad Scholarship may be for you.
- The Briegleb Scholarship is for a woman of any age taking glider lessons, to help pay expenses related to attending the Women Soaring Seminar. Deadline for this scholarship is March 15, 2024, for the Seminar to be held in Kansas in July.
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. Applicants for the Glider Girl Scholarship must be 17 years old by May 1 of the year she applies.
And here are some scholarships if your goal is cross country or competition soaring.
- If you want advanced training in cross country soaring, glider 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 Karl Striedieck 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 who will be looking at your essay to see that you have:
- Realistic goals.
- Dedication to those goals.
- Commitment to soaring and to WSPA.
Mentors are assigned to scholarship recipients to offer encouragement and guidance.
For more information contact:
WSPA Scholarship Chair
For more information on the history of WSPA scholarships and a report on WSPA scholarship recipient accomplishments, check out these files:
Your application for a WSPA scholarship will be judged on:
- How well you follow the instructions on the application form (meet the criteria and provide required documentation in the correct formats).
- How well your essay describes your goals and your attributes that make you a good candidate to receive a scholarship.
- The strength of your recommendation letter.
YOUR CHANCES OF RECEIVING A SCHOLARSHIP IMPROVE IF YOU:
- 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.
- Study the requirements. Click on the link for the scholarship you are interested in. This will take you to the online application form. Near the top of that form is a link you can click to view and print the complete requirements for that scholarship.
- Contact the Scholarship Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
- 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. In some cases, you may be allowed to apply for a scholarship if you have not met all criteria but are close to achieving them. Contact the Scholarship Chair (email@example.com) to discuss your situation and determine whether you should proceed with an application.NOTE: If you are a non-US applicant, contact the Scholarship Chair to find out how you can include an equivalency statement for those requirements that may be different in your country.
- 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. Spell out all acronyms and abbreviations for clarity. 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.
- 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? What steps have you already taken toward meeting your soaring goals? 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?
- 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?
- Make sure your WSPA membership is current. If you are not sure, contact the WSPA Treasurer at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submit an organized, neat application package. Applications must be made using the online form for each scholarship. Prepare all materials before you begin the online application. The requirements document and the form indicate allowable file formats and sizes. You must follow these instructions in order to submit your online application. Be sure to include your name and the scholarship you are applying for at the top of your essay (these are not counted in the 500 words allowed for your essay).
- Submit your application well before the deadline. When you submit your application, you will receive an email confirmation. The WSPA Scholarship Chair will be in touch with you soon to reconfirm receipt of your application and to clarify any questions she has. You may be told that you do not qualify for the scholarship you applied for and you may want to change to another scholarship. All scholarship applicants will be notified of the outcome of the judging by April 15.
International WSPA Members:
Scholarships are open to all WSPA members, including international members. Canadian applicants may reach out to our Canadian WSPA Scholarship Contact, Elaine Ernewein (email@example.com), for questions and help with their applications.