What is the Ray Scholarship program?

The Ray Aviation Scholarship is a program that is funded by the Ray Foundation, managed by EAA and administered by local Chapters. Through the generous support of the Ray Foundation, EAA provides up to $11,000 to deserving youth for their flight training expenses totaling nearly $1.8 million in funds annually.

The program’s mission is to make a positive impact on young people who have a strong passion for aviation. This will include financial and moral support throughout the flight training, creating a welcoming environment for young aviators as well as creating a lifelong participant within the EAA chapter community.

The Ray Foundation was founded by James C. and Joan L. Ray. James’ dedication to aviation began shortly after the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was involved in the D-Day invasion as a command B-17 pilot with the 8th Air Force. Post-war, he served in the Air National Guard, and was very involved in general aviation following his service years.

James firmly believed in the life skills, discipline, character, and confidence taught throughout the flight training journey. In keeping with his spirit, the Ray Foundation seeks to encourage the development of human potential through supporting programs that develop life skills such as self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-reliance on the part of the grant recipients. The Foundation has focused a great deal of interest in aviation and the development of strategies and programs that address the involvement and education of young adults in aviation and aerospace.

Chapter 302 has been selected to administer one Ray scholarship for 2024. We will continue to apply for additional grants and hope to offer more scholarship opportunities in future years.

To qualify for consideration, a Chapter 302 candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Age 16-19
  • Posses an FAA Medical Certificate
  • Posses an FAA Student Pilot Certificate
  • Completed FAA Private Pilot Airplane Airman Knowledge Test (written exam)
  • Able to begin training within 60 days of accepting the award
  • Able to solo within 3 months
  • Able to complete training within 12 months
  • Have a letter of recommendation submitted by an adult who can attest to their ability to complete training
  • Submit a 150-250 word explanation of why they should be selected for this award

The Chapter will take into consideration the following additional criteria in their decision process:

  • EAA member (Individual or student)
  • Engagement with Chapter 302
  • Young Eagle participant
  • Participant in the Sporty’s Online Learn to Fly Course
  • Prior self-funded flight training experience

The recipient will need to dedicate enough time to successfully complete training. To accomplish this, they must plan training for a time when they can schedule at least three lessons per week. This will reduce the impact of weather and maintenance cancellations. In addition, they will need to set aside adequate time for self-study. A successful student completes at least three hours of ground training for every hour of flight training. Continuity of training is especially important when learning to fly.

Our recipient can expect Chapter 302 to provide mentorship to guide them through their Private Pilot training experience. In addition to meeting the flight training milestones described previously, the scholar will be required to partake in two hours of Chapter volunteer service per month.

Questions about the program should be directed to: Eaa302@outlook.com