Since the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) inception in 2002, the renowned archery program has been achieving its mission of growing the shooting sports and improving educational performance, one arrow at a time, with students in grades 4-12.
Consider all the ways the National Archery in the Schools Program has made a positive difference: 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; and 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.
NASP Scholarships = Big Money
Since NASP’s inception, just under $1.8 million 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 bull’s-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, 20 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. The list of NASP supporters is impressive: 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.
NASP Scholarships Distribution
Nearly 50 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 bull’s-eye competition and the International Bowhunting Organizations (IBO) 3-D 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 $2 million in cash scholarship awards.
You might 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, Kentucky (Eastern Nationals) and Salt Lake City, Utah (Western Nationals). Ten to 16 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 2,000 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 $15,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 in scholarship awards. The first, second, and third place high school teams at nationals are awarded $24,000, $18,000, or $12,000. Each team has up to 24 members, so the individual archers receive $1,000, $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 students. However, 11 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 4-year post-secondary educational institution!
“NASP’s board is intent on increasing scholarship awards even more over the next few years,” said NASP CEO and President Roy Grimes. “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.”
From NASP Target Archers to Bowhunters
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 2 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 50 percent of NASP students report having bowhunted or wanting to bowhunt but haven’t yet. On the conservation front, more than 40 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, 58 percent of NASP students say they feel more connected at school because of NASP, and 40 percent report working harder in the classroom because of the archery program.
You can find the full student survey report by clicking here.
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.
For more information on NASP, visit www.naspschools.org