Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in Scouting. Achieved by less than five out of every 100 Boy Scouts, it is a milestone of of accomplishment — perhaps without equal — that is recognized across the country and around the world. Men who have earned the Eagle Scout rank count it among their most treasured possessions. “Eagle Scout” is not just an award; it is a state of being. Those who earned it as boys continue to earn it every day as men.
There are extensive requirements for the rank, including active participation in your troop as a Life Scout for at least six months, demonstration of the Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law; earning at least 21 merit badges including 13 required badges; service in your unit as a Life Scout in a position of responsibility for at least six months; leadership in a service project for a school, religious institution, or your community; and participation in a Scoutmaster conference while a Life Scout.
Additional recognition can be earned through EAGLE PALMS, awarded for completing additional leadership and merit badge requirements. To earn a Palm, you must be active in your unit for at least three months since becoming an Eagle Scout or earning your last palm and earn five additional merit badges. The BRONZE PALM represents five merit badges beyond the Eagle rank, the GOLD PALM 10, and the SILVER PALM 15.
“When I first started scouting I thought it was just boys telling scary stories and roasting marshmallows. My first day of scouting I realized that it was significantly more than the movies portray it to be. Scouting has instilled in me values such as leadership, visceral thinking and commitment that I will forever use not only in my day to day life but also in raising my future kids. Scouting has also given me memories and friendships that are truly once in a lifetime opportunities that I will never forget or trade for anything.” — N. Victor Nwadike, Eagle Scout Troop 119, Sevierville, TN
Boards of Review
After completing the requirements for any rank, Scouts must appear before a Board of Review that determines whether the quality of their experience is sufficient for the new rank. For the Eagle rank, these Boards are organized at the district level, rather than the unit level.
Eagle Scout Boards of Review are composed of three to six members, all at least 21 years old, and all with an understanding of the Eagle rank. Sessions typically last a minimum of 30 minutes and are often held in more formal locations than those used for other ranks.
Eagle Scout College Scholarships
The National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) offers two types of scholarships to Eagle Scouts:
Academic scholarships are based on school and Scouting participation, academic performance, and financial need. Applicants must score a minimum 1800 SAT (if taken before January, 2016), 1290 (if taken after March, 2016), or 28 ACT to apply.
These include a varying number of NESA scholarships and a varying number of Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke scholarships. The Mabel and Lawrence S. Cooke scholarships are awarded annually and include four $25,000 scholarships (payable at $6,250 per year) and one $48,000 scholarship (up to $12,000 payable for four years), plus a varying number of others.
NESA offers an additional academic scholarship called the $50,000 NESA STEM scholarship (up to $12,500 payable for four years) to an applicant who plans to major in a science, technology, engineering, or math field.
NESA academic scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts applying during their senior year of high school. Exception: Scouts whose Eagle Scout boards of review are held after October 31 of their senior year may apply during the next scholarship cycle in the following year even though they may be in college by this time. Winners may receive a scholarship one time only.
Scholarship committees are formed each year in each of the four BSA regions (Northeast, Southern, Central, and Western) to recommend recipients of these scholarships, with the final determination made by the national NESA Scholarship Committee.
The second type of Eagle Scout scholarships, merit scholarships, are based on school and Scouting participation, and community service. These awards include the $2,000 and $4,000 Bailey scholarships, the $2,500 Robert and Rebecca Palmer scholarships, and the $5,000 Hall/McElwain merit scholarships. Each BSA region reviews applications and awards a varying number of these scholarships to local Scouts.
NESA merit scholarship applicants must be Eagle Scouts graduating high school or undergraduate college students no farther than completion of the junior year. Recipients may receive the scholarship one time only.
Over 5,000 NESA scholarship applications are received annually, and fewer than 200 are awarded, so the competition is stiff. Plans are being formulated to greatly increase the amount of funds available to award NESA Eagle Scout scholarships throughout future years.
Your Scoutmaster can help guide you through the application process for the Eagle Scout rank. The following resources will also be helpful.
Please note that alternative requirements are available for Scouts with mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from earning the required merit badges. In order to qualify for alternative merit badge requirements, you must complete the Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank.