Top 6 U.S. Rugby Foundation Scholarships for Collegiate Players

In the U.S., there are currently no full club Rugby scholarships available at universities or colleges due to rugby’s status as a college club sport. Encouraged by this fact, the U.S. Rugby Foundation was established to help grow the sport of rugby in America by awarding scholarships to both male and female players.

Among other things, these sport scholarships are meant to help promote youth rugby and the safety, coaching, refereeing, and development of collegiate players. There are a wide range of options available, from tuition subsidies to fee or dues exemptions.

Without further ado, let us dive into it.

U.S. Rugby Foundation Scholarships
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The Best U.S. Rugby Foundation Scholarships

1. The Kaler Family Rugby Scholarships

With the goal of aiding athletes in their transition to collegiate rugby, the Kaler Family Rugby Scholarship was established by Paul and Sarah Kaler in the spring of 2016. Both are enthusiastic rugby tourists who travel the world to compete at various levels, as well as to see their children play in their respective leagues.

In an effort to give back to a sport they both like, the two rely on private contributors as well as their own money to help pay their scholarships. The U.S. Rugby Foundation proposes to grant Kaler Family Rugby Scholarships to one male and one female rugby player each year. Scholarships awarded by the Kaler Family Rugby will total $1,500 each.

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High school seniors are eligible for these scholarships. These are the requirements to be eligible for the award:

  • Plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall semester

2. The Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program

The U.S. Rugby Foundation is proud to introduce the Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program in memory of one of the most productive players to ever don a USA Eagles jerseys. During his time at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Kevin “Higgy” Higgins captained the U.S. squad at the 1987 and 1991 Rugby World Cups.

Ten high school seniors who plan to play rugby in college will be awarded $1,000 scholarships through the U.S. Rugby Foundation Scholarships. All graduating high school rugby players in the United States who plan to continue their careers in the sport while attending college are eligible for the scholarships.

In particular, you must meet the following criteria to be considered for the program:

  • Plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall semester

3. The Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2010 in honor of Margaret “Meg” Votta, who lost her courageous battle with ovarian cancer in November 2009. Meg’s rugby career began while she was a member of Cornell Women’s Rugby Football Club, even though she attended Hamilton College.

Scholarships for deserving members of the local high school rugby community who have participated in the sport for a number of years will be awarded from the fund. The U.S. Rugby Foundation Scholarships offer this money to one male and one female rugby player each year who deserve it. The sum of each Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship is $1,250.

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It is offered to graduating high school seniors who can best articulate what rugby has meant to them and their intentions for further education through the Meg Votta Scholarship application process. For consideration, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall semester

4. The Richard A. Donelli Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship is given in Richard A. Donelli’s honor, as he was one of rugby’s most dominant players. Donelli led the Met New York All-Stars to a 40-10 loss to the New Zealand All-Blacks in 1972 as a physically dominant scrumhalf.

In commemoration of Donelli, the U.S. Rugby Foundation provides an annual scholarship to a college rugby player, male or female, who lives within driving distance of the New York Metropolitan Area. A $1,000 scholarship is being offered. It is awarded at the U.S. Rugby Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner.

However, if there is not a suitable applicant from the junior and senior college level, the scholarship may be offered to a graduating high school senior. To apply, you must:

  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Attend an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program

5. The Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship Program

The Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarships honors the legacy of former U.S. Rugby Foundation trustee Terry O’Reilly, a dedicated rugby player and supporter. Until his death in 2015, Terry was devoted to making rugby as popular in the U.S. as it is around the world.

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The Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors. To apply, you must:

  • Plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall semester

6. The William V. Campbell Memorial Scholarship

In memory of the late William “Bill” Campbell, a former member of the USA Rugby Hall of Fame team, the William V. Campbell Memorial Scholarship will be given to a college student who has exceptional abilities in both rugby and academics. Bill Campbell is a Columbia University alum who was a star football player before being drafted into the rugby team.

In 1963, Campbell helped form the Old Blue RFC in New York City with the support of fellow Columbia grads. His goal with Old Blue was to bring together Columbia alums for a weekend of championship-caliber rugby and friendly competition. Old Blue and American rugby have benefited greatly from his contributions off the field.

The William V. Campbell Memorial Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors. This $2,500 scholarship may be used for tuition, books or fees. To apply, you must:

  • Plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program
  • Have a minimum 3.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall semester

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