Pursuing postsecondary education can be an expensive endeavor, but thanks to the National FFA Scholarship Program, FFA members have ample opportunities to secure funds that will help them turn their dreams into reality.
For example, an FFA scholarship helped make it possible for former Chateaugay FFA President Grace Harrigan to attend Cornell University – an Ivy League institution she wasn’t sure she’d be able to afford.
Harrigan was awarded a $1,000 scholarship in 2019, which was made possible through a partnership between the National FFA Organization and CSX, a leading supplier of rail-based freight transportation. As long as Harrigan maintains a grade point average of 3.0 or better, her scholarship is renewable for three additional years, resulting in a total of $4,000 awarded over the course of her college career.
“This scholarship helped bridge a big financial gap I was struggling with, and it allowed me to start my college experience at Cornell rather than another school that might not have offered the same caliber of opportunities or as competitive of an environment,” says Harrigan, who served as the New York FFA District 3 president and is currently in her freshman year at Cornell majoring in animal science. “I’m so thankful I received this scholarship and am able to pursue my education at such an amazing school.”
Several other scholarships are available through FFA, including $1,500 America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders scholarships for high school seniors or current college students pursuing a degree or certification in any ag-related field. Ford Motor Company Fund and Ford Trucks Built Ford Tough scholarships, each worth $1,000, are awarded annually, as well, along with $2,000 scholarships provided by Deere & Company.
In addition, high school seniors with plans to earn a two- or four-year degree in the Natural Resource Systems AFNR Career Pathway can apply for $5,000 scholarships sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation, and RAM Trucks provides one scholarship valued at $3,000 as well as several additional scholarships, each worth $1,000.
And that’s just the beginning. The National FFA Scholarship Program offers more than 120 scholarships each year, and there’s more than $2.7 million in funds available. Chances are there’s at least something you’re eligible for – but you can’t win if you don’t apply.
“No matter how big or small, every scholarship you can get is worth taking the time to apply for,” Harrigan says. “They all add up and make a difference in the end, and they might be what helps you attend the school of your dreams.”
The application goes live on Nov. 1. The deadline to apply is Jan. 5, 2022.