The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program is often listed as one of the most prestigious scholarships available. This is a federally funded program that is administered on the state level. It is a merit-based scholarship that is made available through various state education agencies to award to high school seniors to use towards their college expenses.
Applicants for the Robert C. Byrd scholarship must be high school seniors or graduates who have already been accepted into a college or university. They must show high academic achievement with the promise of continued achievement in their postsecondary education. A copy of the letter of acceptance from the college the student has chosen is required as part of the application process.
Those interested in applying for the Byrd scholarship must apply to their own state education agency. Each agency has its own deadline. To apply, students must request the application package from the agency and fill it out according to the enclosed instructions. Some states only administer these packets through high school guidance offices.
The program does have certain educational standards that applicants must meet. First, they must be in the top 5 percent of their graduating classes. In classes that have 60 students or less, the applicant must hold a ranking of 1, 2, or 3. Also, in most states the student’s GPA must be 3.50 on a 4.00 scale. Finally, applicants must have a combined SAT score of 1150 or higher or an ACT score of 25 or higher.
The amount of money students receive through the Byrd scholarship program varies from case to case. However, the average is $1,500 per successful applicant. Some students receive more, while others receive less. The program has between 6,300 and 6,500 of these awards to give out each year. The scholarship can be renewed for up to three additional years, provided the student maintains a high grade point average and stays enrolled in school full time.
This program was originally founded in 1985. At that time, it was a non-renewable scholarship. It was expanded in 1993 to allow successful applicants to renew their scholarship over a four-year program. Students applying for the scholarship must be legal residents of the state in which they are going to apply, and must be attending a school within the United States. They also may not have any debt to the federal government that is currently in default, and most states do not allow applicants who have past drug offenses.