Winning scholarships for physical education will make it more affordable to reach your teaching goal of keeping youth healthy.
Physical education is a teacher certification major for fitness enthusiasts to gain the pedagogical skills for motivating K-12 students’ participation in physical activity. Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign has sparked a greater focus on high-quality physical education. PE teachers are leading the way to help reverse inactivity trends that led to 20 percent of children ages 6-11 and 18 percent of children aged 12-19 becoming obese. Motivated teachers can work to relieve this epidemic in an education field poised for positive 10-year job growth at 8 percent.
Don’t sweat rising tuition because the following physical education scholarships can support your calling to boost students’ wellness.
1. Alpha Delta Kappa Future Educator Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Alpha Delta Kappa, the international honor society for female teachers, offers a $1,000 Future Educator Scholarship to current members who are pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in any teaching field, including physical education. Eligibility criteria requires attending an accredited U.S. teacher’s college, carrying a “B” academic average or higher, approaching their final two semesters, actively participating in volunteer activities, and attaching two university letters of recommendation.
Alpha Delta Kappa Future Educator Scholarship
1615 West 92nd. Street
Kansas City, MO 64114
2. Bushaw-Redumis PLT Leadership Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Since 2010, Pi Lambda Theta has utilized a generous donation from William J. Bushaw, PhD, and his wife Irene to disburse several Bushaw-Redumis PLT Leadership Scholarships for $500 yearly. Eligible undergraduate members must attend a regionally accredited college at least half-time, pursue a teaching major like physical education, excel academically with a major GPA of 3.5 or higher, and exhibit leadership capacity in PLT Chapter activities.
Bushaw-Redumis PLT Leadership Scholarships
320 W. Eighth Street Suite 216
Bloomington, IN 47404
3. CANFIT Undergraduate Scholarships
Deadline: March 31st
Sponsored by the Tides Center, the California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness (CANFIT) gifts two to five undergraduate physical education scholarships of up to $1,500 each. Funding is designed to support minority students of Black, Native American, Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Latino heritage who are earning bachelor’s degrees in nutrition or physical education. Having completed 50+ semester units at a WASC-accredited college in California with a minimum 2.5 GPA is required.
CANFIT Undergraduate Scholarships
P.O. Box 3989
Berkeley, CA 94703
4. Carolyn D. Vanacore Athlete Scholarship
Deadline: June 15th
Worth $1,000 over two $500 installments, the Carolyn D. Vanacore Athlete Scholarship is granted by the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CTAHPERD) to support varsity athletes who are pursuing careers in fitness. Physical education majors must be female, attain junior or senior status, have lived in Connecticut, attend an accredited U.S. institution full-time, hold a 2.7 QPR or better, and write a 400-word essay about their athletic participation.
Carolyn D. Vanacore Athlete Scholarship
376 Buttonball Lane
Glastonbury, CT 06033
5. Coach Kevin Ferguson Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
Established in 1995, the John Randolph Foundation is one of Virginia’s 14 health legacy charities that’s provided over $16 million in tuition assistance, including the Coach Kevin Ferguson Scholarship. This $1,500, merit-based program selects seniors or graduates of Prince George County Public Schools who will pursue careers in physical education. Eligible applicants must register for at least six credits per term, hold a cumulative GPA above 2.0, and display good sportsmanship.
Coach Kevin Ferguson Scholarship
112 North Main Street
P.O. Box 1606
Hopewell, VA 23860
6. Dan Whitworth Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) bestows the Dan Whitworth Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 yearly upon college-bound seniors or current undergrads who are majoring in sports-related fields, such as physical education, kinesiology, movement science, or parks and recreation. Interested candidates must matriculate full-time at Texas universities, achieve a cumulative 2.5 GPA or greater, score at least 850 on the SAT or 21 on the ACT, and participate in athletic activities.
Dan Whitworth Memorial Scholarship
421 North IH 35
P.O. Box 1789
Georgetown, TX 78627
7. Dorothea Deitz Endowed Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
Created by 39-time Grand Slam tennis champion Billie Jean King in 1974, the Women’s Sport Foundation manages the Dorothea Deitz Endowed Scholarship to encourage female students to enroll in physical education programs for teacher certification. To earn $1,000, applicants must have graduated from New York State high schools, participated in varsity athletics, attained a minimum “B” average overall, contributed to community service, and shown physical education competence.
Dorothea Deitz Endowed Scholarship
1899 Hempstead Turnpike Suite 400
East Meadow, NY 11554
8. Dr. Alvin & Monica Saake Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st
Named after the late University of Hawai’i basketball team head coach and his wife, the Dr. Alvin & Monica Saake Scholarship is conferred by the Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF) for $1,000 to $2,500 annually. Accepted majors include athletic training, sports medicine, physical education, leisure studies, and kinesiology. Interested applicants must also be college juniors or higher, possess a minimum 2.7 GPA, legally reside in Hawai’i, attend four-year, nonprofit U.S. institutions, and need financial assistance.
Dr. Alvin & Monica Saake Scholarship
4139 Hardy Street Suite C
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
9. Jane Maver & Ray Anne Shrader Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
The Department of Health and Kinesiology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, gifts the Jane Maver & Ray Anne Shrader Scholarship for $1,000 to support juniors and seniors in the undergraduate curriculum for physical education. Following Dr. Joy Greenlee’s specifications, applicants must have completed 45+ credits in residence, show promise in student teaching, sustain a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, and participate in campus activities.
Jane Maver & Ray Anne Shrader Scholarship
800 West Stadium Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907
10. JCC of North America Graduate Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
Valued at $10,000 per year, the Jewish Community Center Association of North America provides a Graduate Scholarship program for students of any faith who agree to work at any JCC nationwide for two years post-graduation. Eligible recipients will be pursuing their first master’s degree full-time at accredited U.S. institutions in accepted fields, including physical education, health education, early childhood education, and recreation management.
JCC of North America Graduate Scholarship
520 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
11. Karen J. Dowd Leadership Scholarship
Deadline: September 23rd
The Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (OAHPERD) awards the Karen J. Dowd Leadership Scholarship for up to $1,000 to current members in good standing who are studying relevant majors, including PE. Appropriate applicants will be juniors or seniors with over 60 college-level credits, matriculate full-time at Oklahoma universities, present a grade point average over 3.0, and write a 500-word professional philosophy essay.
Karen J. Dowd Leadership Scholarship
7777 S. Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74171
12. Mary Lampe Scholarship Program
Deadline: February 15th
The Minnesota Society of Health and Physical Educators started the Mary Lampe Scholarship Program to honor the UMN coach who testified before the U.S. Senate in Title IX hearings about female discrimination in sports. For the $500 award, nominees must be SHAPE America Central District members, pursue undergrad or post-grad study in physical education full-time, contribute to movements for healthy active lifestyles, and provide an itemized financial need statement.
Mary Lampe Scholarship Program
801 Hamilton Drive
Duluth, MN 55811
13. Mildred Murray Scholarship Fund
Deadline: February 21st
At Towson University, the College of Health Professions (CHP) houses several scholarships for physical education, such as the Mildred Murray Scholarship Fund. This $2,400 program selects full-time juniors and seniors who are completing the physical education program for Maryland teacher licensure with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better. Preference is given to students participating in inter-scholastic athletics. Also consider the Stephen C. Broy Memorial and Jennifer L. Thomas Memorial Scholarships.
Mildred Murray Scholarship Fund
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252
14. Robert Hampton Student Scholarship
Deadline: May 22nd
The Robert Hampton Student Scholarship was opened by the South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (SCAHPERD) to distribute $1,000 to full-time juniors or seniors who are obtaining baccalaureate majors related to their mission. Physical education students should hold 75+ non-remedial credits, carry a minimum “B” average, participate in state or national organizations, serve as good role models to children, and have verifiable financial need.
Robert Hampton Student Scholarship
1301 Columbia College Drive
Columbia, SC 29203
15. Ruby P. “Bela” Herlong Scholarship
Deadline: March 10th
At Winthrop University, the NCATE-accredited Richard W. Riley College of Education offers the Ruby P. “Bela” Herlong Scholarship for $500 to $1,000 to South Carolina residents who are majoring in elementary education or physical education with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. First preference is given to undergraduates from Saluda County, including Batesburg-Leesville and Monetta. Students must subject a three-page application, resume, 500-word personal statement, and two faculty references.
Ruby P. “Bela” Herlong Scholarship
701 Oakland Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29733
16. Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship
Deadline: October 15th
Annually, the Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship honors her 1954-56 SHAPE America leadership by presenting $1,250 to three bachelor’s and $1,750 to two master’s or doctoral students who are studying health education, physical education, dance, and recreation. Eligibility criteria requires having at least 12 months of college remaining, registering at accredited four-year U.S. institutions, excelling with a 3.5 GPA or better, being a current SHAPE member, and displaying strong character.
Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship
1900 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191
17. Sam and Peggy Johnson PE Scholarship
Deadline: March 11th
The Sam and Peggy Johnson PE Scholarship stands out among Bemidji State University’s physical education scholarships for providing the largest amount at $3,000. The College of Health Sciences & Human Ecology seeks applicants who are working toward their bachelor’s degree full-time, have 30 or more credits, major in physical education for teacher certification, and show involvement in departmental activities. Other PE funds include the Otto Erickson Memorial and Hazel Leland Scholarships.
Sam and Peggy Johnson PE Scholarship
1500 Birchmont Drive NE #29
Bemidji, MN 56601
18. Stacy Stover Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
The Community Foundation of Findlay-Hancock County administers the Stacy Stover Memorial Scholarship to remember the Bluffton College alumna who worked for McComb Schools, played for Findlay City Coed Volleyball, and volunteered at Open Arms Shelter. Interested Ohioans must be graduating from Patrick Henry High School or Hancock County High School, enter teacher preparation programs like physical education full-time, be U.S. citizens, maintain a 2.0 GPA or better through high school, and have financial need.
Stacy Stover Memorial Scholarship
101 W. Sandusky Street Suite 207
Findlay, OH 45840
19. Ted and Eloise Pfeiff Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
Graduating high school seniors from Iowa’s Davenport, Bettendorf, and Pleasant Valley districts could qualify for the Ted and Eloise Pfeiff Scholarship from the Community Foundation of Great River Bend (CFGRB). This renewable fund worth $14,000 total offers $3,000 for the first two years and $4,000 for the last two years. Qualified candidates must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in any education major, such as physical education, with academic excellence.
Ted and Eloise Pfeiff Scholarship
852 Middle Road Suite 100
Bettendorf, IA 52722
20. William A. Crawford Minority Scholarship
Deadline: September 4th
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education publicly funds the William A. Crawford Minority Scholarship to grant up to $4,000 for Black and Hispanic students who are pursuing a course of study for teaching licensure, including physical education. Scholarship terms require teaching in Indiana public schools for at least three years post-graduation. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens, attend Indiana universities full-time, pursue their first bachelor’s degree, and complete a FAFSA form.
William A. Crawford Minority Scholarship
101 W. Ohio Street Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204
We aren’t playing games when we say college costs are at an all-time high. Over the past 20 years, tuition has risen steadily faster than inflation and wage increases. Bachelor’s and master’s degree expenses can be tough to swallow on the modest average salary of $48,468 for physical education teachers. Financial aid packages filled with free scholarships are vital to protect your teaching future from vast loan debt. Slim down your tuition bills and get your finances in shape with some of these 25 scholarships for physical education.