Keeping your college finances in tip-top shape is easier when you lunge toward exercise science scholarships.
Exercise science is a popular bachelor’s or master’s major for fitness enthusiasts to study the effects of movement on the human body. Learning the scientific mechanics of exercise will unlock diverse careers concerned with promoting healthy, active lifestyles. That’s especially important today as the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition reports that less than 5 percent of U.S. adults exercise for 30 minutes daily.
Many exercise science majors enter fitness training, where the BLS predicts 23,400 jobs will be added through 2024. Exercise science programs are also useful for future athletic trainers, physical therapists, recreation specialists, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, coaches, and even chiropractors.
Build a strong financial aid package for your career goals with the following 20 scholarships for exercise science.
Ranking the Best Exercise Science Scholarships
1. AKA Undergraduate Scholar Awards
Deadline: March 1st
The American Kinesiology Association offers at least 30 Undergraduate Scholar Awards each year for varying amounts to bachelor’s students who are pursuing kinesiology-related degrees, including exercise science and exercise physiology. Eligible nominees must be seniors with 90+ college credits, attend AKA-member schools, display academic excellence with a 3.5 GPA or greater, and possess the personal qualities for professional leadership. Recent recipients study at Auburn, Seattle Pacific, SUNY-Brockport, and more.
AKA Undergraduate Scholar Awards
P.O. Box 5076
Champaign, IL 61825
2. Betty Kimberling Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
At Colorado State University, the Betty Kimberling Memorial Scholarship awards $1,000 per year to three active Colorado 4-H members who are enrolled full-time in the Department of Health and Exercise Science. Suitable applicants will have finished their freshman year, carry a minimum “B” average, and contribute to public service. B.S. in Health and Exercise Science students could also snag the Attack Pack Scholarship or Ann Livingston Memorial Scholarship.
Betty Kimberling Memorial Scholarship
223C Moby B Complex
Fort Collins, CO 80523
3. Carl V. Gisolfi Memorial Fund
Deadline: January 20th
Valued at $5,000, the Carl V. Gisolfi Memorial Fund honors the pioneer’s 50-year tenure with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) by supporting an outstanding doctoral student interested in exercise science. To qualify, current members must be attending accredited U.S. colleges full-time to complete Ph.D. dissertation research related to physical activity, such as thermoregulation, physiotherapy rehabilitation, blood dynamics, protein turnover, or fluid balance. Priority is given to proposals about minority health issues.
Carl V. Gisolfi Memorial Fund
401 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
4. Clarkston Consulting Scholars Program
Deadline: January 15th
The Clarkston Consulting Scholars Program awards $5,000 per year for $10,000 total to college juniors and seniors with life sciences majors studying living organisms, including exercise science. Applying sophomores must attend an accredited four-year university in Pennsylvania, be U.S. citizens or nationals, sustain a minimum 3.0 GPA, and display merit at an in-person interview in Philadelphia. Applications are incomplete without a 500-word essay detailing an essay affecting the Keystone State’s health industry.
Clarkston Consulting Scholars Program
2655 Meridian Parkway
Durham, NC 27713
5. David McHugh BHH Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th, June 30th, and October 30th
Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa launched the David McHugh BHH Scholarship in 2006 after the gifted exercise physiologist died unexpectedly at age 29. Three times annually, the merit-based fund provides $1,000 to full-time students at any Arizona State University campus who are studying cardiac rehabilitation, exercise science, nutrition, and health promotion. Eligibility criteria requires holding a 3.0 GPA or higher, having unmet financial need, and displaying commitment to wellness.
David McHugh BHH Scholarship
6750 E. Baywood Avenue
Mesa, AZ 85206
6. Dr. John H. Williams Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
At Appalachian State University, the Dr. John H. Williams Memorial Scholarship is one of six scholarships housed in the Department of Health & Exercise Science for full-time undergrads. The merit-based, $1,115 award suits rising juniors and seniors in the Exercise Science program with a major in health promotion. Upperclassmen should reside in North Carolina, excel with a 3.0 GPA minimum, exhibit unmet financial need, and show substantial involvement in clubs or professional organizations.
Dr. John H. Williams Memorial Scholarship
287 Rivers Street
Boone, NC 28608
7. EAAT Hippotherapy Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) offers the EAAT Hippotherapy Scholarship for $10,000 annually to support active members who are majoring in physical therapy, exercise science, kinesiology, speech-language pathology, sports studies, and similar fields. Qualified candidates must matriculate full-time at accredited four-year colleges, attain an overall GPA over 2.5, be committed to careers applying equine-assisted therapy, and have volunteer experience helping the handicapped.
EAAT Hippotherapy Scholarship
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104
8. Elsie Jobe & Jewell Nolen Scholarship
Deadline: December 15th
In the College of Education, Tennessee Technological University confers seven exercise science scholarships, such as the Elsie Jobe & Jewell Nolen Memorial Scholarship. Current graduate students fully admitted into the Online M.A. in Exercise Science, Physical Education and Wellness (MA-EXPW) program with 9+ credits and a minimum 3.5 QPA could qualify. Applications via ScholarWeb must include a curriculum vitae, transcript, goals statement, and record of public service.
Elsie Jobe & Jewell Nolen Scholarship
1 William L. Jones Drive
Cookeville, TN 38505
9. Germaine G. Guiot Scholarship Fund
Deadline: December 5th
The College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University in Ames manages the Germaine G. Guiot Scholarship Fund to bestow $1,000 upon full-time undergraduate kinesiology majors in the exercise science concentration. Eligible sophomores and juniors must have at least three semesters remaining, achieve high academic standing with a 3.25 GPA or better, display service in departmental clubs, and need financial assistance. There’s also the Cheri Goslar/Cap and Tippy Timm Scholarship available.
Germaine G. Guiot Scholarship Fund
534 Wallace Road
Ames, IA 50011
10. Indiana Tech Exercise Science Scholarship
Deadline: January 15th
Worth $15,000, Indiana Tech University’s Exercise Science Leadership Scholarship is granted yearly to incoming freshmen or transfers who will be pursuing the traditional Exercise Science B.S. program full-time. Chosen applicants must be permanent U.S. residents, hold a high school diploma or GED, carry a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, score at least 1170 on the SAT or 24 on the ACT, and continue maintaining a minimum “C+” average.
Indiana Tech Exercise Science Scholarship
1600 E. Washington Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46803
(800) 937-2448 ext. 2334
11. Joan Sanders Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
The Exercise Science Department at Fort Lewis College established the Joan Sanders Memorial Scholarship to gift $500 per year of $1,000 total to rising juniors who are completing the bachelor’s degree in exercise science with optional coaching certification. Eligible FLC Skyhawks must study full-time with 12+ credits, achieve a minimum “B” average, play intramural sports, and participate in departmental activities like the Annual 10K Race.
Joan Sanders Memorial Scholarship
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, CO 81301
12. Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Created by NBA athletic trainers David Craig and Dr. John Abrams, the Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship presents $2,000 annually through the Indiana Pacers Foundation, Inc. to support tomorrow’s leading sports medical staff. Declared majors in sports medicine, kinesiology, athletic training, exercise science, and physical therapy would be appropriate. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens, have completed at least one quarter at an accredited four-year college, obtain a 3.0 GPA or better, and display integrity.
Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship
125 S. Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
13. Mary and Bill Hill Leadership Scholarship
Deadline: August 1st
At West Texas A&M University, the Mary and Bill Hill Leadership Scholarship awards $1,000 annually to full-time sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are matriculated in the B.A./B.S. Sports and Exercise Sciences Major. Qualified recipients must be peer educators through PULSE, concentrate in exercise science or applied sport, practice holistic wellness in their lives, and possess a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or greater. Also consider the Ryan Strong Memorial Scholarship.
Mary and Bill Hill Leadership Scholarship
2501 Fourth Avenue
Canyon, TX 79016
14. NSCA High School Scholarships
Deadline: March 15th
The National Strength & Conditioning Association distributes $1,500 High School Scholarships to graduating fitness buffs who will choose college majors in relevant fields, such as exercise science or kinesiology. Current NSCA members must be accepted at accredited U.S. colleges, reach a minimum 3.0 GPA, display career interests in strength and conditioning, have a track record of community service, and be supported by three signed recommendation letters.
NSCA High School Scholarships
1885 Bob Johnson Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
15. Roger Kerns Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 1st
Pledged in 2013, the Roger Kerns Scholarship Fund is administered by the Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences (HNES) Department at North Dakota State University for $1,000. Each year, full-time upperclassmen pursuing their bachelor’s degree in dietetics, exercise science, health education, physical education, or sport management are selected. Eligible undergrads must take 12+ graded credits, hold a cumulative GPA above 2.7, participate in NDSU clubs, and attend the Honor’s Day celebration.
Roger Kerns Scholarship Fund
1310 Centennial Blvd.
Fargo, ND 58102
16. Ronald W. Hyatt Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 31st
Named for the former NCAAHPERD President who taught for 40+ years, the Ronald W. Hyatt Scholarship Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill awards $2,500 yearly to full-time exercise and sport science majors. Interested juniors must be United States citizens, have completed 27 or more credits in residence, have passed two EXSS courses with a “B” or better, maintain a minimum 3.6 GPA overall, and submit an original 500-word personal essay.
Ronald W. Hyatt Scholarship Program
209 Fetzer Hall, CB#8700
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
17. Scott and Kim Verplank Scholarships
Deadline: April 15th
The Scott and Kim Verplank Foundation was started by a PGA Tour veteran and his wife to award $10,000 scholarships graduating high school seniors who have been diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes. Exercise science majors could qualify if they successfully manage their blood sugar with proper diet and fitness. Other scholarship criteria includes being a U.S. citizen, gaining admission at accredited four-year schools, participating in organized athletics, and reaching a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Scott and Kim Verplank Scholarships
2401 Tee Circle Suite 103
Norman, OK 73069
18. Thunderbird Community Sports Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
The Kent Community Foundation awards the Thunderbird Community Sports Scholarship for $1,500 to financially support Washington locals who are studying sports-related majors, such as exercise science, physical therapy, athletic training, and sports management. Residents of Kent County can use funding for tuition at any accredited two- or four-year U.S. college. Don’t forget to submit a signed application, official transcript, 500-word personal goals essay, and two recommendation letters.
Thunderbird Community Sports Scholarship
P.O. Box 5493
Kent, WA 98064
19. Virginia Morris Merit Scholarship
Deadline: January 30th
At the University of Oklahoma, juniors and seniors matriculated full-time in the Department of Health and Exercise Science can compete for the $500 Virginia Morris Merit Scholarship. To succeed, eligible applicants must pursue a Bachelor of Science with the HES major, have completed at least 60 course credits, retained a minimum 3.25 GPA combined, pursue a career in exercise-related education, and submit a one-page, typed experience statement.
Virginia Morris Merit Scholarship
1000 Asp Avenue, Room 127
Norman, OK 73019
20. Y.T. Johnson Science Scholarships
Deadline: December 1st
Annually, two Y.T. Johnson Science Scholarships are presented by Augustana University in Sioux Falls to gift $1,500 to high school seniors interested in scientific majors, including exercise science, athletic training, and fitness management. Incoming freshmen should be offered Early Admission, present an academic average of 3.5 or higher, attain a minimum ACT score of 25 or SAT equivalent, be supported by a secondary science teacher, and upload a career objectives essay.
Y.T. Johnson Science Scholarships
2001 S. Summit Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57197
Crunching the numbers on bulky tuition bills can leave even the most physically fit feeling winded. Rising college costs are hard for most to outrun, especially on fitness trainers’ modest mean annual salary of $40,970. Luckily, exercise science programs across the U.S. offer financial aid to slim down your out-of-pocket expenses. In addition to these 20 exercise science scholarships, contact your department to find more funding that sheds excess dollars.