The Freemasons are an international fraternal organization based on ideals of public service, personal morality and belief in a supreme being. Masons are organized into "lodges" that oversee activities in a particular country, region or community. Freemasons are strong supporters of higher education and can be a useful resource for college-bound students seeking scholarships. Masonic lodges administer scholarships on the state, national and lodge level. Some scholarships are primarily targeted to the children of Masons, while others look to fund students entering specific programs of study.
Scottish Rite Scholarships
The Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Masonry, the largest Masonic rite in the United States, offers a variety of higher-education scholarships. These include Grand Commander Scholarships, designed to sponsor individual study at an accredited institute of higher learning in the United States; the Public School Administration Scholarship, awarded to "individuals committed to public school education" pursuing graduate study; and grants for students seeking graduate or undergraduate degrees at George Washington University. The Scottish Rite Graduate Fellowship at George Washington University requires students to be affiliated with a U.S. Scottish Rite Masonic organizations, but the other scholarships do not require Masonic affiliation.
The Society for Range Management (SRM) and the Masonic-Range Science Scholarship Committee offer the Masonic-Range Science Scholarship, which awards a high school senior, a college freshman or a college sophomore who intends to major in or is already majoring in "range science and/or a closely related field." Applicants must be sponsored by an SRM member or by a member of the National Association of Conservation Districts or the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Applications are received from September to mid-January, and winners are announced in March of each year. Applicants must submit high school and college transcripts, SAT or ACT scores and at least two letters of recommendation. The scholarship award amount in 2009 was $6,200.
State Lodge Scholarships
The head of the Masonic lodge of each state keeps a comprehensive list of scholarships available through the Masons and their affiliate organizations, such as DeMolay, the Order of the Rainbow and Job's Daughters. These scholarships may have quite specific target demographics. Of the many scholarships overseen by the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation, for example, some are specifically for the children of deceased Masons, others are for the children and grandchildren of members of a specific Masonic lodge and others fund study in a specific area or at a particular university and may or may not require Masonic affiliation.