Most people associate rodeos with bull riders, clowns, cowboys, county fairs and an all-around good time. However, rodeo is a competitive sport that requires a considerable amount of training and skill. If you have stellar rodeo skills, you might qualify to receive grants and scholarships to further your education. In addition to college scholarships, many professional rodeo organizations provide grants and financial assistance to high school students and local community centers.
Charitable Rodeo Foundations
Certain organizations run by rodeo event organizers, professional competitors and rodeo enthusiasts provide financial assistance to all types of community members in need. The Reno Rodeo Charitable Foundation (RRCF) takes part in several gift-giving events each year. Past grants have included merit-based scholarships to Nevada University students, grants to replace a playground at a local children's center and the allocation of more than $100,000 to Reno, Nevada children's and family community centers. At the time of publication, 2011 RRCF Community Grant requests must not exceed $2,500. The Black Hills Stock Show Foundation provides $2,000 renewable scholarships to college students throughout Wyoming, Montana. Nebraska, South and North Dakota.
College Rodeo Programs
Garden City Community College in Kansas offers room and board grants and tuition scholarships to students accepted into its Rodeo Club. Grant funds are allocated through the school's "Grant-In-Aid" program and typically require a formal proposal, essay and letter of recommendation. Eastern Wyoming College offers student various activity grants including a rodeo grant that covers the tuition and supply expenses of eligible students participating in on-campus rodeo sports. Other colleges that offer rodeo grants and scholarships to students include Tarleton State University and Trinity Valley Community College in Texas, and Northeastern Junior College and Colorado State University in Colorado.
High School Students
High school student with riding and roping skills can also benefit from charitable grants distributed by rodeo foundations. In 2011, the Salinas Central Coast News reports, the California Rodeo Salinas organization offers up to 10 scholarships to Salinas Valley high school seniors each year. Qualifying students receive a scholarship of $1,000 to apply towards college tuition or expenses. In partnership with the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation, the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association also offers college grants to qualifying high school students.
Competitive Grant Awards
College students participating in national and regional rodeo sporting events have several opportunities to win grants and scholarships over their competitors. The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association awards college grants of $1,000 to students based on their rodeo skills and GPA scores. Certain winners at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) competitions receive Bill Robinson or Ellen Backstrom Memorial Scholarships. The US Smokeless Tobacco Co. Scholarship Awards Program provides numerous scholarships in the amount of $200,000 to CNFR regional and national event champion teams.
Michelle Renee is a professional trainer and quality assurance consultant in the career, education and customer service industries, with two decades of experience in food/beverage and event coordinating management. Renee has been published by Lumino and Career Flight as well as various food, education and business publications.