Frequently Asked Questions about Scholarships

General FAQs – click on the questions below to view the answsers

1The scholarships look great! When does the next scholarship season open?
The 2025 scholarship season will open in the summer. You can apply for the mid-year 2024 Coptersafety scholarship now!
2How much does it cost to apply for Whirly-Girls scholarships?
The mid-year scholarship application fee for Whirly-Girls is $35.

For the 2025 scholarship season, the application fee for Whirly-Girls, who are all rated helicopter pilots, will $75.
The application fee for Associate members will be $60. The fee for Whirly-Girls is higher because they are eligible for more of this season's scholarships.
3I see new scholarships have been added since I submitted my application. Can I apply for the new ones too?
Yes, you can! Contact the VP of Scholarships at for more information.
4Can I apply for more than one scholarship for the same fee?
Yes. You are encouraged to apply to multiple scholarships. Just make sure you meet the requirements for each scholarship.
5I'm not a member of the Whirly-Girls yet. Can I join so I can apply for scholarships?
Yes! Make sure you apply by our updated membership deadline of September 1, 2024.
6What's the scholarship application deadline?
The 2025 scholarship deadline is October 1, 2024, at midnight PST.
7Can I apply for a scholarship even though I've received one from the Whirly-Girls in the past?
Yes! Many of our members have received multiple scholarships. Be advised that if you received a significant scholarship last year, you may not be at the top of the ranking lists for this year.
8I'm a maintenance technician and also a Whirly-Girl. Can I apply for those maintenance scholarships?
Absolutely! If you meet the requirements as a Whirly-Girl, or as an Associate, you are welcome to apply for the scholarships for maintenance technicians.

Application Process

1How do I apply?
You will need to be a member. If you aren't, you can join here.

Once you create a username and password, you will be able to apply for a scholarship online.
2Do I need to complete the application form all at once?
No! You can save your work and come back. We do recommend you write your essay questions separately as you will have to upload them.
3Who decides which person receives a scholarship?
Whirly-Girls scholarships are evaluated either by the scholarship sponsors, or by our independent panel of judges. The judges rank applicants in order of qualification. The Whirly-Girls Scholarship Committee considers the judges' rankings as well as the preferences of the applicants in determining who receives the scholarships.
4Can you provide an overview of the process?
a. After applications are submitted, the Whirly-Girls scholarship committee reviews the content to make sure each applicant is qualified for the specified scholarships, and all required information is included.

b. Confidential application information is removed, and the remaining data is then compiled for review by sponsors and external judges.

c. Sponsors and independent judges rank applicants in order of qualification.

d. The Whirly-Girls scholarship committee considers each applicant’s scholarship ranking requests as well as the sponsors’ and judges’ ratings. They make the final decisions on which applicants receive a scholarship.

e. Scholarships are awarded at the Whirly-Girls annual awards banquet during the HAI HELI-EXPO convention, often held in February. They must be used by each scholarship recipient by the end of the calendar year it was awarded.
5 What criteria are the judges looking for?
Judges look for the following:

a. Goal for the flight training specified.

b. Experience, service to others, and what others have to say about you through your letters of recommendation.

c. Achievements in life, particularly in aviation and the helicopter industry.

d. Attitude toward self and others, as shown through the entire application package.

e. Neatness, ability to follow instructions, completeness and accuracy of your application.

f. Reliability, motivation, and commitment to success as shown through prior employment, jobs and activities, and service to others.

g. Dedication to your career as shown through prior employment, especially in the helicopter industry.

h. Ability to accept responsibility and teamwork as shown through prior jobs and activities.

i. Financial need.
6When will I hear if I got a scholarship or not?
Recipients for the 2025 scholarships will be notified in December.
7I received an email saying something needs to be corrected on my application. How do I access my application now that it's already been submitted?
Once you log in, you can access your application here.

Tips for Effective Scholarship Applications

1Read carefully and answer completely.
Read all the questions carefully and answer them fully. The answers should be more than a one-word answer but not an epic tale. Ensure that your responses are checked for grammar, spelling, and content. If a question has two parts, be sure to answer both parts.

For example, the question about what month and year you became a Whirly-Girl is often overlooked. It makes no difference how long or short of a time you’ve been a member, but it does make a difference if you don’t answer the question. If you don’t remember when you joined, please contact our VP of Membership at and she will gladly assist you.
2Submit current medical and pilot certificates.
Make sure your medical is current and you didn’t accidentally send your old medical or out-of-date CFI certificate. If you have a CFI, send it along with your commercial certificate. You can put both in the same photo.

We need to be able to read the certificate. Make sure it’s not a blurry photo. Scan and crop. There are a lot of scanning apps available.

Make sure they are signed; if they are not signed, they are not valid.
3Use current and relevant letters of recommendation.
This may be the toughest part of the application, but it’s crucial. It is the part of the application you should allow the most time for. Make sure you give the authors of your letters plenty of time, but also make sure the letters are less than six months old and do not reuse letters of recommendation from previous scholarship applications for the Whirly-Girls. Each recommendation should be for scholarships, not for a job application.

The letters of recommendation should not be addressed to the VP of Scholarships or the Scholarship Committee, as scholarships are judged by independent judges.

If you plan to apply for more than one scholarship (which is a great idea if you meet the requirements), the letters should be for a general scholarship application. Do not name a specific scholarship. For example, the letter should say "I support Jane Doe in her application for a Whirly-Girls scholarship," rather than "I support Jane Doe in her application for the Edward M. Thurn Memorial Scholarship." We wouldn't be able to use the second example for other scholarship applications, and therefore your application would be incomplete.
4If you haven't flown recently, and it's a requirement, explain why.
If you are applying for a scholarship that requires you to have flown recently and you are not current, explain why. In the years following COVID, many of us have had difficulties continuing training or obtaining flying jobs, so do not worry. Rather, explain how you plan to become current again and when.
5Estimate training costs.
Some scholarships require an estimated training cost. Research what your flight school is going to charge for flight, ground school, books, checkrides, etc.

Keep in mind that some scholarships only cover the cost of flight training; ground school, books, living expenses, etc. are not included.
6Submit actual flight hours.
Think of this as how you would write your hours on your resume. Your hours need to be accurate but not to the .2 or .9. Round up or down to the nearest whole number.

For example, do not just write 300+. Yes, you have more than the 250 hours requested for the scholarship you want, but you must be more precise.
7Understand the scholarships you are apply for.
Make sure you understand the scholarship training that is being offered. Is it what you thought it was? Is it relevant or beneficial for you? If you are a 100-hour private pilot who wants to work at a flight school in the U.S., the Robinson R22/R44 Safety course may be more relevant to you than the R66 course, especially if that flight school doesn’t have an R66. Be patient; the time for turbine aircraft will come. Get the training you need before getting the training you want. And make sure you meet the requirements for the scholarships you are applying for.

Also, understand that most scholarships specify the training must take place at a specific facility, and do not cover the cost of travel to that facility or lodging while attending the course. These costs must be covered by the scholarship recipient.
8Confirm your dues are paid.
This is what it means by being a “member in good standing.” Accepting the autorenew option is a great way to ensure you are a member in good standing. Scholarship applications will not be accepted from Whirly-Girls and Associate members who are not current on their dues. You can always renew your membership before submitting your scholarship application.
9Don't be afraid to ask questions.
We are here to help. While we can’t write the answers for you or write a letter of recommendation (members of the Whirly-Girls Board of Directors are not allowed to recommend applicants), we can definitely help answer any questions you may have that will help you fill out your application. Email your questions to the VP of Scholarships at