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Still Time to Apply for US Rugby Foundation Scholarships

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Still Time to Apply for US Rugby Foundation Scholarships

Lyric Greenhill-Casados and Brett Dowgiewicz both received Higgins Scholarships in past years.

High School seniors who are heading to college in the fall and plan to play rugby can still apply for one of the United States Rugby Foundation College Scholarships.

But there isn't a lot of time. you need to act soon as the deadline for all 2021-2022 US Rugby Foundation College Scholarship applications is August 31, 2021.

Since 2008, the United States Rugby Foundation has been providing scholarships to incoming collegiate rugby players, who also competed in the sport for their high school or a local U19 club team.

Scholarship Programs Under US Rugby Foundation Umbrella

Richard A. Donelli Memorial Scholarships

Terry O'Reilly Memorial Scholarships

Meg Votta Memorial Scholarships

The Kevin Higgins College Scholarships

The Kaler Family Rugby Scholarships 

To make things as easy as possible, applicants will now be able to indicate whether they want to apply for a particular scholarship or all five on one easy to complete application.

Apply Here>>

The Scholarships

The Kevin Higgins College Scholarships was created to honor one of the most prolific centers to ever pull on a USA jersey. Kevin Higgins represented the United States in 28 full internationals and 16 tests with the USA Sevens team in an international career that spanned from 1985-1991. He was a member of the USA team at the first two Rugby World Cups and also played at the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens tournament on three occasions. Each year, the USRF intends to award upwards of 10 Kevin Higgins College Scholarships to graduating high school students who will be joining the rugby program at their college or university. Each Kevin Higgins College Scholarship will be in the amount of $1,000.

Criteria: The Kevin Higgins College Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program, and plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall of 2021. The applicant’s character, recommendations, community work, school extracurricular activity, rugby potential and personal statement will also be considered in the selection process. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books or fees.

Apply Here>>


The Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship Program was introduced in 2016. The scholarships are named in honor of the late Terry O’Reilly, who was a passionate rugby player and supporter throughout his life. Following his 25 years of active play for which he played for Cal, Bay Area Touring Side (“BATS”), Old Blues, and San Jose Silverhawks, Terry was extremely active in supporting the Northern California Rugby Football Union and Cal rugby. He was a Trustee of the U.S. Rugby Foundation from 1993 to his death in 2015. He was dedicated to making rugby as popular a sport in the United States as it is in most of the rest of the world. Each year, the USRF intends to award one Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship. Each Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship will be in the amount of $2,500.

Criteria: The Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate financial need, plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program, and plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall of 2021. The applicant’s character, recommendations, community work, school extracurricular activity, rugby potential and personal statement will also be considered in the selection process. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books or fees.

Apply Here>>


The Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in 2010 to honor the memory of Margaret “Meg” Votta, who passed away in November 2009 after a valiant battle with ovarian cancer. Meg was graduated from Hamilton College but her rugby career began as a player for Cornell Women’s Rugby Football Club, which became the Gotham City Women’s RFC and ultimately New York Women’s Rugby (NYRC). She is perhaps the only woman to wear all three jerseys. She was also the founder of the highly regarded, Touring Women Over Thirty, The Olde Girls, the only national old girls rugby team in the U.S. Meg was also an accomplished chef and was graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. In the early 1990s she won a local chili cook-off competition and that event was revived as a fundraiser for the scholarships. Meg asked her friends that they continue her support of rugby. Combining rugby with cooking and a scholarship for future rugby players helps keep Meg’s spirit alive for the sport she loved. Each year, the USRF intends to award Meg Votta Memorial Scholarships to one deserving male and female freshmen rugby players. Each Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship will be in the amount of $1,250.

Criteria: The Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to provide scholarships for deserving members of the rugby community who have been active players in the local high school programs and to be used for continuing education. The Meg Votta Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate financial need, plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program, and plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall of 2021. Scholarships are awarded to the male and female who each best express what the game of rugby has meant to them and their plans for furthering their education. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books or fees.

Apply Here>>


The Richard A. Donelli Memorial Scholarship was created to honor of one of the most dominating players of the 1960s and 1970s. A former starting quarterback for Columbia University, Dick Donelli co-founded the Old Blue Rugby Football Club in 1961.  A physically dominating scrumhalf, Donelli was legendary for his athleticism, technical passing skills and competitive nature.  In 1972, Donelli captained the Met New York All-Stars against the New Zealand All-Blacks in a 40-10 defeat.  Dick later coached the Old Blue RFC to four final four appearances from 1979-1986. Each year, the USRF awards a scholarship to a junior or senior collegiate player, male or female, within reasonable proximity to the New York Metropolitan area before or after graduation.  The scholarship is in the amount of $1,000 and is presented at the annual Old Blue Hall of Fame Dinner.
 
Criteria: A Richard A. Donelli Memorial Scholarship could also be open to a graduating high school senior if there is not a qualified applicant from the junior & senior collegiate level. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate financial need, and attend an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program. The applicant’s character, recommendations, community work, school extracurricular activity, rugby potential and personal statement will also be considered in the selection process. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books or fees.

Apply Here>>


The Kaler Family Rugby Scholarship was founded in 2016 by Paul & Sarah Kaler with the mission of helping athletes transition into college rugby.  Paul began his rugby career in 1990 with River City RFC (Mason City, IA) and through several work promotions his journey took him to the Eastside Banshees (Minneapolis, MN), Wausau Area Rugby (Wausau, WI) and now with the St. Louis Royal Ramblers.  Sarah began playing college rugby in 1996 at Wartburg University (Waverly, IA) and was a former club rugby player for Wausau Area Rugby Women (Wausau, WI).  Both are avid rugby tourists that travel across the globe to compete at different levels as well as traveling the country to watch their children play.  The two have devoted much of their lives promoting youth and amateur rugby across the US and use private donors as well as personal funding to support their scholarships in an effort to give back to a sport they both deeply love. Each year, the USRF intends to award Kaler Family Rugby Scholarships to one deserving male and female rugby player. Each Kaler Family Rugby Scholarship will be in the amount of $1,500.

Criteria: Kaler Family Scholarships was established to provide assistance for deserving members of the rugby community who have been active players in high school programs and to be used for continuing education. Kaler Family Scholarships are open to graduating high school seniors. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, demonstrate financial need, plan on attending an accredited four-year college or university with a recognized rugby program, and plan on joining said rugby program in the Fall of 2021. Scholarships are awarded to the male and female who best express what the game of rugby has meant to them and their plans for furthering their education. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books or fees.

You can apply to any of these scholarships with this link>>

Remember, the deadline is August 31, 2021.