Since 1995, SHAPE America has awarded scholarships to outstanding undergraduate and graduate student members. The Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship, developed by the past presidents of SHAPE America to honor deserving students, is awarded to three undergraduate students and two graduate students in January of each year. All scholarships are presented at the SHAPE America National Convention & Exposition held in the spring.
Undergraduate awards are $1,250 each and graduate awards are $1,750 each. Recipients also receive a complimentary three-year SHAPE America membership.
Applications will be accepted electronically or by mail until October 15. Application forms and detailed eligibility criteria and procedures for submission are available below. Questions should be directed to Patti Hartle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Criteria for Application
1. Applicant must be a current member of SHAPE America. Graduate students may join at the time of
2. Applicant must be majoring in the field of health, physical education, recreation or dance.
3. Applicant must be enrolled in a matriculated full-time masters or doctoral program. *Doctoral candidates
working on their dissertation must be no more than one year beyond coursework completion.
4. Applicant must have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 overall on a 4.0 grade point scale. The
following guidelines should be used when reporting the GPA:
First semester Master’s and Doctoral candidates: GPA based on most recent degree obtained. GPA
scores from all institutions attended in pursuit of applicant’s most recent degree must be factored
into the overall GPA.
Master’s/Doctoral candidates beyond first semester: GPA based on applicant’s current program.
GPA scores from all institutions attended in pursuit of applicant’s current degree must be factored
into the overall GPA.
5. Applicant must be a first time Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship recipient.
Previous recipients of SHAPE America’s National Presidential Scholarship are ineligible.
Undergraduate recipients are ineligible for the graduate scholarship award.
Criteria for Selection
1. Scholastic proficiency
2. Evidence of leadership
3. School, community, professional activity/service
4. Character attributes
The following materials must be submitted electronically or by mail by October 15. Incomplete
applications and those not strictly adhering to the directions for submission will not be considered.
Instructions for Electronic Submission:
1. Complete the scholarship application (vitae will not be accepted) and email the form and all required
documentation noted in Items 2 through 5 below to Patti Hartle at email@example.com. Items 2
through 5 must be provided in a Microsoft Word or PDF format and follow the naming convention
2. Provide a letter from your school’s dean or registrar indicating full-time status.
(Naming Convention Example: YourName_FT Verification)
3. Provide three letters of recommendation signed and titled which address all aspects of the selection
criteria. No more than three letters will be accepted per applicant. Letters are limited to two pages each.
(Naming Convention Example: YourName_Recommendation1, YourName_Recommendation2,
4. Provide a scanned copy of official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.
(Naming Convention Example: YourName_Official Transcript_Penn State)
5. Provide a biographical sketch to be used for publication and for the official convention award
presentation. (Naming Convention Example: YourName_Bio Sketch) (Guidelines for preparing the sketch
are provided on Page 5.)
Instructions for Submission by Mail:
All materials noted above must be completed and provided simultaneously to SHAPE America
Headquarters at the following address. Fax copies will not be accepted.
CEO Office, SHAPE America, 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191
(Questions should be directed to Patti Hartle at firstname.lastname@example.org.)