Dreamed of hunting and fishing scholarships paying the way for school? Now it's a reality.
The University of Montevallo in Alabama is capitalizing on a new and creative way to attract students: they'll officially offer scholarships to avid hunters and anglers with the President's Outdoor Scholars Program. Montevallo will be the first University in the nation to do so.
University of Montevallo President Dr. John Stewart came up with the idea, and claims it will help encourage the outdoor lifestyle that many college students are forced to put on hold while taking classes. He spoke with AL.com about the specifics.
"I'd have to describe it as part club sport and part fraternity/sorority," he said. "We'll probably meet every two weeks and we'll bring in people like game wardens to talk to the students and experts to do seminars on things like retriever training, preparation of food plots, how to build duck blinds, archery, preparing wild game and exploration of careers in outdoor sports and related fields."
Though the involvement in the program will not be for course credit, Dr. Stewart believes it will direct students down the paths of jobs in the outdoors.
The first 12 scholarships worth $1,000 to $2,500 will be awarded to full-time students for the fall semester. The biggest perk? A dream destination hunting or fishing trip, paid for by donors, and chosen based on their interests. Options for the trip, likely a far better Spring Break than that of their classmates, include saltwater fishing in the Florida Keys, duck hunting in the Mississippi Delta, fishing for trout or redfish in the Louisiana Delta, bass fishing on Lake Fork in Texas, quail hunting at an exclusive private club or bass fishing at private lakes and ponds.
The idea was well-received by supporters, and finding help hasn't been much of an issue. "The first five donors I asked to support the program all said yes," Dr. Stewart said. "We'll also have corporate sponsors."
Colleges and universities countrywide will no doubt be paying attention to the University of Montevallo's new program, with more like it soon to follow.