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Reaching for a Book

The Tailhook Educational Foundation

Scholarship Application

The Tailhook Educational Foundation Scholarship Applications Are Now Closed


High school graduate and child or grandchild of a current or former Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, 
or Air-crewman.

- Or - 

Children/grandchildren of individuals who served onboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. 

- And -

Accepted for undergraduate enrollment at an accredited college.

Applications open and are available at 1200 noon PST on 15 December and are due back to TEF by 1200 noon PST on 01 March each year.

Please check the TEF Web pages for the exact TEF Scholarship application opening and closing dates for that academic year.

TEF awards over 100 scholarships annually averaging more than $4,000 per grant with our top grant awarded at $15,000. A number of our TEF grants are awarded to students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)  curriculum. All TEF grants assist Naval Aviation legacy undergraduate students obtain a higher education.


As part of TEF’s ongoing educational program, we send nearly 1,000 quarterly copies of the “The Hook” magazine to U.S. high schools, colleges, NROTC/ NJROTC units, and Military Service Academies.  TEF also sends ‘The Hook” magazine to our 100-plus awardees each year they receive a TEF grant.

TEF scholarships are only made possible by the continued generosity of our individual supporters and our organizational and industry partners. All donations to TEF are tax deductible as charitable contributions.

  • How many TEF scholarships are awarded each year & what are the values of the TEF scholarships?
    TEF annual scholarship data is found on the TEF web site. TEF awards over 100 scholarships annually ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 per year and averaging $4,000 per grant. A number of our TEF grants are awarded to students pursing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum. All TEF grants assist Naval Aviation legacy undergraduate students obtain a higher education.
  • When do TEF scholarship applications open & when do they close?
    Applications are available on OPEN: 12 noon PST on 15 DEC 2023 CLOSE: 12 noon PST on 01 March 2024
  • When are all scholarship application information/ data/ forms due?
    All supporting documents (transcripts, documentation of service, etc.) are due in our office by 01 March. SAT & ACT documentation / scores are not required.
  • Do I need to reapply for a TEF scholarship each year?
    TEF scholarship grants are for one year. You may reapply each year you are a full-time, undergraduate student. High school senior applicants compete for TEF high school grants each year. College applicants compete for TEF college grants each school year. TEF scholarship applicants have received TEF grants over multiple years, however they competed for selection each year.
  • Can a Tailhook scholarship be used for post- graduate degrees?
    No, our scholarship grants are for undergraduate degrees only at accredited schools or universities.
  • Does service on a U.S. Navy Amphibious ship qualify as service on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier?
    No. U.S. Navy aircraft carriers included in the TEF sponsorship eligibility criteria are those designated as follows: CV, CVA, CVB, CVE, CVL, CVN, CVS.
  • Will TEF accept PDF or other types of electronic attachments to meet the scholarship application requirements listed?
    Yes, TEF accepts PDF & other attachments to meet scholarship application requirements. If however, if there is any doubt as to what the attachment says, TEF will ask the applicant for a hard-copy. Additionally, TEF reserves the right to request the applicant provide us with hard copy of anything they submitted electronically. This is specifically applicable to official records or reference to the student’s grades or GPA transcripts.
  • What is meant by “academic achievement outside of school”?
    Any academic accomplishments in addition to &/ or outside the school’s standard curriculum requirements to graduate, examples: (1) AP, Honors, IB, Dual Enrollment courses (2) Courses taken at a different high school (3) Other college courses including but not limited to Junior College courses (4) On-line courses (include certificate(s) of graduation/ completion in your attached documents) (5) Other training courses, e.g.: - Lifeguard/ Lifesaving or any associated field-medical/ emergency courses (CPR, First aid, etc.), - - Pilot license, scuba certificate - Academic music courses - Agricultural academic courses - Various trade school academic training courses - Etc. Application packages should include proof of the outside academic achievements you list.
  • Should I include letters of recommendation (LORs) in my application package?
    TEF does not require LORs as a part of your application package, however, feel free to include LORs if you'd like. If you submit LORs however, please ensure they are signed and dated.
  • What other information/ data/ enclosures can I include in my application package?
    TEF application package requirements are found on the TEF scholarship and Kaleidoscope application web page forms. TEF application committee screeners will review whatever you include in your application package, however, if you do not include all the required documents listed on the application web page forms; your application will be marked as incomplete.
  • I accidentally pushed submit on my application before I was finished filling it in – &/ or – I have some new/ updated information I’d like to add to my original application, how do I make corrections or update my previously submitted application?"
    TEF Scholarship applicants can submit as many Kaleidoscope applications as they’d like. TEF will use the latest Kaleidoscope application submitted as their final application for screening.
  • Are there any other factors or information I should consider before submitting my application?
    Yes, • Read the entire application before starting to fill it out. This will help you better organize your application responses. • Fill in all the fields listed unless they do not apply. • List what carriers your sponsor served on if you know them, not just the squadrons they flew in • List the type of Aircraft your sponsor flew (if applicable) • Answer all the essay questions. • Communicate clearly & concisely. • Proof-read your application for spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, (etc.) before submitting it • Applications arriving the last week before the deadline (especially the last 24 hours) are never as well written, organized, comprehensive or thorough as applications submitted earlier
  • What are the eligibility criteria to apply for a TEF scholarship?
    TEF scholarship applicant eligibility criteria are listed below & found on our TEF web site. TEF Scholarship Eligibility: High school graduate and child or grandchild of a current or former Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, or Air-crewman - Or - children / grandchildren of individuals who served onboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. - And - accepted for undergraduate enrollment at an accredited college.
  • What kind of documentation is required to prove TEF Scholarship sponsorship eligibility?
    To prove sponsorship eligibility, TEF must receive one of the following documents from the applicant or sponsor: DD214 honorable discharge/ retirement papers with documentation specifying the member was a Naval Aviator USN officer designations for Naval Aviator include: 1310/ 1315 (pilot) & 1320/ 1325 (NFO) & some other 13XX designators USMC officer designations for Naval Aviators include: 75XX Flight Surgeon designators include: 2100, 2102, 210X Aircrew designations include: Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) of 78XX, 82XX, L00A, or 94XX Naval Aviation designation letter itself Naval Aviation based award listing aviation service or Naval Aviation designator Set of orders listing aviation duties or to a USN aircraft carrier or Naval Aviation designator
  • When will the awardees be announced?
    TEF grant awardees as well as those applicants not selected that year for a TEF grant will be notified via email by ~15 May. We will also send a hard copy letter to awardees by ~30 June advising them of the name of their scholarship and their grant amounts.
  • If I'm selected to receive a TEF scholarship, will I need to send TEF additional information?"
    Once selected for a TEF grant, TEF will ask you to verify your most current contact data & school attending information. We are specifically interested in the office address at your school where we are to send the check. We are also interested in your student ID# or SSN for use on the grant check. TEF might also potentially ask you to provide us with another higher resolution photograph for our scholarship awardee web pages.
  • How will the scholarship be paid out?
    TEF mails awardee checks for the full amount of the grant directly to your school or university on ~01 August each year. The checks are made out to the university and student, so you should be contacted by your school to endorse the check and have it placed into your college account. It is important to provide TEF with your school's correct mailing address and department which is to receive the check. We will also ask you to provide a student ID# or social security number to ensure that your account is properly credited.
  • Who can sponsor a TEF scholarship applicant?
    The TEF scholarship application sponsorship criteria shown below are listed on our TEF website. Any Naval Aviator can sponsor a TEF scholarship applicant (i.e. anyone who earned U.S. Navy Gold Naval Aviator wings). Specifically: U.S. Navy/ Marine Corps/ Coast Guard - Pilots, Naval Flight Officers (NFO), Designated Aircrewman, Naval Flight Surgeons. ALSO eligible to sponsor TEF scholarship applicants are: Anyone who served on a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier as ship's company or on an embarked staff.
  • What are the requirements to sponsor a TEF scholarship applicant?
    To sponsor a TEF applicant, an individual must be: Their parent or grandparent AND A Naval Aviator (USN, USMC or USCG - pilot, NFO, aircrewman) OR A Service member who served on a US Navy aircraft carrier.
  • What type of documents can be used to verify my sponsor’s service?
    We will accept any official government document (DD214, copy of orders, designation letter as Pilot, NFO, Air Crew or Flight surgeon, etc.) In addition, we have accepted copies of log book pages, copies of pages from cruise books, photos in uniform showing aviator wings.

Scholarship Timeline

Tailhook Educational Foundation Scholarship Timeline
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