College Friends

2020 Scholarship


We have announced the scholarship awardees for 2020! 


TEF Brief from the Executive Director

Spring 2020

Aloha Tailhookers,

Welcome to the early weeks of the scholarship season. TEF’s scholarship application window opened 15 December and closes 2 March, after which Executive Assistant Beth Rollins will organize the roughly 600 applications for our scholarship committee’s review. Reviewing these extremely competitive applications takes several weeks. In May, we notify all applicants if they will receive a TEF 2020 grant or not. In June, based on merit-based ranking, we assign more than 100 awardees to a specific scholarship. In August, TEF issues a check to each awardee via their school’s bursar office. And on 15 December 2020, the process begins again. 

In the last issue of The Hook TEF Chairman of the Board RDML J.J. Quinn, USN(Ret) reminded us of the nearly two percent increase each year in college costs. To keep pace with these increases, TEF is compelled to increase our minimum scholarship by $500 every five years. The last time we did this was in 2016, raising our minimum annual grant from $2,000 to $2,500. This, along with maintaining the centurion level of scholarships awarded, is why your continued generosity and patronage is so important. 

There are several exciting new ways to plan a gift for TEF. In the future, look for more details on Planned Giving options such as: 

  • Annuity Trusts

  • Charitable Lead Trusts

  • Unitrusts

  • Charitable Remainder Trusts

  • Gift Annuity Agreements

  • Gifts of Life Insurance

  • Giving non-cash assets

  • Giving through Retirement Plans

  • Giving through your Will or Trust

  • Revocable Living Trusts


If you’d like more information on any of these options, please visit the Planned Giving page on our website or feel free to call us.

In closing, we’d like to share some of the recent feedback from our nation’s future leaders, your TEF 2019 scholarship awardees.


Vanderbilt University senior and four-time TEF awardee: “I’m writing to thank you for your generous scholarship again this year. I’m an ecology, evolution and organismal biology major with a minor in scientific computing. I’m on track to graduate this spring summa cum laude and move into graduate programs studying infectious diseases. The TEF scholarships I’ve received over the past four years have empowered me to take this direction with my life, they have motivated me to succeed and to stay more in touch with my community and to work hard helping people in this critical field you’ve enabled me to pursue. For this, I will always remember Tailhook and I remain deeply grateful.”


University of Virginia junior and two-time TEF awardee: “I am humbled, honored and so deeply grateful to have received TEF scholarships these past two years. The grants from TEF’s generous sponsors provide great encouragement and critical financial assistance to students across our nation. For my part, I will ensure your investment and confidence in me is well placed. Thank you again for your support.”


Southern Methodist University freshman: “… I want to thank you so much for sponsoring the TEF scholarship I received last year. Your contributions to TEF scholarships over the years remain extremely generous and in my case, allowed me to attend the school of my dreams — Southern Methodist University. My father was a Navy pilot based in San Diego and I’ve always relished his stories about Naval Aviation. At SMU I plan to study marketing at the Cox School of Business. Thank you for your service to our country and again, for your generosity in sponsoring a scholarship for students like myself.”


TEF greatly appreciates the unwavering, munificent support of our individual benefactors, industry sponsors and organizational partners. Your contributions remain critical to ensuring we maintain the centurion scholarship level and grow the value of each scholarship for our nation’s future leaders.


PS: Do you shop using Amazon? If so, please consider using the AmazonSmile option and choose the Tailhook Educational Foundation as your charity of choice. Shop With Amazon Smile


Mahalos and 2020 blessings to you all. 


CAPT Rodger Welch, USN(Ret)

Executive Director

Tailhook Educational Foundation

About The TEF

The Tailhook Educational Foundation (TEF) is a charitable nonprofit California corporation created in February 1992. The Foundation's charter is "to educate the nation's public with regard to the history and present day activities of the United States Navy carrier aviation and its importance to our country's national security."


The main activities of the Foundation are:

To support the Tailhook Association

To distribute The Hook magazine to schools throughout the nation at no cost to the schools

To provide scholarships to qualified applicants

To support U.S Navy and Naval Aviation leadership

TEF Scholarships

TEF’s minimum scholarship is $3,000 per grant per year. Funding TEF scholarships is achieved either annually or perennially.

Perennial Scholarships

​A perennial scholarship is funded by providing TEF with at least $60,000 either in a lump-sum donation, or using a payment over time option*.

​A $60,000 TEF Scholarship portfolio yields a $3,000 grant for your named scholarship per year in perpetuity*.

Sponsors funding perennial scholarships can add funds to their portfolio whenever they chose, donating any amount they chose.​ Each donation to an existing perennial scholarship portfolio increases the annual grant yield for that scholarship from that year on.

​Several of TEF’s original perennial scholarship portfolios now exceed $100,000, all yielding at least $5,000 in an annual grant.

Annual Pass-through scholarships

An annual or “pass-through” scholarship is funded by providing TEF a payment of $3,000 or more each year to sponsor your named scholarship that year.

Pass through scholarship donations can also be for more than $3,000, and they can change each year by donating more than $3,000. 

TEF’s current pass through scholarships range I amount awarded from $3,000 to $15,000.

TEF awards over 100 scholarships annually ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 per year. A number of our annual scholarships are awarded to students pursuing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) curriculum. All TEF grants assist Naval Aviation legacy undergraduate students obtain a higher education.

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Scholarship Eligibility

To qualify for a Tailhook Educational Foundation scholarship, an individual must graduate from high school and be the natural, step, or adopted child or grandchild of a current or former (U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps / U.S. Coast Guard) Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, or Naval Aircrewman. Also eligible are individuals or children/grandchildren of individuals who are serving or have served on board a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier. Eligible applicants must also be accepted for undergraduate enrollment at an accredited college. 

Applications are available on 15 December and due back at TEF headquarters by 01 March each year.

Scholarship Timeline


9696 Business Park Ave. 

San Diego, CA 92131-1643

The Tailhook Association is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization 

The Tailhook Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation

CFC Campaign Number: 10251

TAX ID: 33-0487778 


Magazine Deadlines

Spring: 15 February
Summer: 15 May
Fall: 15 August

Winter: 15 November





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