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Do you know a rugby playing high school senior who will be heading to college in the fall and will be playing rugby for his or her college team? If you do, then please encourage him or her to apply for one of the United States Rugby Foundation College Scholarships.

Since 2008, with the creation of the Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program, the United States Rugby Foundation has been providing scholarships to incoming college freshmen rugby players who also competed in the sport for their high school or a local U19 club team.

In addition to the Higgins Scholarship, other scholarship programs under the U.S. Rugby Foundation umbrella are:

  1. Richard A. Donelli College Scholarships
  2. Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarships
  3. Meg Votta Memorial 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 four on one easy to complete application. Applicants can even save the work they’ve done on the application and come back and finish it another day. >           

The deadline for all 2019 USRF College Scholarship applications is August 31, 2019.

Below is a brief descriptions of all four scholarship programs.

The Kevin Higgins College Scholarships was created to honor of 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 than 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, 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 2019. 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.

The Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship 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 of Berkeley, 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 2019. 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.

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 1990’s 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 rugby player. 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 2019. Scholarships are awarded to the boy and the girl 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.

The Richard A. Donelli College Scholarship was created to honor of one of the most dominating players of the 1960’s and 1970’s. 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 the New York Metropolitan area before or after graduation.  The scholarship is in the amount of $1,000 and is awarded at the Old Blue Annual Hall of Fame Dinner.

Criteria: A Richard A. Donelli College 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.

Our mailing address is:

US Rugby Foundation

404 Euclid Ave Ste 302

San Diego, CA 92114-2222