Does Being An Eagle Scout Help With College Admissions?

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is one of the highest achievements in Scouting. As a young man works his way up through the ranks of Boy Scouts, the culmination of his dedication and hard work results in achieving the prestigious honor of Eagle Scout.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Being an Eagle Scout can help strengthen a college application, but it alone does not guarantee admission to any school. Admissions officers may view Eagle Scout as an indicator of character, leadership ability, persistence and other desirable traits.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the connection between being an Eagle Scout and college admissions. We’ll look at admissions data, examine how Eagle Scout may boost an application, and provide tips for leveraging Scouting achievements during the admissions process.

Background on Eagle Scout Rank

The Eagle Scout rank is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) program. It is a prestigious honor that signifies a scout’s commitment to leadership, service, and personal growth.

While being an Eagle Scout is a notable accomplishment on its own, many wonder if it can also have an impact on college admissions.

Brief History of Eagle Scout

The Eagle Scout rank was first introduced in 1911 and has since become a symbol of excellence in scouting. The rank was created by the BSA founder, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, who believed that scouting should develop young men into responsible citizens and leaders.

Over the years, countless scouts have worked hard to achieve this esteemed rank.

Requirements to Earn Eagle Scout

Earning the Eagle Scout rank is no easy feat. Scouts must complete a series of requirements, including earning a specific number of merit badges, demonstrating leadership skills, and completing a significant community service project.

These requirements are designed to challenge scouts and help them develop important life skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and responsibility.

Additionally, scouts must successfully navigate through various ranks within the scouting program before reaching Eagle Scout. These ranks include Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life Scout.

Each rank builds upon the skills and knowledge learned in the previous rank, preparing scouts for the challenges of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Statistically Few Scouts Reach Eagle Rank

While the Eagle Scout rank is highly regarded, it is important to note that only a small percentage of scouts actually achieve this prestigious rank. According to the BSA, as of 2020, only about 6% of eligible Scouts have earned the Eagle Scout rank since its inception.

This statistic highlights the dedication, commitment, and hard work required to attain this rank.

So, does being an Eagle Scout help with college admissions? While there is no definitive answer, being an Eagle Scout can certainly be seen as a valuable asset on a college application. Colleges and universities often look for well-rounded students who have shown leadership, community involvement, and a commitment to personal growth.

The Eagle Scout rank demonstrates all of these qualities and more, which may give an applicant a competitive edge in the admissions process.

It’s important to remember that college admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of an applicant’s entire profile, including grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal essays. While being an Eagle Scout can be a positive factor, it is just one piece of the puzzle.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual college or university to determine how much weight they place on scouting achievements during the admissions process.

How Eagle Scout Can Enhance College Applications

Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is a significant accomplishment that can greatly enhance a student’s college applications. College admissions officers recognize the dedication, leadership, and community service involved in achieving this prestigious honor.

Here are some ways being an Eagle Scout can make a positive impact on college admissions:

Demonstrates Persistence and Dedication

Obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout requires years of commitment and hard work. This demonstrates to colleges that the student is dedicated and persistent in their pursuit of goals. Admissions officers value applicants who have shown the ability to set long-term objectives and work diligently to achieve them.

Being an Eagle Scout showcases a student’s ability to stay focused and motivated, qualities that are highly valued in a college setting.

Highlights Leadership Experience

Becoming an Eagle Scout involves taking on leadership roles within a Boy Scout troop. This experience helps develop essential leadership skills such as decision-making, problem-solving, and teamwork. Admissions officers are impressed by applicants who have demonstrated leadership abilities, as these skills are valuable both in and out of the classroom.

Being an Eagle Scout provides concrete evidence of a student’s leadership potential and sets them apart from other applicants.

Shows Community Service and Volunteerism

Community service and volunteerism are highly regarded by college admissions officers. Eagle Scouts are required to complete a significant number of service hours as part of their journey to Eagle. This commitment to helping others showcases a student’s compassion and desire to make a positive impact on their community.

Admissions officers appreciate applicants who have shown a genuine dedication to serving others, as it reflects a well-rounded character and a desire to contribute to society.

Indicates Character and Integrity

The values of the Boy Scouts of America, including honesty, integrity, and respect, are deeply ingrained in the Eagle Scout rank. Admissions officers recognize that these values align with the qualities they seek in potential students.

Being an Eagle Scout signifies that a student possesses strong character and a sense of ethics. This can give them an edge in the college admissions process, as it demonstrates their commitment to upholding high moral standards.

Admissions Data on Eagle Scouts

Earning the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout is an extraordinary achievement that can have a positive impact on college admissions. Admissions officers often value the dedication, leadership, and commitment demonstrated by Eagle Scouts.

Let’s take a closer look at the admissions data related to Eagle Scouts and how it can benefit their college applications.

Higher Acceptance Rates at Selective Schools

Eagle Scouts often enjoy higher acceptance rates at selective schools. According to a study conducted by the Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scouts are more likely to be admitted to top-tier universities compared to their non-scouting peers.

This is likely due to the rigorous requirements and the demonstration of valuable skills that come with earning the Eagle Scout rank. Admissions officers recognize the dedication and perseverance required to complete the Eagle Scout project, which often involves planning and executing a community service initiative.

Additionally, many colleges and universities actively seek out Eagle Scouts during the admissions process. They understand the value of having students with leadership experience and a commitment to service on their campuses. This can give Eagle Scouts a competitive advantage over other applicants.

Notable Colleges Recruiting Eagle Scouts

Several notable colleges and universities actively recruit Eagle Scouts. These institutions recognize the unique qualities and experiences that Eagle Scouts bring to their campus communities. Some examples of colleges known for actively recruiting Eagle Scouts include Texas A&M University, University of Alabama, and Virginia Tech.

These colleges may offer special programs or scholarships specifically for Eagle Scouts. For example, Texas A&M University has the Corps of Cadets, which offers opportunities for leadership and service to Eagle Scouts.

The University of Alabama offers the “Eagle Scout Scholarship” to incoming freshmen who have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Scholarship Opportunities for Eagle Scouts

Eagle Scouts have access to a wide range of scholarship opportunities. Many organizations and foundations recognize the value of the Eagle Scout achievement and offer scholarships exclusively for Eagle Scouts.

For instance, the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) offers scholarships to deserving Eagle Scouts who demonstrate outstanding academic and leadership achievements. Additionally, the Order of the Arrow, a national honor society within the Boy Scouts of America, offers scholarships for Eagle Scouts pursuing higher education.

It’s important for Eagle Scouts to research and explore these scholarship opportunities as they can significantly reduce the financial burden of college tuition.

Tips for Leveraging Eagle Scout in Applications

Emphasize Eagle Project in Essays

When applying to college, it’s important to showcase your unique experiences and accomplishments. As an Eagle Scout, your Eagle project is a perfect example of your leadership skills, initiative, and dedication.

In your college essays, be sure to highlight your Eagle project and how it has impacted your community. Explain the planning process, the challenges you faced, and the positive outcomes. By emphasizing your Eagle project, you can demonstrate your ability to make a difference and leave a lasting impact.

List Scouting Awards and Positions

Colleges value well-rounded applicants who have demonstrated commitment and achievement in various areas. As an Eagle Scout, you have likely earned numerous scouting awards and held leadership positions within your troop. Don’t forget to list these accolades and roles on your college applications.

Whether it’s the Order of the Arrow, the National Outdoor Awards, or positions like Senior Patrol Leader or Patrol Leader, these achievements showcase your dedication, teamwork, and ability to take on responsibilities.

Get Letters of Recommendation from Scout Leaders

Letters of recommendation can play a significant role in college admissions. As an Eagle Scout, you have the opportunity to request letters of recommendation from your Scout leaders. These individuals have witnessed your growth, character development, and leadership skills firsthand.

Their letters can provide valuable insights into your abilities, work ethic, and dedication to the principles of scouting. Be sure to ask for these letters well in advance and provide your Scout leaders with any necessary information to help them write strong recommendations.

Note Eagle Scout on Resume and Extracurriculars

When creating your resume and listing your extracurricular activities, make sure to prominently mention your achievement as an Eagle Scout. This distinction sets you apart from other applicants and shows your commitment to personal growth, community service, and leadership.

Highlight any relevant scouting positions held, awards received, and any significant projects or events you were involved in. This will give college admissions officers a clear understanding of your dedication and the impact you have made as an Eagle Scout.

Remember, being an Eagle Scout is a significant accomplishment that can greatly enhance your college applications. By emphasizing your Eagle project, listing scouting awards and positions, obtaining letters of recommendation from Scout leaders, and noting your achievement on your resume and extracurriculars, you can effectively leverage your Eagle Scout status to impress college admissions committees.

Other Parts of Application Still Critical

While being an Eagle Scout is certainly an impressive achievement, it is important to understand that it is just one piece of the college admissions puzzle. Admissions officers consider a wide range of factors when evaluating applications, including academics, extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores.

Therefore, it is essential for students to excel in all areas of their application in order to maximize their chances of admission.

Strong Academics Remain Important

Regardless of any extracurricular achievements, academic performance remains a crucial aspect of the college admissions process. Admissions officers want to see that students have challenged themselves academically and have achieved strong grades in challenging coursework.

So, while being an Eagle Scout may demonstrate leadership and dedication, it is still essential for students to prioritize their academic success and strive for excellence in the classroom.

Eagle Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Admission

While being an Eagle Scout can certainly make an application stand out, it does not guarantee admission to a college or university. Admissions officers take a holistic approach to evaluating applicants, considering all aspects of their profile.

While being an Eagle Scout is an impressive accomplishment, it is important for students to showcase their unique qualities and experiences through their essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.

These additional components can provide a more well-rounded view of the applicant and increase their chances of admission.

Scouting Experience Not Required for College Success

It is important to note that while being an Eagle Scout can be beneficial for college admissions, it is not a requirement for success in college or in life. Admissions officers understand that not all students have had the opportunity to participate in scouting programs, and they value a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds.

Students who have excelled in other areas, such as sports, arts, community service, or leadership roles within their school or community, can also demonstrate the qualities that colleges are looking for.

Therefore, it is important for students to focus on their individual strengths and accomplishments, regardless of their involvement in scouting.


In today’s competitive college admissions environment, being an Eagle Scout can help provide an extra edge for applicants. The rank demonstrates tenacity, leadership, community service and strength of character – all qualities admissions teams look for.

While Eagle Scout achievement is valued by many selective schools, it does not automatically secure admission on its own. Applicants who strategically highlight their Scouting experience while also excelling academically and as leaders have the best chance of standing out.

With diligence, perseverance and dedication – the same traits that earned them the rank of Eagle – ambitious college-bound Scouts can leverage their achievements to strengthen their candidacy and pursue their educational goals.

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