Scholarship Information

ION Rocky Mountain Section Scholarship Program


The Institute of Navigation (ION) is sponsoring a monetary grant to eligible college students in the Rocky Mountain Section (RMS) region. Scholarship awards come with required apprenticeship activities, intended to familiarize the award recipient with navigational technologies or enhance his/her existing knowledge of navigational methods.

The ION is a national organization with international membership, dedicated to promoting the art and science of navigation. It does this through annual national technical conferences, publications and awards, as well as through the activities of its regional sections. The Rocky Mountain Section is based in Colorado Springs and serves the Colorado-Wyoming region. The RMS will administer this scholarship program, while the national office of the ION sponsors the monetary award.


Awards totaling $2,500 will be granted annually by the ION through the Rocky Mountain Section. This scholarship money will be distributed in one to three apprenticeship awards, with the amount of each award and the corresponding level of apprenticeship requirements adjusted by the number of scholarships awarded with the minimum award set at $800. Eligible candidates must have completed one year of college at the time of the award. For consideration for an award, applications must be turned in and received by the RMS steering committee by April 1st of the award year. The winner of the award will then be announced by May 1. The monetary award is paid the college or university in equal payments according to the number of terms in in the school year. The student must provide all necessary contact information for the school’s financial aid office and dates by which tuition is due.

Although a scholarship through this program is not guaranteed to be renewable, a previous recipient still in college is eligible to reapply for future scholarships. Both the number of awards given in the year and the award amount are subject to approval by the national ION and the Western Regional Vice-president, and are subject to funds availability. The total number of awards and the amounts will be announced no later than February 15th of the year the award will be granted. The awards and amounts will be posted on the Rocky Mountain Section website at This website will also include current contact information about the section scholarship program, and the address to which applications shall be submitted. Information about the awards will also be distributed to academic departments and financial aid offices of colleges in the Colorado-Wyoming region.


To qualify to receive a scholarship award, an applicant must be a current college student (undergraduate or graduate) and must have successfully completed at least one semester’s classes (or the equivalent at a school not on a semester system). The purpose of this restriction is to limit the applicants to those students who have some experience in college, and are thus more likely to have a better concept of their field of study. The student must have a minimum GPA in college work of 2.8 on a 4.0 grading scale, or the equivalent in a different grading system.

The awards are nominally limited to students attending colleges in Colorado and Wyoming. Exceptions to this limitation for students attending college outside of the RMS region but whose hometown is in either Colorado or Wyoming will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the steering committee. Approval of such exceptions will be made based upon the strength of the student’s academic goals and focus towards navigation, and upon the availability of suitable apprenticeship activities in the geographic area of the applicant’s college.

Application for the scholarship is made through an application form, accompanied with college transcripts, letter of reference from an academic advisor or a professional in the field of navigation ,and an essay, cover letter, resume, or other suitable medium to convey to the RMS Scholarship committee the qualifications of the applicant for this program. If the student has less than two years of college experience, then high school transcripts must be submitted. The principal qualifications to be examined by this committee are the academic and post-academic plans of the student, and how the field of navigation could be advanced by these plans. Other supporting qualifications that may be considered are past and current experience, skills and achievements in navigation, and navigational activities in which the applicant has been involved. It is recognized that navigation in itself is not a common academic field of study. It is also acknowledged that many fields of endeavor may further the art and science of navigation, including education, history, geography, science and engineering. The award is therefore not limited to students of a particular academic field.

In evaluating a scholarship application, content is more important than form. The applicant’s essay, cover letter or other supporting material should be customized to most suitably convey the applicant’s plans and experience in navigation. A clever or wonderfully written essay will not by itself carry as much weight as a more straightforward statement of plans, backed up with other supporting material that helps to verify that the applicant intends to follow through with his/her plans. That said, poorly written submissions may not adequately communicate the applicant’s experience and goals, and may reflect poorly upon the application. The ION RMS reserves the right to adjust the number and amount of awards based on applications.


Apprenticeship activities will be selected to enhance the student’s exposure to modern or classical navigational methods, with a minimal time commitment. The RMS Scholarship steering committee will present to the student a list of candidate activities from which the student may choose, and work with the student to customize activities suitable with the student’s interests, and skills. The student will be told a minimum number of activities to participate in to qualify for the complete grant. The student will then select activities to undertake, along with alternate activities, in case schedule conflicts preclude participation of a primary activity. Example activities are research activities or projects within the field of navigation related to the student’s interests, tours of local facilities connected to the field of navigation, and attendance at ION technical meetings. If the student is already involved in activities involving navigation, a presentation about these activities to local ION members or as a community education project may satisfy apprenticeship requirements.

Students who fail to participate in apprenticeship activities and who show insufficient willingness to rectifying deficiencies may be denied the second half of the scholarship award and may be disqualified from consideration in future years.


The Rocky Mountain Section chair, with the consent of the RMS Executive Committee, will appoint members of the RMS Scholarship steering committee, consisting of no fewer than two people. The term is one year. Relatives or employees of the Steering Committee members are not eligible for the award.

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