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About Us

The United States Rugby Foundation has reorganized as a Delaware not-for-profit corporation. Donations and contributions made to the Foundation by individuals or organizations are exempt from U.S. Federal and State Tax in accordance with the Foundation’s status as a 501(c)3 organization. Please note our new EIN is 81-5187776. Foundation assets earmarked for giving are dispersed in the form of grants to individuals and organizations that have demonstrable needs or requests that meet the guidelines established by the USRF.

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Scholarship Application

The scholarship application deadline has passed.

Scholarships are open to graduating high school rugby players who are pursuing their rugby career while continuing their education at the collegiate level. Scholarship recipients are selected by the various Scholarship Committees. Scholarships will be awarded to chosen qualified candidates who submit completed applications.

The Terry O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship Program

Terry O’Reilly was a passionate rugby player and supporter throughout his life. Born in Farnborough, England, he played for St. Anselm’s College in Birkenhead before he emigrated to America when he was 16. Growing up in Los Angeles, he continued to play rugby for Loyola Marymount. Spurning a career in television to continue his on-field play, he chose a legal career through a stint at Boalt Law School at Berkeley, where he played rugby for Cal. Following law school, he continued to play for several club teams, including the Bay Area Touring Side (“BATS”), the Old Blues of Berkeley, and the San Jose Silverhawks.

Following his 25 years of active play, 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 world.

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 2021. 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 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program

To honor one of the most prolific players to ever pull on a United States Eagles jersey, the United States Rugby Foundation is pleased to announce the Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Program. A dashing number 13 who could play a rugged 12 and also outpace most on the wing. Kevin “Higgy” Higgins was a three-time Collegiate All-American at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Kevin was still a student when he made the first of 28 test match appearances against Japan in 1985. He represented the United States at the first two Rugby World Cups, in 1987 (Australia) and 1991 (England), and captained the team three times, a testament to his overall skill and leadership. Kevin also earned 16 ‘caps’ with the USA 7s team, making three trips to the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens Tournament.

The United States Rugby Foundation will award up to 10, $1,000 Kevin Higgins College Scholarships to deserving high school seniors who go on to play rugby in college. These independent scholarships are open to all graduating high school rugby players in the U.S. who will be pursuing their rugby careers while continuing their education at the collegiate level.

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, 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 2021. 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.

Richard A. Donelli Memorial Scholarship

The Richard A. Donelli College Scholarship was created to honor one of the most dominating players. 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 United States Rugby Foundation awards a scholarship to a collegiate player, male or female, within reasonable proximity to 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 Memorial 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.

The Meg Votta Memorial Scholarship Program

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. The 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. 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.

Meg 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.

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 2021. Scholarships are awarded to the male and female 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.

Kaler Family Rugby Scholarships

The Kaler Family Rugby Scholarship was founded in 2016 by Paul & Sarah Kaler with the mission of helping athletes transition into college rugby. Paul began his rugby career in 1990 with River City RFC (Mason City, IA) and through several work promotions his journey took him to the Eastside Banshees (Minneapolis, MN), Wausau Area Rugby (Wausau, WI) and now with the St. Louis Royal Ramblers. Sarah began playing college rugby in 1996 at Wartburg University (Waverly, IA) and was a former club rugby player for Wausau Area Rugby Women (Wausau, WI). Both are avid rugby tourists that travel across the globe to compete at different levels as well as traveling the country to watch their children play. The two have devoted much of their lives promoting youth and amateur rugby across the US and use private donors as well as personal funding to support their scholarships in an effort to give back to a sport they both deeply love. Each year, the USRF intends to award Kaler Family Rugby Scholarships to one deserving male and female rugby player. Each Kaler Family Rugby Scholarship will be in the amount of $1,500.

Criteria: Kaler Family Scholarships was established to provide assistance for deserving members of the rugby community who have been active players in high school programs and to be used for continuing education. Kaler Family 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 2021. Scholarships are awarded to the male and female who 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.

Requirements for Completing Your Application

Section One: Applicant Information

Address: All correspondence will go to the address you specify on your application. It is your responsibility to inform the United States Rugby Foundation of any changes to your address, phone number, email address, etc.

Section Two: Financial Information

You must complete this section correctly and in its entirety or your application will be disqualified.

To complete this section, you will need:

  • Your and/or your parents 2020 tax returns (Form 1040 – pages 1 & 2; Form 1040A pages 1 & 2; Form 1040EZ – pages 1 & 2).
  • Information can be found on line 37 of 1040, line 21 of 1040A or line 4 of 1040EZ 2020 tax forms.
  • A copy of your and/or your parents’ tax returns must be submitted with your application.
  • If you and/or your parents did not file 2020 tax returns, please check the appropriate box and indicate why.

Required Supplemental Information

  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Ask your high school or U19 coach to provide you with a letter of recommendation.
    • Letter must include the coach’s name, school/team, address, phone number and email address where they can be reached.
    • In lieu of a letter from your coach, teachers, counselors, religious leaders and employers are all good choices as they can comment on your overall character, achievement and promise.
    • Letters must include the date, your full name and be signed by the person recommending you.
    • Please give the individuals writing your letters enough time. Have the person recommending you include in their letter their relationship to you, in what capacity they have known you, and for how long.
    • Include list of community service, volunteer work and school extracurricular activities.
  • Rugby Resume
    • Please include a summary of your rugby career to date.
  • Academic Resume
  • Transcripts
    • You MUST show proof of units completed and GPA either by submitting a photocopy of your official high school transcripts or computer print-out of your academic record.
  • Personal Statement
    • Your personal statement should be no longer than two pages, typed and double-spaced using 12-point type and one-inch margins.
    • Do not submit additional pages as they will not be considered.
    • Type the words “Personal Statement” at the top of each page, along with your first and last name.
    • Clearly address the following three questions in sequential order, typing each question as it appears below.
    1. What role has the sport of rugby played in your life?
    2. What are your goals in rugby?
    3. What are your career goals (outside of rugby)?
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