Erik Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund

Grants in the amount of at least $1,000.00 each.

To be eligible to receive a scholarship from the Erik Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund, an applicant must be a Tripoli member, or a child, step-child, grandchild, sibling or dependent (IRS definition) of a member in good standing (or who was in good standing at the time of his death).

Applicant must be a High School graduate, or a High School Senior who is pursuing a college or vocational education, and who has made application to an accredited institution of higher learning.

Applicants have often asked what precisely we are looking for in determining who will receive scholarship awards. Please remember that ours is a competitive grant program, and that many well-qualified individuals may not receive awards in any given year.

As our scholarship is funded by the generosity of the donors of the Erik Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund, a relationship to the Tripoli Rocketry Association or membership in same is a basic requirement for all of our awards. Without proof of such a relationship or membership (properly documented), you will not be considered for an award.

The level of your academic performance and achievements is a major factor in our decision, and the average academic level of applicants is quite competitive. Please note that the academic section of the application specifies a preferred minimum GPA of 3.0 for all applicants. If your GPA is below this level, you may not qualify for an award.

Since this Scholarship is being offered in memory of Erik Gates by the Tripoli Rocketry Association, any outside activities that show the applicants involvement in hobby rocketry could be a deciding factor in decisions between highly qualified candidates. Participation in activities outside of scholastic endeavors can also make
a difference between candidates. Success in outside activities often correlates to success in higher education.



  1. You must use the current year’s official application. Changes are sometimes made in the information required. Applications from previous years will NOT be considered.
  2. You may obtain the current application on our website
  3. We STRONGLY prefer that you type your application. A fill-in application form is available on our website. You can save the application file to your computer.
  4. The online fill-in application:
    You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and fill-in the form. Version 5.0 or higher is recommended.
    You edit the application form and can make revisions as needed. Remember to save off the form each time you make changes.
    When it is ready to submit, you need to print and mail it to Tripoli HQ along with all attachments.
  5. Complete all information. Where needed, mark items as “Not applicable” rather than leaving blanks.
  6. Be sure to include all required attachments. Use the checklist provided with the application. We will not consider incomplete applications.
  7. Check your work, including spelling and grammar. The neatness and correctness of your work will be considered.
  8. Mail completed application to:
            Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc.
            Atten: Erik Gates Scholarship
            P.O. Box 87 Bellevue, NE 68005
  9. All applications must be postmarked by June 1st.

These are some of the errors we see most often. Many of these errors result in an application not being considered, or scoring too low to receive an award.

Incomplete applications: All questions and sections of the application are important. Don’t leave blanks –if an item does not apply, write “Not Applicable”. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS on each section of the application.

“Contact me if you need…” Many applications come missing a required attachment or section, with a notation to contact the applicant if the information is needed. If we didn’t need it, we wouldn’t ask for it. It is your responsibility to follow up on these items.

“See Attached…” Although we welcome additional material to help us in our decision on your application, please do not use attachments as a substitute for “filling in the blanks” on the application. If information is not included in the application itself, it is very easy for us to miss it in the scoring process, and you could miss getting credit for some of your accomplishments or needs. Please fill in the application first, and then attach any additional material to elaborate if needed. It will be most helpful if you clearly label all supplementary material to indicate the sections of the application they are to accompany. Please do not include attachments not directly related to the information requested on the application.

“Mailed Separately…” We understand that some schools insist on mailing transcripts directly to us, and that other attachments might have to be mailed separately from your main application. Please recognize that there is a risk of these items not being considered in your application. Many applications stating that an eligibility verification or transcript was being “mailed separately” end up going un-considered because the separate materials never arrived. Please make every effort to obtain all materials in advance and include them under one cover.

Failing to attach required transcripts and/or SAT/ACT scores. Remember that you must send us an official transcript of your last completed year of school. If you are currently in your first year of college, a transcript of your first semester grades must also be included.

Missing verification of eligibility. You MUST submit written verification of your Tripoli Rocketry Association connection for eligibility.

Late applications. Start early enough to complete your application, obtain all the necessary documentation, and get the application in the mail well before the deadline. We will penalize or disqualify late applications.

Failing to complete questions in a thoughtful manner. The content and quality of your writing matters. Most of our awards are highly competitive, and we receive many times more applications than we have awards to give. We are looking for thoughtful, reasoned responses to essays and other questions that give us an idea of your personality, abilities, and needs. If you simply write perfunctory answers without giving thought to them, it will show, and will reflect poorly on your chances for an award. Remember, you are communicating your needs and abilities. Give it an appropriate amount of time and effort.