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HomeErik Gates Memorial Scholarship

Eric Gates Memorial Scholarship


Eric GatesThe Tripoli Rocketry Association is a 501(c)(3) corporation involved in supporting hobby rocketry. One component of our charter is the furthering of educational opportunities that are part of this high tech hobby.

As one part of this mission, the Tripoli Rocketry Association has created a scholarship fund in honor of past Director Erik Gates. Erik lived a full and active life, but died in a tragic work-related accident. His contributions to promote high powered rocketry and represent our hobby in a professional and positive manner will forever be appreciated.

The Erik Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund annually awards an educational scholarship to assist in the continued education of the award recipient. If you or a family member is interested in pursuing this scholarship please look at the eligibility requirements and information on how to submit an application.

2024 Submissions are now being accepted.

The application form is available here: 
2024 Gates Scholarship Application  

Amounts Awarded

Grants in the amount of at least $2500.00 each. 

Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible to receive a scholarship from the Erik Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund, an applicant must be a Tripoli member, or a child, stepchild, 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.

What We Are Looking For

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.

  • Basic Eligibility - 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 our awards.
  • Academic Performance - 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.

Other Activities

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.

Application Guidelines and General Instructions


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. You may obtain the current application on our website. 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. 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 may print and mail it to Tripoli HQ along with all attachments.  You may also submit the application (along with all appropriate attachments) electronically to:

  • Complete all information. Where needed, mark items as “Not applicable” or N/A rather than leaving blanks.
  • Be sure to include all required attachments. Use the checklist provided with the application. We will not consider incomplete applications.
  • Check your work, including spelling and grammar. The neatness and correctness of your work will be considered.
Mail completed application to:

        Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc.
        Attn: Erik Gates Scholarship
        P.O. Box 87 Bellevue, NE 68005

You may also submit the application (along with all appropriate attachments) electronically to:

Most Common Errors

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. Do not leave blanks –if an item does not apply, write “Not Applicable” or N/A. 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. 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 quite 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 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. We are looking for thoughtful, reasoned responses to essays and other questions that give us an idea of your personality, abilities, and needs. Remember, you are communicating your needs and abilities. Give it an appropriate amount of time and effort.



Click below if you would like to make a donation and support the Gates Memorial Scholarship program.

Committee Members

  • Stu Barrett - Chair
  • Doug Kosty
  • Tim Navickas
  • Joe Hepworth
  • Dave Rose - BoD Liaison

Scholarship Committee News

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