Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

Home » Education » VFF Scholarship Application Process

VFF Scholarship Application Process

Each year, Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) scholarships are awarded to college students demonstrating an interest in pursuing engineering related careers in vertical flight technology.

The Foundation scholarship awards are made possible solely by tax deductible donations that have been established and contribute to an endowment. The scholarships are solely merit-based and the value of scholarships range up to $6,000 (USD).

Thank you for your interest in applying for a Vertical Flight Foundation scholarship! Please read all of the guidelines before you begin your application: VFF Scholarship Application Guidelines.


To be eligible for a scholarship:

  • You do not need to be a member of AHS International, but we encourage you to explore the many benefits a student membership can provide.

  • Applicants must be in the relevant degree program at least 1-semester or 2-quarters after the scholarship will be presented at the AHS Annual Forum in the month of May. 

  • Applicants must be a full-time college student at an accredited school in a technical program.  Technical disciplines relevant to complex aeronautics/aeronautics engineering or aviation systems, even if not directly considered vertical lift engineering, will receive equal consideration.

  • A student can receive an award once as an undergraduate, once as a graduate student in a master's degree program, and once as a graduate student in a doctoral program. 

Eligibility for each category is as follows:

Undergraduate / Bachelor’s (BS) Degree Category

  • Any college student pursuing an eligible undergraduate degree.

  • Will have at least 1-semester or 2-quarters of university work towards the relevant Bachelor’s program, after the awarding of scholarships at the AHS Annual Forum in May.

Note: a senior graduating in May is eligible to apply for the MS category if they will be continuing immediately after graduation to a graduate studies program, either MS or PhD, in a relevant degree program. If the senior is not accepted into a relevant graduate program by May, the student is not eligible.

Master of Science (MS) Degree Category

  • Any student pursuing an eligible MS degree.

  • Will have at least 1-semester or 2-quarters of university work towards their current MS program or continuing into a relevant PhD program, after the awarding of scholarships at the AHS Annual Forum in May.

Note: if in a combined Masters/PhD program, the student is eligible under the MS category if they have not passed qualifying exams as of the application deadline in February and do not already have an MS degree.

Doctoral (PhD) Degree Category

  • Any graduate student who already has an MS degree or is in a combined MS/PhD program and verification of formally meeting doctoral degree requirement such as qualifying exams.

  • Will have at least 1-semester or 2-quarters remaining in their current PhD program, after the awarding of scholarships at the AHS Annual Forum in May.

How to Apply


Completing the Application Packet

Refer to the VFF Scholarship Application Guidelinesfor detailed information and templates.

A complete application package must include the following: 

  • Completed Scholarship Application Form

  • Resume

  • Narrative

  • Official University/School Transcript

  • Professor Letter of Recommendation

Due dates for all VFF documents:

  • Electronic documents must be time-stamped on or before the first Monday in February (Feb. 5, 2018) and emailed directly to the AHS VFF Coordinator.
  • Mailed documents must be postmarked on or before the first Monday in February (Feb. 5, 2018) and received at AHS headquarters no later than February 15, 2018 addressed to the VFF Coordinator at the address listed below:

AHS International
Attention: Julie M. Gibbs, VFF Coordinator
2701 Prosperity Ave., Suite 210
Fairfax, VA 22031-4314 USA 

If you have questions, please contact Julie Gibbs at +1-703-684-6777 Ext. 103, through the online form, or via email.


Complete the application. To determine at which level you are applying, see the eligibility examples above.


The narrative should provide a personal statement regarding your passion for aeronautics/aeronautical engineering or complex aviation systems and vertical flight technology specifically, should highlight specific interest, perspective and experience in important and relevant topics to the vertical flight community, such as affordability, and should describe how your studies will assist in pursuing and growing that passion. The narrative should not be a restatement of your resume or description of research. 


Please use the template provided in the scholarship application form (in PDF or Word format) and be as precise and accurate as possible.  The resume should include career objectives; school and/or employment history and experience, including relevant research; papers/publications or presentations; and extra-curricular activities. 


Once you have determined that you are eligible to apply for a VFF scholarship, order your transcripts, including the most recent set of grades issued. Transcripts must be received by the University of the Registrar – AHS will not accept transcripts from students.

  • Transcripts must be mailed, unopened directly to AHS International headquarters, from your university’s Office of the Registrar and must be postmarked and received by the due dates listed above. Or sent by a secure electronic link from the Office of the Registrar directly to the AHS VFF Coordinator and must be received by the due date listed above.

  • If your transcript is not in English, AHS will request that the applicant provide a translation in English, which must be accredited by a letter from your professor verifying the accuracy of the translation. 

  • If your school cannot provide an official transcript, an equivalent disclosure of academic standing may be provided and must be endorsed by the relevant head of curriculum. 

  • If the due dates conflict with end of semester/quarter timing at your university and there is a problem submitting the transcript on time, contact the VFF Student Coordinator immediately so a due date waiver can be requested from the VFF Scholarship Committee.

Professor Letter of Recommendation

At least one letter of recommendation is required from a professor very familiar with you and your course work.  The professor should provide a statement as to where you stand in regard to the students he/she has taught in his/her career and state if you are in the top 5, 10 or 25% of your class based on his/her experience with all of his/her students, past and presentIt is imperative that your professor understand these recommendation guidelines. Please see page 4 of the VFF Scholarship Application Guidelines and provide them to your professor. The Professor’s recommendation letter, either electronic (PDF format) or mailed, must be sent by the Professor directly to the VFF Coordinator at AHS International by the due dates and must be signed by him or her. AHS will not accept recommendation letters from students.

How Your Application Is Evaluated

All applications are reviewed by the AHS Scholarship Committee. Several scholarships are awarded each year by the Vertical Flight Foundation, unless there are no qualified applicants. Scholarship recipients are notified by the Foundation by April 15th.

Weighting Factors

Your application is evaluated based on:

VFF Weighing Factors


  • 35% — Experience. Experience consists of work history, research, paper publications from resume. 
  • 25% — Narrative
  • 20% — Letters of Recommendation. It is your responsibility to provide the guidelines to your professor.
  • 10% — Academics
  • 10% — Extra-curricular activities 

If you have any questions on the application process, please contact the VFF Scholarship Coordinator listed above.


IMPORTANT: All items must be date-stamped or postmarked by the first Monday in February (Feb. 5, 2018) or your application will not be accepted!

▢ Completed Application

▢ Narrative

▢ Resume

▢ Official University Transcripts

▢ Professor Letter of Recommendation


AHS International’s philanthropic arm, the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF), was established in 1967.  The Foundation is an independent charitable trust for the support of education in rotorcraft and vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft technology.  The Foundation’s awards are made possible solely by tax deductible donations. 

Since 1977, the Foundation has awarded over 500 scholarships and these scholarships have been awarded to students from throughout the world who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing engineering careers in the vertical flight industry. All scholarships are thanks to the generosity and support of our contributors.