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Arlington, Va. – The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) today announced a new partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to launch a scholarship program — totaling up to $55,000 annually — aimed to empower the next generation of aerospace leaders. The partnership will provide scholarships for up to 15 students who are alumni of AIA’s signature STEM initiative, the American Rocketry Challenge (ARC), and are accepted and enrolled at one of Embry-Riddle’s three campuses — in Daytona Beach, Florida; Prescott, Arizona; or online, through the Worldwide Campus.

“At the Aerospace Industries Association, we are constantly inspired by the ingenuity of our rocketry challenge students and know they will have a significant footprint on the future of our industry,” said Eric Fanning, AIA’s President and CEO. “This collaboration with Embry-Riddle, one of the world’s premier engineering institutions, will propel our alumni to exciting new heights in aerospace and defense and harness their passion and talent to support our future workforce. We thank Embry-Riddle for their dedication to the next generation of aerospace leaders.” 

Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler, Ph.D., lauded AIA for its commitment to furthering aerospace higher education. “It is an honor to partner with industry leader AIA on a scholarship program that will boost young innovators and help to build the aerospace and defense workforce of the future,” Butler said. “The hands-on learning opportunity provided by the American Rocketry Challenge not only draws students to STEM fields but enhances their academic success.”

For 21 years, AIA’s American Rocketry Challenge has served as the world’s largest rocket contest, with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing each year. The contest gives middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets, and hands-on experience solving engineering problems. 

Embry-Riddle will award up to 15 annual merit scholarships (up to five scholarships at each campus). Scholarship recipients must be active members of an AIA ARC team at any high school or home school in the country, meet regular academic requirements for admission and maintain requirements for scholarship retention.


About the Aerospace Industries Association

For over 100 years, the American aerospace and defense (A&D) industry has shaped the world around us. From the first flight to the moon landing, the impact of A&D is immeasurable — and the next great aerospace achievement is on the horizon. With more than 2.1 million shared employees and generating $391 billion in economic value, we are critical to the health of the U.S. economy and serve as a seamless, fundamental part of daily life. Now more than ever, it’s vital that our collective industry has a strong voice speaking on its behalf. 

The Aerospace Industries Association has been that voice since 1919. Our work as an advocate and leader is essential to shaping policy, shedding light on the industry’s impact, and fortifying its future. Together with our more than 320 member companies, our advocacy influences: effective federal investments; accelerated deployment of innovative technologies; policies that enhance our global competitiveness; and recruitment and retention efforts that support a capable and diverse 21st century workforce.

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Reporters worldwide contact Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for content experts in all aspects of aviation, aviation business, aerospace, engineering and STEM-related fields. Our faculty experts specialize in unmanned and autonomous systems, security and intelligence, air traffic and airport management, astronomy, human factors psychology, meteorology, spaceflight operations, urban air mobility and much more. Visit the Embry-Riddle Newsroom for story ideas.

Embry-Riddle educates 31,000+ students at its residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, at approximately 110 Worldwide Campus locations and through online degree programs. In 2023, U.S. News & World Report named Embry-Riddle Worldwide the nation’s No. 2 provider of online bachelor’s degree programs. The university has ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in this category every year since 2016. Embry-Riddle’s Aerospace Engineering program ranks No. 4 in the nation, and the university has been ranked Best for Veterans.

1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1700
Arlington, VA 22209-3928