AIARE Scholarships

Investing in avalanche education and professional training can be costly–from travel and time off work to course tuition, the expenses can add up quickly. With support from our funders, AIARE is committed to easing the financial burden of avalanche training and education through robust scholarship opportunities. Below you will find scholarship opportunities for AIARE Instructor Training courses, AIARE PRO courses, as well as AIARE 1, 2, and Rescue courses.

Scholarships Supported and Managed by AIARE

The application window for AIARE-managed scholarships have CLOSED for the 2023-24 season. Scholarships managed outside of AIARE have individual deadlines.

AIARE Scholarships Application and Award Timeline (PRO, ITC, and CLT Courses)**

August 1 applications open @ 9:00am MT
Rolling AIARE will notify applicants if additional materials are needed
August 23 applications close @ midnight MT*
*ALL applications submitted within the application period will be considered at the end of the window. Applications submitted earlier do not receive preference.
September 13 award notifications sent
September 20 signed award letters due*
*Note that your award letter may be due sooner if you are subject to other AIARE payment deadlines, such as for PRO or ITC/CLT programs.

Please check the PRO, ITC, and CLT web pages for further detail on those registration, application, and payment timelines.

**Avalanche Alliance Motorized recreational course scholarships utilize a different application and award timeline. Find more information below.

AIARE First Ascent Foundation Avalanche Educator Scholarship

CLOSED

 
Receiving a scholarship for my ITC alleviated enough financial pressure for me to participate in the course and allowed me the capacity or to redirect time and energy towards preparing for my courses and show up as well equipped as possible. It made space for me to hone my technical skills and spend time poking around in the snow, but more importantly, it enabled me to address some of the less tangible challenges that exist. Knowing that I was supported by the folks at AIARE helped my confidence stepping into my PRO 1 and my ITC, and I’m so grateful for it.

—Alyssa Young, 2021-22 First Ascent Instructor Scholarship Recipient

AIARE recognizes that people from marginalized gender identities make up a disproportionately small number of avalanche educators in the U.S., and many find it difficult to grow and sustain their careers. In a 2021 survey of women on AIARE Instructor Training Programs, 100% of respondents indicated that in addition to the other challenges they faced, financial barriers had been a consideration in advancing their careers as avalanche educators.

With generous support from the First Ascent Foundation, AIARE is offering funding to assist people from all marginalized gender identities, including trans, non-binary, women, and genderqueer folks, with tuition for AIARE Instructor and Course Leader Training courses. Scholarship funds are to be used in the year they are awarded, thus applicants will also need to submit an AIARE Instructor Training Course or Course Leader Training course application to be considered for this scholarship. AIARE encourages any eligible applicants who would benefit from financial assistance to apply—full and partial scholarships will be awarded. Awards are made in conjunction with acceptance to an ITC or CLT.

Prerequisites:

  • Applicant holds an underrepresented gender identity such as trans, non-binary, woman, and/or genderqueer
  • Applicant has (or plans to) apply for an AIARE ITC or CLT within the application period

Application Period: August 1 - August 23
Award Notification: September 13

AIARE Colorado Outdoor Recreation Grant

CLOSED

 
With support secured through the Colorado State Outdoor Recreation Grant, AIARE is offering funding to assist Colorado residents with tuition for AIARE Instructor and Course Leader Training courses. 

Prerequisites:

  • Applicant lives predominantly in Colorado*
  • Applicant has (or plans to) apply for an AIARE ITC or CLT within the application window

*As part of the scholarship application, applicants will be asked to provide proof of residency in the form of official documents (e.g. driver’s license, utility bill, pay stub, bank statement, voter registration, etc.) or a letter from a Colorado AIARE Provider they work with attesting that the applicant will work one or more AIARE programs with the Provider in the 2023-2024 season.

Application Period: August 1 - August 23
Award Notification: September 13

Avalanche Alliance Motorized Scholarship

The #LiveLargeUniversity scholarship supports motorized backcountry riders with funding for AIARE PRO, ITC, CLT, AIARE 1, AIARE 2, or AIARE Avalanche Rescue tuition. Support for the Avalanche Alliance Motorized Scholarship comes from your participation in the annual Avalanche Alliance Sweepstakes.

PRO, Instructor Training (ITC), and Course Leader Training (CLT):

Prerequisites:

  • I am a motorized backcountry rider
  • I have (or will) register/apply for an AIARE motorized PRO 1 or ITC within the application window 

PRO and IT Course Application Period: August 1 - August 23. 
PRO and IT Course Award Notification: September 13.

CLOSED

AIARE 1, AIARE 2, or AIARE Avalanche Rescue:

Only one award per applicant is available each season. Applicants may not apply for support for multiple courses.

Prerequisites:

  • Applicant is a motorized backcountry rider
  • Applicant has (or plans to) register for an AIARE motorized AIARE 1, AIARE 2, or AIARE Avalanche Rescue course in the 2023-2024 season.

CLOSED

Application + Award Timeline for #LiveLargeUniversity Recreational Scholarships

September 1 applications open @ 9:00am MT
Rolling AIARE will notify applicants if additional materials are needed
October 1 applications close @ midnight MT*
*ALL applications submitted within the application period will be considered at the end of the window. Applications submitted earlier do not receive preference.
October 18 award notifications sent
November 1 signed award letters due
December 15 - January 15 if not all funds are awarded in the first round, a second round of applications will open

AIARE Scarpa and Arcteryx PRO Women’s Scholarship

CLOSED

 
AIARE recognizes the importance of diversifying the avalanche profession and elevating underrepresented genders through breaking down barriers to entry, and this is why we are thrilled to work with Scarpa and Arcteryx to offer between 1-3 full and 5-7 partial scholarships to women (trans and non cis-gender) in taking an AIARE PRO1 or PRO2. 

All applicants must submit a complete PRO 1 or PRO 2 application portfolio to be considered. AIARE will gladly assist applicants in preparation of PRO course application portfolios if needed.

Prerequisites:

  • I hold an underrepresented gender identity such as trans, non-binary, woman, and/or genderqueer
  • I have (or will) register for an AIARE PRO 1 or PRO 2 within the application window

Application Period: August 1 - August 23
Award Notification: September 1

AIARE Kizaki-Wolf Scholarship for Instructor Training & PRO Courses

CLOSED

 
The Kizaki-Wolf AIARE Scholarship supports outstanding outdoor professionals in furthering their avalanche education and teaching skills. This scholarship provides full or partial tuition for an Instructor Training Course, Course Leader Training Course, or PRO 1 or PRO 2 course. You can take a look at previous Kizaki-Wolf AIARE Scholarship Recipients.

The selection committee focuses on four criteria in evaluating applicants:

  • Outdoor professional career (guide, patroller, outdoor educator, etc.) dedication and achievement;
  • Under-represented populations within outdoor professions;
  • An appreciation of, and commitment to, an inclusive and diverse community of outdoor recreationists and professionals.

 

Application Process:

  1. APPLY FOR YOUR COURSE: Apply and be accepted (or wait-listed) to an AIARE ITC, CLT, PRO 1, or PRO 2. Only scholarship applicants who are registered (or wait-listed) for an AIARE professional-level course will be considered. Course registration opens between July 1 and August 1.

 

  1. SUBMIT YOUR SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION, including: 
    • Your CV, including outdoor professional positions, education, courses, certifications, and number of days worked annually as an outdoor professional.
    • A Personal Statement addressing the following questions: 
      • What has been your personal journey as an outdoor or avalanche professional? What are your career goals and aspirations?
      • Why are you a great candidate for this scholarship and how will this scholarship help you pay it forward in the avalanche field? 
      • Are you part of an underrepresented population in the outdoor/avalanche community? How have those experiences influenced you or your career objectives? 
      • How have you demonstrated an appreciation of, and commitment to, an inclusive and diverse community of outdoor recreationalists and professionals?
    • Three professional references in an outdoor professional setting. Letters of recommendation are not required. The selection committee only contacts the references of finalists. 
    • Submit CV and references in one package/email to kizaki@avtraining.org 

 

  1. DATES & DEADLINES:
    Applications Open: August 1-23
    Awards Notifications Sent: September 13
    Award Letters Due: September 20

     

  2. POST-COURSE VIDEO: 

Scholarship recipients provide a short, post-course video debrief discussing their experience and any advice or words of wisdom for future scholarship recipients. Examples of post-course videos from prior scholarship recipients are available here. Don’t worry though — scholarship recipients are provided with guidance and tools for putting together their post-course video and all you need is a smart phone!

Scholarships Supported and Managed by Others

AIARE works with several individuals, foundations, and organizations to support their scholarships. The following scholarships are not managed by AIARE, but support AIARE programs.

AIARE Providers

 
Many AIARE Providers provide in-house scholarships for the AIARE programming they offer as well as other educational opportunities. Your local AIARE Provider can be a great resource for getting connected with funding, especially for AIARE 1, AIARE Rescue, and AIARE 2 courses. Find a list of current AIARE Providers and sort by location, course offerings, and more here.

Reeno Foundation Scholarship Program

The Reeno Foundation was created to honor the memory of Nick Ruschmeyer, an avid outdoorsman, guide, and mentor. Nick dedicated his life to leading people on experiences that allowed them to push themselves to grow and learn. Whether beginner or expert, Nick’s
patience, kindness, knowledge, and love for what he did made everyone want to follow him.
The Reeno Foundation focuses to increase access to powerful transformative outdoor experiences for children and adults. Through our scholarship program, Reeno enables people to participate in experiential education or professional outdoor opportunities and encourages a life-long connection to the natural world. Through in-kind donations and fundraising events, we are able to offer these scholarships.
Please visit ReenoFoundation.org for more information and the application requirements. Or email us at Reenofoundation@gmail.com

Guides Fund Yearly Scholarship

 
This scholarship is intended to both support AIARE’s mission of ‘saving lives through avalanche education,’ and encourage historically underrepresented populations in American backcountry pursuits to move into leadership roles, by partially or fully subsidizing tuition for an AIARE ITC or CLT.

Application should include a list qualifications pertaining to ITC/CLT prerequisites, and a short description of current work, education and future in the field of avalanche research and education.

There are no reporting requirements for this scholarship. Please direct applications to darkstarmtguide@gmail.com, between September 1 and November 1.

George Dirth Memorial Scholarship

 
The George Dirth Memorial Scholarship Fund supports Colorado and Utah based backcountry skiers/snowboarders. The Scholarship Fund is a non-profit created to build a lifesaving resource that is available to anyone who spends time skiing or snowboarding in the backcountry who needs financial help and is willing to do something to give back to the backcountry community. Our goal is to keep ALL backcountry users alive.

Each scholarship funds about half the cost of a Level 1 course, people are more committed to the training if they are also financially invested in it. The scholarship money is awarded only to those who have applied, qualify, and actually taken the course, as verified by their certificate. A key part of each application is their description and pledge of support to the backcountry community. The application requirements appear on the Scholarship Fund website. Please visit George Dirth Memorial Scholarship Fund for more information on this scholarship opportunity.

We strongly believe that this education reduces the number of fatalities in the backcountry. If you need help to afford this education you can apply anytime before December 31st, (the anniversary of George’s death).