Skip to content Skip to footer

NCAA Scholarship Foundation

The Foundation & Scholarships

Partner with the North Carolina Airports Association in awarding scholarships to NC resident students attending two-year and four-year colleges and universities with Aviation programs.

Over the past few years the Airports Association presented scholarships to honor Mr. Bruce Matthews, former Assistant Director of the North Carolina Division of Aviation to recognize his distinguished aviation career and dedication to the students of North Carolina State University. Scholarships were awarded to students who had demonstrated interest and/or experience in transportation engineering, airport planning and design.

The Airport Association recently established the North Carolina Airports Association Educational Foundation, Inc., a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The purpose of the Educational Foundation is to provide scholarships to deserving NC resident students who pursue a post high school curriculum in aviation-airport management. We will accomplish this goal through public support from individuals, corporations and others.

The North Carolina Airports Association is pleased to announce the availability for scholarships for deserving students who either are or plan to enter an aviation-airport management field of study. Interested undergraduate and graduate college students should explore the links below to review the requirements and to complete their application. You will also need to submit an official transcript to: Lisa Edwards, c/o NC Airports Association, 66 Castellan Drive, Greer, SC 29650  

Bruce Matthews Scholarship​

This NCAA Funded Scholarship is dedicated to Mr. Bruce Matthews. Matthews was a tireless supporter of aviation in North Carolina and the first permanent employee of the NCDOT Division of Aviation. Mr. Matthews is credited with leading the development of the state’s public airport system. His vision for assisting smaller airports with facility upgrades in order to accommodate larger aircraft has lifted North Carolina to new heights in aviation success.

NCAA Educational Foundation Scholarship

The North Carolina Airports Association has recently developed and incorporated The North Carolina Airports Association Educational Foundation, Inc. The Educational Foundation is a 501(c) (3) corporation. The Scholarship program has been expanded to include NC State as well as other Secondary and Technical Schools. The student must be enrolled in a post high school curriculum in aviation, airport management or related fields.

2021 Bruce Matthews Scholarship Recipient

Courtney Fry
Courtney Fry is from Beaufort, North Carolina and is currently living in Raleigh, NC where she is attending NC State University working towards her Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Engineering.  Courtney will be entering her Senior year at NC State and holds a 3.19 GPA.  Courtney’s expectations for her future in the field of transportation align with helping create long term, sustainable infrastructure that supports our transportation and also helps the environment.  Courtney became very passionate about working in the development or urban transportation field while hearing about jets and helicopters from her mom who is an engineer who works for the Dept. of the Navy at MCAS Cherry Point.  Courtney is hopeful that she too can work in the aviation field upon graduation.

2021 NCAA Scholarship Recipients

Elizabeth Li
Elizabeth is from Asheville, NC and is dual enrolled currently as a Junior in the Honor’s Program  pursuing a Biology degree at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College for aviation all while working two jobs; a marketing manager for Highsmith Student Union at UNCA and a Program Supervisor for the UNCA Asheville Campus Entertainment where she organizes 2 events per month, collaborates with community organizations with a focus on diversity and inclusion.  Elizabeth is passionate as she encourages more women and women of color to enter into the field of aviation.  When asked about her goals, Elizabeth feels that hard workers such as truck drivers, bus drivers and freight pilots deserve more credit as they keep the economy moving.  Understanding its high integrity, her dream job as a child was to become a mail carrier but as an adult now pursuing her Private Pilot’s license, she continues to carry this sentiment and says she will carefully consider a job as a freight pilot working for USPS if she decides to advance to a Commercial Pilot’s License.
Andrew Leih
Andrew is a senior at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College in the Aviation Management & Career Pilot Technology – Aviation Management field of study while a Commercial student at Western North Carolina Aviation.  Andrew has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout college all while working as a personal shopper for Harris Teeter.  Andrew is a Private pilot and Instrument rated ASEL and Private pilot glider.  Aviation has been a part of his family for generations; both of his grandparents were private pilots who loved the sport and he contributes his passion for flying as coming from them.  His aviation objective is to become a CFI for WNC Aviation and eventually become employed at Piedmont Airlines as a first officer and then American Airlines.  He desires to become involved with the Western North Carolina Pilots Association and to volunteer at the Western North Carolina Air Museum.
Angel – up to $500.00 Bronze – $501.00 to $1499.00 Silver – $1500.00 to $2499.00 Gold – $2500.00 to $4999.00 Platinum – $5000.00 to $7499.00 Presidential – $7500.00 to $10,000.00 Download the donation form here.
Yes, our corporate partners are very important for the continued success of the scholarship program. The corporate donation levels are: Angel – up to $500.00 Bronze – $501.00 to $1499.00 Silver – $1500.00 to $2499.00 Gold – $2500.00 to $4999.00 Platinum – $5000.00 to $7499.00 Presidential – $7500.00 to $10,000.00 Download the donation form here.

Typically, the application process opens in the Fall of the year with a deadline for submission of January 31.


Awards are generally announced by early April with formal recognition taking place at the annual conference. One recipient may be selected for the Bruce Matthews Scholarship and up to two students may be chosen for a NCAA scholarship award.

The value of the NCAA scholarship is $1500. The value of the Bruce Matthews scholarship is $3000. Scholarships are non-renewable.

The two scholarships have slightly different requirements. The details are available through the following links:

Matthews Scholarship – Details and Eligibility

NCAA Aviation Scholarships – Details and Eligibility

NCAA Educational Foundation Brochure

Download the brochure for complete information about the Foundation.