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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.

2022 Bruce Matthews Scholarship Recipient

NCAA Matthews Scholarship Winner Kaitlyn Zych
Kaitlyn Zach
Kaitlyn Zych is from Hickory and is a Junior at NC State University working towards a degree in Civil Engineering. She has completed various internships which covered everything from design to project management.   She has worked as a teaching assistant and is currently an Undergraduate Research Assistant at ITRE.  Ideally, she would like to enter the career-path of airport design and complete projects with airports including runways, taxiways and terminals.  She is already signed up for a senior airport design course next year.  Her favorite aircraft are seaplanes, and she hopes to one day get the opportunity to be a passenger in one.    When she is not working, or in class, you might find her playing sports (volleyball, ultimate frisbee), hiking, working on crafts such as embroidery or upcycling used furniture.  Kaitlyn can also ride a unicycle and is able to sing the alphabet backwards.

2022 NCAA Scholarship Recipients

NCAA Scholarship Winner Sarah Benson
Sarah Benson
Sarah Benson is from Concord.  She is an Air Force ROTC cadet and a junior in the Aviation Management program at Auburn University in Alabama.  Her interest in aviation began at the age of twelve when she entered the Civil Air Patrol cadet program.  Sarah earned her private pilot’s license after graduating high school.   She has held various leadership positions during AFROTC training events including Flight Commander and Squadron Commander. Her current interest is in cargo or in-flight refueling operations with the hope of being a pilot working behind the scenes to assist in humanitarian efforts and support-based missions.  Her favorite aircraft is the KC-135 because of the capabilities and it is also one of the planes she hopes to get the opportunity to pilot in the future. Outside of work and school Sarah plays the piano, violin, guitar, and bass.  She also enjoys hiking and camping.
NCAA Scholarship Winner Dawson Campbell
Dawson Campbell
Dawson Campbell is from South Mills, and is currently in the flight training program at Elizabeth City State University where he is pursuing an Aviation Management/Business Administration degree.  After graduating high school Dawson enlisted in the Navy as an aviation structural mechanic where he gained experience managing pilots, aircraft and maintenance procedures.  Other work experience includes working with children with autism as a Registered Behavior Technician and volunteering with the South Mills Fire Department.  He is considering a career as an FBO or Airport Manager here in NC.  His favorite aircraft is the Sikorsky MH-60S helicopter because his first professional exposure to aviation was working on them ashore, and afloat.
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 mid February 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.