Reuben H. Fleet Scholarship

The Reuben H. Fleet Scholarship supports the educational goals of high school seniors and AIAA collegiate members in the AIAA - San Diego Section. The scholarship, named in honor of San Diego aviation pioneer Reuben H. Fleet, is awarded annually to a group of students based here in San Diego. Since 1983, the scholarship has provided hundreds of students with thousands of dollars of financial support.


To qualify for the scholarship, you must be a high school senior or college student within San Diego county. There is no minimum GPA to apply, but the scholarship will be awarded based on: academic achievement, interest in AIAA's purpose, leadership/personality and financial need. Previous scholarship recipients are encouraged to apply again, but are encouraged to find a new mentor, thereby increasing their connections.

Important Documents

Reuben H. Fleet Scholarship Rules

Reuben H. Fleet Scholarship Application

Frequently Asked Questions

When are applications due?

Applications are due April 1st, 2019.

I don't know any AIAA professional members to sponsor me. What should I do?

Please contact Chris Root or Kimberly Painter (emails below) and they would be happy to put you in contact with an AIAA member who can sponsor your application.

Who can write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?

You must submit two letters; one is from a high school teacher (for high school seniors) or university instructor and one from an AIAA Professional Member. It is highly recommended that the letter is written by a science or math teacher (for high school seniors) or from an instructor from the engineering college.

May an AIAA Professional Member Sponsor more than one student?

No, an AIAA Professional Member may only sponsor one student per scholarship year.

Can letters of recommendation be sent via email?

We prefer to have mailed letters of recommendation. We have accepted emailed letters of recommendation from AIAA Professional Members on a case-by-case basis. In all cases, the email is certified to be from an AIAA Professional Member from their on-file email address with AIAA National. For high school seniors, the letter from your teacher is required to be written on school letterhead and be mailed from the school. In all cases, the method of how the application and letters of recommendation are received is taken into account during the evaluation process.

How many letters of recommendation may an instructor write?

There is no limit of letters of recommendations that an instructor may write, but the instructor, if also an AIAA Professional Member, may only sponsor one student per scholarship year.

If my instructor is also an AIAA Professional Member, and is my sponsor, will the letter of recommendation count for both.

No, you must have letters from different people. In this case you would need to seek out another instructor to write a letter on your behalf.

What are some of the best ways to find an AIAA Professional Member Sponsor?

  • Get involved with the AIAA at the branch level at SDSU or UCSD, which will allow easy networking of professionals in industry involved with the AIAA
  • An internship in the aerospace industry is a good place to find professional members
  • Attend AIAA Professional Member events during the year for networking opportunities

Do I need to submit official transcripts?

Yes. They can be mailed directly from the school or be placed in the application package. If placed in the application package, they must be maintained in the original sealed envelope from the school.

Who is eligible to apply for the scholarship?

  • The candidate must be a high school senior residing within the San Diego Section, must be in the upper one-third of his/her class, and must be admitted to an accredited university of his/her choice, OR
  • The candidate must be student member of the UCSD or SDSU AIAA Student Chapters.

If I was awarded a scholarship last year, may I apply again?

Yes, and it is encouraged. Prior scholarship recipients may reapply while in college, but must compete with the new candidates.

Are graduate students eligible for this scholarship?


What makes me a member of an AIAA Student Chapter?

Per the AIAA Student Branch Manual, student membership is obtained by registering as a student member of either chapter via Simply attending student chapter activities, events, meetings, paying event fees, etc., does not grant you membership.

Must the items required to apply be sent in one entire package or can they be sent separately?

Your official student transcript may be mailed directly to us in a sealed envelope by your school/institution. Letter of recommendations can also be mailed to us directly by your instructor and sponsor. It is your responsibility to ensure that all items arrive by the postmark date indicated above.

I'm a high school student. Must I be a registered student member of AIAA?

No, but if you are interested in aerospace, you should highly consider it due to the benefits. Visit to find out more about the benefits of student membership.

Points of Contact