Merit Scholarships

Distinguished Pioneer Scholars, continuing our tradition of excellence and access

We are proud to introduce our merit scholarship program, the Distinguished Pioneer Scholars, and we invite new boarding students entering 9th or 10th grades to apply.

"This new scholarship continues Western Reserve Academy’s tradition of excellence and access. We are committed to providing a transformational education and cultivating the next generation of leaders, thinkers and pioneers.”

- Christopher D. Burner '80, Head of School

Already, WRA grants more than $6 million in need-based financial aid to 40 percent of the student body. Learn more about our tuition and financial aid. This new scholarship program is merit-based and any family is eligible to apply.

The Award

WRA will grant one (1) half-tuition boarding scholarship and two (2) quarter-tuition boarding scholarships annually to exceptional students who embody our core values of excellence, integrity, and compassion. Awards are renewable through 12th grade contingent on the student’s remaining in good standing with WRA.

Selection Criteria & Eligibility

  • Proven academic excellence through achievement and curiosity.
  • Exhibits exceptional character and leadership qualities.
  • Commitment to community engagement and enhancement through co-curricular pursuits (arts, athletics, community service, clubs).
  • Open to rising 9th or 10th grade boarding students who are new to Western Reserve Academy and are
    U.S. Citizens.

The Application Process

  • Complete all components of the WRA admission application process, including: essays, teacher recommendations, results from required testing, and transcripts. For more details, visit:
  • A campus visit to tour and interview.
  • Although not required, applicants who believe they may also qualify for need-based financial aid beyond this merit award are encouraged to complete the financial aid application process. This will ensure that WRA provides the most support possible to award recipients.
  • Complete the following essays:
        1. Submit an 800-1000 word essay responding to the following prompt: You’ve found a mystical bottle, rubbed it, and a genie popped out offering three wishes. You’ve used two wishes on long life and happiness. The genie is fairly unimpressed. So she gives a stipulation for the third wish. “Answer this question impressively, and I’ll give you a third wish.” She continues, “What event in the past would you most like to witness?” Make us want to witness this event with you.
        2. Submit a maximum 250-word essay that answers “Why Western Reserve Academy?”
  • The WRA admission application, financial aid application (if applying), and two additional essays are due by February 15, 2019. Please submit the essays to:

The Decision Process

A selection committee made up of members of the admission team and WRA faculty will review the Distinguished Pioneer Scholar applications. Scholarship recipients will be notified of their award and acceptance to WRA on March 8, 2019.