It is essential that EVERYONE know nothing has or will happen to the youth bowlers’ scholarship money. All money is secure and will be available when bowlers graduate and continue their education after high school.
Back in the 1980’s the Grand Prix Program was created to reward participation in youth bowling while helping youth bowlers build a scholarship account for their college years. Several state bowling proprietor associations, including Wisconsin, jumped on the bandwagon. Since our humble beginnings with just $815 in scholarships in 1992, the Wisconsin Grand Prix Program has paid out nearly $800,000 in scholarships . . . with over $600,000 still on account for kids graduating through the year 2031!
Unfortunately, participation has been waning in recent years and in spite of the efforts of many, this program has not received the level of participation to keep it sustainable for the future. With the opportunities to earn scholarships for bowling growing exponentially over the past decade, the model of awarding scholarships for participating in tournaments was less than attractive when families considered the tournament options available for their kids. For these reasons, the BCAW Board of Directors took action to discontinue the Wisconsin Grand Prix Program effective August 1, 2018.
BCAW staff is working to button up the 2017-18 scholarships by the end of the year. In early 2019 each family with a child in the program will receive a letter from BCAW advising of the scholarship funds on account here at BCAW, as well as the process to apply for money to be sent to their higher education institution. Students who have already graduated from high school may apply to have their scholarships applied directly to their school. The form to be completed may be found on the BCAW Grand Prix Program webpage.
In June 2019 we will invite participating Grand Prix centers to transfer their bowlers’ accounts to the SMART Program administered by USBC. BCAW will facilitate making that happen next summer as a convenience to all families with youth bowlers accumulating scholarship funds through bowling.
We thank you for your involvement and continued support of youth bowling. Bowling is THE BEST sport or activity providing scholarships to kids who play! We are encouraging all of our bowling centers to continue with their efforts to enhance the youth bowler’s experience by providing opportunities to earn scholarships to continue their education beyond high school.
We have created a “Frequently Asked Questions” flier to provide additional information. If you do not find an answer to questions you have, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the BCAW Office.
Best wishes for an exciting upcoming 2018-19 bowling season.