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Ben B. Cheney Student Athlete Scholarship Program

High School Scholarship History

Ben Cheney had a significant interest in supporting youth and youth athletics through his philanthropy. The Ben B. Cheney Foundation continues his legacy by awarding one scholar athlete from 30 high schools in Pierce County, and one from Ben’s hometown, South Bend, each year.

Since 1976, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million in college scholarships through this program.

This $3,000 scholarship recognizes student athletes with plans to further their education in a vocational and technical school, or a 2- or 4-year college in the United States following graduation. Scholarship funds will be paid directly to the school or college on the student’s behalf in August.

basketball team

To be eligible for this scholarship, students must:

  • Be a high school senior.
  • Graduate from an eligible high school. (see list below)
  • Have plans to attend a vocational and technical school, or a 2- or 4-year college in the United States in the fall following graduation.
  • Have a cumulative GPA that meets minimum college requirements.
  • Have participated on at least one WIAA varsity interscholastic high school sponsored athletic team. (see below for qualifying WIAA athletics.)
  • Exhibit high qualities of attainment in academics, leadership, character, citizenship, and motivation.
  • Be an American citizen.
  • Submit a compelling and complete application by the deadline.


How to apply:

  1. Review the application when the application period opens. Make note of the responses requiring a longer written statement.
  2. Use a word processing tool to draft the written statement to be sure your response is thorough, compelling, and does not exceed the maximum word count allowed.
  3. Complete and submit your online application by the deadline. Incomplete applications, and applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.


Application review & selection:

School staff review all applications in May.

Selection committees from each school will choose one recipient and one alternate. Applications are scored on athletic participation, academics, leadership, character, citizenship, and motivation.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by email. Applicants will also receive a hard copy letter by mail.

Scholarship checks will be mailed directly to the recipient’s school the first full week of August.



  • Application period opens: January
  • Applications due: mid-March
  • School review & selection period: May
  • Recipient notification: June
  • Award checks mailed to recipient’s school: August



Please see your school counselor for more information.

Qualifying WIAA athletic teams:

 Baseball  Basketball
 Bowling  Cross Country
 Football  Golf
 Gymnastics  Soccer
 Softball  Swim & Dive
 Tennis  Track & Field
 Volleyball  Wrestling


Qualifying schools:

 Annie Wright  Bellarmine
 Bethel  Bonney Lake
 Cascade Christian  Charles Wright
 Clover Park  Curtis
 Eatonville  Emerald Ridge
 Fife  Foss
 Franklin Pierce  Gig Harbor
 Graham-Kapowsin  Lakes
 Lincoln  Mt. Tahoma
 Orting  Peninsula
 Puyallup  Rogers
 South Bend H.S.  Spanaway
 Stadium  Steilacoom
 Sumner  Tacoma Baptist
 Washington  White River