Forestry Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services

Explore dozens of academic and professional resources, schools with top support services, and more than 15 scholarships that can help you succeed on your forestry college and career journey.

Last Updated: 11/30/2020

If you love trees and the outdoors, a forestry degree could help turn your interests and skills into an exciting career. As more forestry degrees pop up online and on-campus, you’ll want to know how you can complete one of these degree programs without breaking the bank. Similarly, you should also be on the lookout for supportive resources to help you before, during, and after earning your forestry degree.

Fortunately, there are plenty of scholarships, resources, and student services that can make your college journey more affordable and rewarding, which we’ll showcase in this guide. Keep reading to find this year’s top scholarship opportunities and support resources for forestry students.

Campus and Online Support Resources for Forestry Students

Graduating from college and finding your first job can feel challenging but know that you can find support from many places if you know where to look. As a forestry student, you can take advantage of several academic and career support resources that are valuable before, during, and after college. Many schools offer services tailored specifically to forestry programs, making it easy to find help when you need it. We highlight two top programs providing excellent student services below.

University Student Support Centers and Services

While almost every college provides general support services for students, finding a school with forestry-specific services can significantly benefit you. When looking at prospective schools, ask about departmental services. Does the department offer a writing center or assistance finding an internship? Can you get help with degree-specific advising or support with forestry-related technology? Locating a program with individualized services can benefit you before enrolling and even after graduating. Two of the best programs for student services are profiled below.

1

University of Kentucky

The College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the University of Kentucky (UK) offers ample resources for prospective and current students and alumni. Learners considering UK’s program can take advantage of helpful resources and learn more about what the forestry major entails and which careers you will qualify for once you graduate.

Current students gain access to forestry jobs, scholarships, field semester opportunities, and the Forestry Club. The department also coordinates the UK Fire Cats program, a partnership between the Kentucky Division of Forestry, the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service that provides hands-on learning experiences.

2

University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point

The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point works diligently to make sure students feel supported every step of the way. The department provides four individualized majors in ecosystem restoration and management, forest management, forest recreation, and urban and community forestry. Regardless of your chosen major, you will work with an advisor to find a field-based summer experience to help you build real-world skills.

The department also provides information on job placement opportunities, an internship program, and scholarships. The College of Natural Resources (CNR) also manages the CNR Student Success Center. This office offers in-person and online office hours, an orientation program, and principles of professionalism.

Articles, Videos, Books and Podcasts for Forestry Students and Professionals

Essentials of Conservation Biology This must-read publication brings together research and theory to help you understand how conservation biology, climate change theory, land management, and ecology all work together.

Journal of Forestry Hosted by Oxford Academic, this journal has published bi-monthly since 1902. Here you can find academic and peer-reviewed articles on topics related to the forestry profession and forestry management.

Making a Career in Forestry This educational YouTube video talks about what it takes to find a forestry career and what you can expect once joining the field.

What Can You Do with a Forestry Degree? If you want to learn about available careers, areas of work, degree requirements, and the availability of online programs, check out this informative guide.

Your Forest Podcast Check out this bi-monthly podcast on all things forestry and forest management, including interviews with leading experts and information about the industry.

Forestry Professional Associations and Student Organizations

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) CIFOR supports practitioners and researchers alike by providing cutting-edge research, opportunities for publication, events, and industry news.

National Arborist Association (NAA) Joining NAA provides you access to a network of accomplished arborists, advanced training opportunities, an industry blog, and active social media pages.

National Association of State Foresters (NASF) NASF was established in 1920 and works to bring together forestry agency directors. The group provides policy statements, educational campaigns, events, and state-defined solutions.

Society for Range Management (SRM) Comprised of members from nearly 50 countries, SRM provides access to student support services, continuing education, committees, job listings, and industry resources.

Society of American Foresters (SAF) As the leading membership organization in the field, SAF provides university accreditation, an annual convention, continuing education, publications, community support, and career information.

Forestry Social Media and Online Communities

Angeline Nyce Twitter Angeline Nyce works as a lawyer and a professional forester. Follow her on Twitter to get an insider’s look at what a day in forestry includes.

Forester AMA A professional forester participated in an Ask Me Anything and shared their answers. Review this to get an inside perspective on careers in forestry.

International Forestry Students’ Association Facebook Group More than 13,000 people currently follow this Facebook group. Learn about what’s happening for students and connect with others who could be valuable future contacts for your professional network.

Forestry Journal Instagram Follow the Forestry Journal’s Instagram page to get regular updates on important emerging topics and professional forestry updates.

r/forestry Check out this popular Reddit page where you can connect with other forestry students and professionals, ask questions, and learn about topics within the industry.

Support Resources for Students in Online Forestry Programs

As more students decide to pursue online forestry degrees, more resources have become available to support distance learners; the increase in these resources has grown exponentially during COVID-19. Whether you’re looking for tips on managing your time well or need ideas for feeling more connected when you’re not on campus, the resources highlighted below can help.

Cornell University’s ForestConnect Cornell University provides a series of internet-based seminars devoted to educating individuals about forest land management. They take place once per month.

Detailed Look at Online Forestry Degrees Here you can find information about the best online forestry degree programs, varying degree levels offered, skills you can expect to gain, and a list of typical courses.

Online Student’s Guide to Time Management While online learning provides plenty of benefits, there can be a steep learning curve when trying to manage your time without the traditional structure of attending in-person classes. This guide gives pointers for managing your time well.

Online Forestry Resources Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences provides a comprehensive list of resources to help online students stay connected while in school and beyond.

Student Guide to Online Learning Success If you’re thinking about pursuing an online forestry degree but want to feel more confident as a distance learner before taking the plunge, this guide can help you.

College-Sponsored Scholarships in Forestry

Forestry scholarships offered by colleges and universities provide some of the best funding opportunities to pay for school. Because these opportunities are only available to students attending specific programs are eligible, you have a much higher chance of receiving funding.

If you’re unsure where to start your search, consider contacting the financial aid office or the program director. Both should be able to point you in the right direction. You can also look at both the departmental website and the general scholarship page to see if any are listed. We look at two schools providing ample forestry funding in this section.

1

Oregon State University (OSU)

Oregon State University’s College of Forestry awards more than half a million dollars in scholarship funding each year for post-baccalaureate learners. Eligible students must maintain full-time enrollment, and the College of Forestry must be listed as their primary college. They must also maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to keep their funding.

While the department doesn’t list out specific scholarships, it does provide a department-specific application that must be filled out in addition to the general admissions application. The department opens the application on November 1st each year and closes it on February 15th.


College of Forestry Scholarships

Amount

Varies

Deadline

2/15/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

In addition to the requirements listed above, you must be admitted to OSU for the current academic year and have access to your username and password to apply.

How to Apply

OSU uses ScholarDollars to administer all scholarship applications, so you’ll need to make sure you have proper login information to submit your application.

2

University of Kentucky

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources earmarks several scholarships specifically for forestry students, offering them the opportunity to offset costs and focus on their education. In addition to awards provided by the department, students can also find a list of forestry award opportunities in Kentucky and nationwide.

The department maintains a separate application process from the university’s general awards, making it necessary for prospective and current students alike to review instructions carefully.


William H. Steele Memorial Forestry Scholarship

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

10/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must possess a minimum 2.5 GPA, demonstrate academic excellence, and show interest in working in the forestry or wood industry.

How to Apply

Applications must be sent to the Kentucky Forest Industries Association and include a statement of career plans, a personal statement, and details about previous relevant experience.

Private Scholarships in Forestry

Besides scholarships awarded by individual colleges and universities, plenty of private awards exist that can be used at many different schools. Nonprofit organizations, community foundations, professional associations, and other socially-focused groups offer these awards. While more competitive than college awards, the applicant pool is usually smaller than a more populated program area, such as business. We highlight the top 15 options for 2021 below.

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

1/31/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Missouri residents, or those who plan to attend a Missouri institution, that are working towards a graduate scholarship in forestry, fisheries, wildlife, parks and recreation, or soil and water conservation can apply for this award.

How to Apply

Required materials include current official transcripts, a letter of purpose, statement of financial need, resume, and a list of extracurricular activities.

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

1/20/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students living in or attending a forestry program in Wisconsin can apply for this award if they possess a 3.0 GPA and are currently working toward a four-year degree.

How to Apply

Required materials include a completed application, high school/college transcripts, resume, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

3/15/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students can apply to this award if they are female, currently enrolled in a two- or four-year program on forestry, and maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA. Preference is given to those living in Pennsylvania or Delaware.

How to Apply

Applicants must send an approximately 100-word email introducing themselves. After confirming eligibility, staff will send you a numbered application form.

Amount

$1,250

Deadline

9/11/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Undergraduate students enrolled in urban forestry or arboriculture programs can apply for this award if they can demonstrate a sincere interest in this career path.

How to Apply

You must submit a completed application, a 1000-word essay on reasons for applying, official transcripts, and a current resume.

Amount

$3,000

Deadline

3/15/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

The Tree Fund provides this award to Pennsylvania and Delaware residents pursuing a two- or four-year degree in forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, or urban forestry.

How to Apply

Complete an application demonstrating a 2.5 or higher GPA along with a statement detailing an appreciation for shade trees. Other required materials include a list of scholarships and extracurriculars, a 1000-word essay, current transcripts, and two recommendation letters.

Amount

$2,000

Deadline

6/30/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

You must live or attend a college in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, or New York and study a topic such as forestry, conservation, or floriculture.

How to Apply

Required materials include a college acceptance letter, high school transcript, list of high school activities, work experience, evidence of community service, letters of reference, and an essay on why forestry interests you.

Amount

$2,000

Deadline

6/30/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Learners attending two-year or four-year forestry programs at accredited schools can apply if they can demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, career clarity, and financial need.

How to Apply

Your application must include work experience, a list of honors and awards, an essay on future educational and career goals, and at least one letter of reference.

Amount

$20,000 per year

Deadline

2/28/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

You must commit to a two-year research project focused on markets for lesser-known species and non-timber forest products, biodiversity management practices, social organization and governance, or multi-community enterprises in Latin America.

How to Apply

Show evidence of a master’s in forestry, a research proposal, budget, resume, list of funding sources, and two letters of recommendation.

Amount

Up to $3,000

Deadline

5/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students living in CA, WA, OR, ID, AK, AZ, NV, UT, WY, MT, CO, British Columbia, or New Zealand can apply for this award if they plan to study forest engineering, forest management, forest operations management, or a related degree.

How to Apply

Required materials include a completed application, two letters of recommendation, an estimated budget of college expenses, detailed work experience, and a statement of intent for the award.

Amount

Up to $2,500

Deadline

6/12/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students graduating from a Sacramento region high school, or current college student from the area, can apply if they possess a minimum 2.5 GPA and are enrolled in a forestry-related program.

How to Apply

In addition to a completed application, you must provide an essay about yourself and your career goals alongside two letters of recommendation.

Amount

Up to $20,000

Deadline

4/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Learners must plan to study environmentalism, conservationism, or forestry at an accredited Christian college located in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, or Wisconsin.

How to Apply

Students must complete a Phase I application that provides information on financial need, academic interests, and future goals. If invited to Phase II, an interview may be required.

Amount

Up to $5,000

Deadline

3/16/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

You must be a citizen or permanent resident within North America and enroll full-time in an undergraduate or postgraduate program focused on forestry, forest products, natural resources, wood science, or a related topic.

How to Apply

Provide a completed application, GPA information, official transcripts, employment goals, and an essay answering one of two forestry-related questions.

Amount

Varies

Deadline

7/19/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

The Society of American Foresters offers this award to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a forestry degree who identify as a minority learner.

How to Apply

Applications must include official transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and a video discussing your interests in forestry as a student and future professional.

Amount

Up to $10,000

Deadline

6/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Arborjet will consider your application if you are a graduating high school senior planning to study full-time in areas such as forestry, horticulture, or plant sciences at an accredited two- or four-year institution.

How to Apply

To apply, you must provide official transcripts, a self-appraisal form, and a statement about your goals both in college and beyond.

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

4/1/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

High school students who plan to study forestry can apply for this award if they possess a GPA of 3.0 or higher, ACT/SAT scores of 25/800, and are currently in their senior year.

How to Apply

Required materials include high school transcript, proof of ACT/SAT score, letter of recommendation, college acceptance letter, resume, and an essay on forestry and the wood flooring industry.

Tips for Winning a Forestry Scholarship

Because of the opportunity to receive free money for school, scholarships are inherently competitive and you will need to bring your A-game to receive these financial awards. You only get one chance to impress the individuals and committee members reading your application and making funding decisions, so make it count.

  • Tip #1: Get some experience
    Whether that involves volunteering or helping your grandparents cut down trees, find ways to gain experience in the field. Many applications ask about relevant work experience as part of the process.
  • Tip #2: Demonstrate passion
    Rather than just saying you’re interested in a forestry career, show it. Give specific examples of how you plan to use your degree, what difference you hope to make in the industry, and where you see yourself in 5 to 10 years.
  • Tip #3: Proofread
    Forestry scholarship application readers don’t expect you to write like an English professor, but they do not value applications with careless grammatical or spelling errors. Review your application carefully and ask someone else to do the same to make sure it is spotless and prepared for consideration.
  • Tip #4: Start Early
    Forestry may not be as competitive as biology or business, but you will still come across other students looking for funding. Start your scholarship process early to identify as many potential awards as possible and strengthen your chances.
  • Tip #5: Get strong recommendations
    Try building inroads within the forestry community as soon as possible. It tends to be a small group of professionals, which means a well-placed letter of recommendation from an industry leader can go a long way in making your application stand out.

Other Ways to Get Help Paying for College as a Forestry Student

In addition to scholarships, plenty of other funding options exist to help you pay for college. If you plan to work for a local, state, federal, or tribal government, you may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program offered via the U.S. Department of Education. This program requires you to make 120 qualifying payments before having the remainder of your loan forgiven. Other financial aid options include:

  • Student loans
  • Employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement
  • Loan forgiveness programs
  • Paid fellowships/internships
  • Federal work-study