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Robert Gillian Youth Scholarship

The Gillian Youth Scholarship was established to assist youth interested in learning to fly gliders. It provides financial support for youth dedicated to working hard to accomplish a goal of flying a glider by themselves, without an instructor on board. This typically takes approximately 25-30 flights and some bookwork to understand the concepts to fly safely and pass the FAA Knowledge test. A typical flight will cost approximately $45 for glider rental and for the tow. CISS instructors donate their time for no charge. 

Youth Memberships in CISS cost $ 200 and the monthly dues are $15. Members are also required to be a Soaring Society of America member which is currently $ 35 per year. 

The CISS cost per flight is approximately one half of the cost per flight at a commercial glider operation and the Gillian Scholarship covers a significant portion of this cost. The bottom line is that it will cover about 50% of the total cost for a student willing to fly frequently and spend some time studying the bookwork between flying lessons. 

Anyone interested in applying for this scholarship should plan to visit the ariport on a weekend during the flying season from April through October. If you have questions in the meantime, please email Mike Nichols, CISS Membership Chairman  at

  • Objective is to bring Indiana youth into soaring

  • Winners to be announced at winter banquet

  • Up to 2 scholarships per year for Indiana residents 14 to 20 years of age

  • Children of current members and current student members are not eligible

  • Application Packages must be submitted by October 1 deadline for following season

    • A written application

    • An original essay titled “Why I want to fly gliders

    • Names and contact information for 2 references other than family members

  •  An Awards Committee appointed by the president will select winners based on interviews, applicants apparent long term commitment to soaring, reference inputs, assessment of parent or guardian commitment to goals and required financial support (if applicant is less than 19 years of age) and copies of grade cards if appropriate)Winners are expected to pass the Knowledge Test and  Solo within the 12 month award period

  • Award is a $900 credit to the recipient’s  account for glider rental and tow fees which must be used during at CISS during one season (12 months) after which any remaining funds will revert to the scholarship fund

  • Recipients are responsible for the CISS membership fee, SSA dues, and monthly dues and any tow and rental charges in excess of the award.

  • Recipients participate in crew duty and other responsibilities the same as any other member