You may know that the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) teaches people how to shoot and how to do so responsibly, and that it sells military surplus firearms, such as the M1 Garand, to qualifying buyers. Maybe you didn’t know that they award tens of thousands of dollars to kids in scholarship money every year.

According to this post on, the CMP offers $1,000 one-year scholarships, based on both merit and rifle or pistol marksmanship participation, to current high school seniors for college.

Last year, the story says, the CMP received 256 scholarship applications, setting a new record as the most ever in the scholarship’s history. Ultimately 173 scholarships were awarded for a total of $173,000 from the CMP Scholarship fund, the story says.

Recipients hail from JROTC schools, 4-H groups and other shooting clubs around the country. Since 2005, the CMP has awarded over $1 million in scholarship prizes.

So what do students have to do to qualify? It’s not easy. According to the CMP, applicants must turn in a list of past and present rifle or pistol competition history, awards, involvements, and future expectations for the sport. Proof of participation, including match bulletins, photos, or CMP Competition Tracker printouts, must be presented in order to be considered for the scholarship.

Additionally, they must provide academic information like GPA, test scores, and a list of extracurricular activities plus an official transcript and a letter explaining why the applicant is applying and what future plans the money will fund. A nomination letter from a coach or instructor is also requires.

The deadline for 2016-2017 scholarship applications is March 20, 2016. The money can be used to pursue post-secondary education or vocational programs for the upcoming school year, the post says. For application forms and other information, go here.

The CMP is a federally chartered 501(c) corporation that is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U.S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training, and competitions. Any U.S. citizen legally allowed to own a firearm may purchase a military surplus rifle from the CMP, as long as they are a member of a CMP affiliated club. The organization operates through a network of affiliated shooting clubs and state associations that cover every state in the country.

In the near future, the CMP might also be selling a large cache of military-issue M1911 M1 pistols, as we reported in November.