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Scholarship Program


Professional Women Controllers Scholarship Program

Each year PWC awards a Family Scholarship to PWC Members and/or an immediate family members of a PWC member for any field of study.  A PWC Recruitment Scholarship to women enrolled in or attending an accredited Air Traffic Control training school; PWC membership is not required. PWC Special Scholarship, listed below, are awarded to an applicant that has a desire for a career in aviation; PWC membership is not required.

The PWC Scholarship fund has grown consistently, with help from your donations and those of our sponsors.  In the past, PWC has awarded between $1,500 and $9,700 in scholarships. PWC scholarship application season is open from October 1st to February 16th ~ completed application packages must be emailed to by February 16th.

Background and Purpose

The PWC Scholarship Program was established in 1991 to assist members to complete their higher education and to recognize and reward academically superior performance. It was later expanded to include eligible immediate family of PWC members. The Recruitment Scholarship was established in 2000 to support PWC's purpose of encouraging qualified women to enter the Air Traffic profession. PWC scholarships are available on a competitive basis to undergraduate, graduate, and technical students.

You may qualify for one of these PWC Special Scholarships, described below.

  • Mary McBurney Memorial Scholarship: The PWC Board of Directors designated the "Mary McBurney Memorial Scholarship" in honor of our late past-president whose passion for PWC's Scholarship program got it off the ground. This honor goes to every PWC member who is awarded a PWC Scholarship.

  • The Herman J. Lyons, Jr. Memorial Scholarship: Awarded to a candidate that stands out above the rest for his/her service to their community, excellence in academics, and dedication to the advancement of aviation education or design. The late Herm Lyons was a tireless supporter of PWC; he had a lifelong dedication to the Agency, the employees of FAA, and promotion of women and minorities in the agency. Herm exemplified excellence and hard work – many of the attributes we look for in applicants for our scholarships.

  • The Jacqueline Smith Burdette Scholarship: PWC co-founder Jacqueline Smith Burdette created an annually funded scholarship to encourage those planning careers in aviation, or to advance their career in aviation. Since aviation has been such a wonderful part of Jacque’s and her late husband's life, she wants to encourage others to enter the field. There is no pre-requisite other than enrollment in an accredited college or technical school, in an aviation-related program. Open to both men and women, the Scholarship does not require membership in PWC. Applicants need only intend a career in an aviation-related field.

  •  The Margaret Hoffman PWC Scholarship:  This scholarship is for women in the FAA who are active air traffic controllers - not staff, supervision or management. It is dedicated to Margaret Hoffman (1918-2006), a controller from 1943-1981 in Nashville, TN, and the other women controllers who went before us. Margaret was a Charter Member of PWC; she dedicated her life to her career, her family and was a role model for all of us in this field. We owe her and the other women a huge debt of gratitude for opening the doors for all of us. This scholarship can be used for any course of study, either to advance an ATC career or prepare the recipient for a second career. Recipient must be a member of PWC. This scholarship was created by Sue Mostert Townsend, PWC Co-Founder, First President (1979-1981), currently PWC Historian.

Scholarship Application (PDF)