Scholarships & Student Benefits

Student membership in the ACS

Available at no charge to verified, full time students of horticulture, forestry or plant sciences. Electronic delivery of publications only. Email your name, address, phone number, name of school, intended major and name of professor to the ACS Office.

Scholarships, Awards, and Internships

The American Conifer Society now offers one or more annual awards to worthy candidates pursuing careers in horticulture, plant sciences, ecology, forestry, environmental sciences or related fields who have demonstrated an interest in conifers. All scholarships and awards must be used for educational purposes consistent with the mission of the ACS. Examples are the study, development, preservation, promotion, and appreciation of conifers (including ginkgo) in landscapes and gardens open to the public.

Several categories of awards are offered with the distribution and amounts of awards to be at the discretion of the ACS Scholarship Committee as approved by the Board of Directors. These will vary from year to year, depending upon the applications received, but will not exceed $10,000 in total from ACS general funds. Additional funds may be available from donations earmarked for scholarships. Previous applicants and recipients may re-apply. Applications are accepted between February 1st and April 1st and receipt will be acknowledged by e-mail. Winners will be notified by the Committee Chair and the award will be disbursed by the national office manager no later than August of that year.

Types of Awards

Undergraduate Student Awards (Scholarships): These awards will be given to undergraduates who are pursuing studies in a relevant major at either two-year or four-year institutions. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have demonstrated an interest in conifers by completion of coursework, internships, workshops, or other pursuits. Scholarship amount is $1,000.

Grants for Undergraduate Student Internships: These are awarded to students to either

  1. assist a public garden in the development, maintenance, documentation, promotion, expansion, and/or evaluation of its conifer collection. The public garden must be an institutional member of the ACS or an ACS Conifer Reference Garden. The garden must agree to sponsor the applicant.


2. conduct conifer-related research at an accredited educational or research institution or to supplement an internship at a conifer nursery during the summer months.

Internship awards of up to $4800 may be given for work at public gardens or reseach experiences of 10 weeks; $1000 awards may be given to supplement work at a commercial nursery.

Conference Travel Awards: These are awarded to students at any level of study who have demonstrated an interest in conifers to facilitate attendance at a Regional or National ACS event. The award will cover the cost of registration and up to $300 in travel and/or accommodation expenses.

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must be sponsored by a current ACS member, including an Institutional or Corporate member. Parents or guardians may not act as sponsors and only one applicant per ACS member/sponsor is allowed per year. The sponsoring member’s signature is required on the application. Alternatively, if the student is not well known by an ACS member who can act as a sponsor, a letter of recommendation may be submitted to the awards chair by a faculty member of the institution in which the student is enrolled, or by a current or previous employer of the student. All applicants, including those who have an ACS member sponsor, are encouraged to identify a faculty member or employer to submit a letter of recommendation. These letters can strengthen the application.This letter should be submitted to the awards chair by the recommender.

A letter of support from from an appropriate representative of the public garden, commercial nursery or research institution for internships is also required. These people may also sign as sponsors if they are ACS members. For undergraduate scholarships, documentation of completed coursework and GPA (an unofficial transcript) is required. An official transcript must be received before funds are disbursed. An individual may apply for a travel grant in addition to an internship, research award, or undergraduate scholarship but not for other combinations of awards. The same sponsor may be used for the two separate applications.

No member of ACS currently holding a National office, Regional office, or paid staff, including a contracted agent, or a “Reporting Person” on a committee sanctioned by the Board of Directors of the ACS, is eligible for these awards.

Award recipients must grant ACS the right to use their name, a short biography, photo and the educational purpose of the award in its publication CONIFERQUARTERLY and on its website as part of the scholarship announcement. This material will also be used for publicity purposes for future ACS awards. The recipients’ contact information will not be released to the public.


Within one year of the award, recipients of internships will be required to prepare an article for coniferQUARTERLY and the ACS website. The internship recipient will work with the CQ and website editors to ready the article for publication. Specific deadlines for the article will be negotiated among the recipient, the scholarship committee, and the CQ editor.

All recipients must submit a short report to the awards chair by October 1st of the year in which the funding is received, with the following:

  • how the funds were utilized
  • how the scholarship/award furthered the recipient’s involvement with conifers
  • how the ACS benefitted from awarding the scholarship/award to the recipient.

Written agreements to all conditions of the duties and responsibilities must be signed by the recipient and the member sponsor. Winners of undergraduate scholarships, internships, and travel awards will also be encouraged to submit a short article.

ACS Scholarship Application (submission deadline, April 1)

(Download and fill in the form, save it as a new file with your name in the file name, eg. "Smith,Application.pdf", and email it to [email protected] along with the required supporting documents.)

Inquiries about these awards are welcome at any time. Please email:

American Conifer Society National Office

Kathryn Keeler and Christy Docauer

Email: [email protected]