• I just found out about the scholarship but am already 27.  Can I still apply?
  • I took time off from school and as a result, am graduating college at an older age.  Now that I have discovered scuba diving, I know what I would like to do with my life.  I am now over the age limit; since I didn’t start college until later, can I apply?

At this point in time, our upper age limit is 26.  However, please check our website as our qualifications do change from time to time. 


  • I am a citizen of both Europe and North America.  Can I apply for both scholarships?
  • I am a permanent resident of the US. Can I apply for the NA scholarship?

It will depend on the country for which you hold citizenship.  Please see the chart below to establish which scholarship you would be eligible for.  Permanent residency does not make you a citizen and only citizens can apply for the appropriate region.  You may apply for only one region.  If you have dual citizenship, we recommend that you apply for the region where you intend to live in the future.

 Australasian Countries 

 European Countries 

 North American Countries 




 Christmas Island 


 Antigua & Barbuda 

 Cocos Keeling Islands 



 Cook Islands 




 Czech Republic 


 New Caledonia 



 New Zealand 






 Papua New Guinea 


 British Virgin Islands 

 Solomon Islands 





 Cayman Islands 



 Costa Rica 











 Dominican Republic 


 El Salvador 



























   United Kingdom 



 Puerto Rico 




 Saint Barthélemy 


 Saint Eustatius 


 Saint Kitts and Nevis 


 Saint Lucia 


 Saint Martin 


 Saint Pierre and Miquelon 


 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 


 San Andrés and Providencia 


 Trinidad and Tobago 


 Turks and Caicos 


 United States 


 United States Virgin Islands 



I am an avid scuba diver, diving multiple times each week. Because of the high volume of diving that I do, I do not have an updated log book.

As divers, we can't stress enough the need for you to keep a log, even if it is just time, depth and date.  If you have a dive computer that can download your dive computer information to a computer, we will accept electronic dive logs. We do need to see your last 6 months of records in whatever form you keep your dive logs.  Please submit them online.


  • I will not have my rescue diver certification prior to the deadline.  If I promise to take it next semester, can I still be considered?
  • I do not have the 25 dives yet. Can I still apply?

Due to the large amount of diving in different environments and conditions, as well as potential training requirements during the scholarship year, we require a minimum of 25 open water scuba dives for the applicant’s safety and preparedness.  We also require rescue diver or equivalent status due to your own safety and ability to help other divers if need be.  We can sometimes make allowances for the rescue diver certification if it can be completed shortly after the deadline.

While you might not have the minimum number of dives or the rescue diver status, think of this as an opportunity to better yourself as a diver and be able to add those requirements to your resume on the following year’s application.


My university will not release my transcripts to me, so I can’t include them with the other materials in my application packet.  Can my school submit transcripts directly to you?

Yes. While we prefer your application be submitted complete, we understand if this is against your school’s policy. In this case, your transcript may be submitted separately.

Are transcripts required from all institutions an applicant has attended or just the primary institution?

Yes, we require all of your official transcripts.  We do require that these arrive in a sealed envelope stamped with a signature or school stamp.  Transcripts printed from the Internet are not acceptable nor are copies of the official ones. You may upload an unofficial copy on the online application form, but you are still required to mail your official transcript.

I am in graduate school, but I do not yet have a graduate degree. May I still apply?

Yes, as long as you do not have any graduate degrees yet. The requirement stipulates that you “must not have earned a graduate degree.”

I have an MBA but now want to change to a marine-related career. Am I eligible to apply?

No. Under our current application requirements, you are not eligible if you have any graduate degree, no matter what field it’s in.


When will I hear if I am being considered as a finalist?

The selection process is comprised of multiple stages.  The three finalists will be informed by the end of February and interviews scheduled.  Selection result is expected to be announced mid-March.

When will the scholarship year begin?

The official start date for the scholarship year begins with our annual Rolex dinner, traditionally held in New York City late in April.  However, if scheduling permits, there may be some additional opportunities prior to that date. 


I do not currently have health insurance. Do I need it for the scholarship year?

You don't need to have health insurance at the time your application is submitted. If you are selected as a scholar, you must have a health insurance policy in place which will cover you in your travels both domestically and overseas for the duration of your scholarship year. 

How do I get health insurance?
There are many ways to research plans. If you Google “health insurance” you'll see several sites which provide free quotes. You can also call an independent broker and they can tell you about plans they offer. With the new laws, you may be able to stay on your parents' plan if they have one. BlueCross/Blue Shield and Humana are examples of providers that offer fairly good plans that are reasonably priced for young people.

Do I need car insurance?

The scholarship year is spent on the “road” and a vehicle is strongly recommended. You must carry at least the minimum amount of vehicle insurance as required by your state.


What is the best method of submitting my letters of recommendation?

Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® can only accept recommendation letters directly from the referees. As a result, please arrange to have referees email letters of recommendation directly to references@owuscholarship.org. You will also be prompted to include the name and contact information of your referees as part of your online application. 

I would appreciate definition/clarification of what kind of recommendation letter you would like for the "Two letters of recommendation from persons in your community."

This is really up to you. You could ask a community member from your home town, an employer, a coworker, or anyone who knows you well (preferably someone other than a family member). A recommender may be someone who could add a different perspective to your background or who would be a good reference but doesn't necessarily fit within the confines of the other recommendation categories.

To whom should the letters of recommendation be addressed?

Many people will read your application, so our recommendation would be: "Dear Selection Committee Members" or anything comparable.


I recently had a medical exam. Do I need to have another or will this one suffice?

As long as it is less than a year old, it will qualify. 

Do I have to have an EKG or any of the other exams listed on the physical?  How current do the chest x-rays and blood work need to be?

They are only necessary if your physician deems it so.  However, the more medical information that we have, the safer diver/scholar/intern you may be.

My height and weight do not fit your chart, does this mean that I can’t apply?

In our opinion, the height/weight charts should be viewed as guidelines rather than absolutes.

In all likelihood, you are probably more fit than an average person if you are an active scuba diver.  If you are chosen as the Scholar, you will have to pass either a NOAA or AAUS physical before you can begin.


All scholarship and internship application fees are payable online via PayPal only.  You will be redirected to PayPal upon application submission.

North America:
The North American Scholarship application fee is $50.00, and the North American Internship application fee is $25.00 per internship.

The European Scholarship application fee is £50.00.

The Australasian Scholarship Application fee is A$50.00.

Your application will be complete after all materials have been submitted and payment has been received.


If you do not qualify for our scholarship program, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® does offer internships which have different requirements than the Rolex Scholarships.  We invite you to please read through the internship offerings for the upcoming year.  If you meet the requirements for the internship that application deadline is at the end of December.