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The application program will be available again in December. Please return then to view the updated Eligibility and Awards for the upcoming academic year! If you are an applicant who would like to discover more scholarship opportunities you might qualify for, please continue to the Scholarship America Hub and sign up!

Backstrom Memorial Scholarship Program
Application status: Closed

The Northwest Pilot’s Assistance Fund established the Backstrom Memorial Scholarship Program in 2009 in memory of Matthew, Jacob and Justin Backstrom. They are the sons of Captain Nathan Backstrom, his wife Connie, and brothers to Ryan and Charles. The three brothers, wearing seatbelts and driving responsibly, were tragically killed by a drunk driver October 10th, 2004.

“Our lives have been forever changed. through it all, God has given us hope and strength to live with purpose and to make a difference in the lives of others. We are grateful and deeply touched by the establishment of the Backstrom Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of our sons Matthew, Jacob, and Justin, for the benefit of the children of all Delta pilots.” – The Backstrom Family

Image of Matthew, Jacob and Justin
This program is administered by Scholarship America┬«, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor, and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America’s evaluation team. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or national origin.

Applicants of the Backstrom Memorial Scholarship Program award must be:

  • Dependent* children, age 24 and under, of eligible Delta Pilots** as of the application deadline date
  • Planning to enroll or be enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent)
  • Plan to major in one of the following areas of study: art, graphic design, aviation, law enforcement, music or culinary arts
*Dependent children are defined as biological, stepchildren or legally adopted children living in the pilot’s household or primarily supported by the pilot.
**A Delta Pilot is considered eligible under the terms of the Backstrom Memorial Scholarship Program provided that as of the application deadline date, the pilot:

  • Is on the Delta Pilot Seniority List
  • Successfully completed Delta Pilot Probation IAW Section 20-F of the Delta Pilots Working Agreement
  • Is an Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) member in good standing

If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a $3,000 award.

One award will be named in honor of each Backstrom child:

  • A $3,000 award in art or graphic design in honor of Matthew Backstrom
  • A $3,000 award in aviation or law enforcement in honor of Jacob Backstrom
  • A $3,000 award in culinary arts or music in honor of Justin Backstrom

In the event that there are not qualified appicants for all three areas of study, more than one award may be granted in one of the other areas, for a total of three (3) awards each year.

Preference will be given to those students who are home educated.

Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of:

  • academic record
  • demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities
  • honors
  • work experience
  • statement of educational and career goals and objectives
  • unusual personal or family circumstances
  • an online recommendation

Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship America. In no instance does any officer or employee of the Delta Scholarship Fund, Inc. Delta Air Lines, Delta Master Executive Council (ALPA), or the Backstrom family play any part in the selection. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.


Applicants will be notified in May. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients. Students may reapply to the program each year they meet eligibility requirements.

Payment of Scholarships

Scholarship America processes scholarship payments on behalf of the Delta Scholarship fund. Awards will be paid in one installment in early August.

As part of your application, you must upload the following document:

  1. A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial or online transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course and term in which each course was taken

    NOTE: If you are providing SAT or ACT test scores, and those scores are not listed on your high school transcript, you will need to upload an official copy of those test scores separately. If you are uploading a college transcript, those scores are not required.

One online recommendation form must be submitted on your behalf no later than March 3, 2022 3:00 pm CT.

Your application is not complete unless all required documents are submitted electronically.

The Delta Scholarship Fund has partnered with Scholarship America. Selecting the button below will redirect you to the Scholarship America Student Hub!