Will my completed application qualify me to be considered for more than one scholarship?
Yes, the General Scholarship Application is affiliated with approximately 20 different scholarships. The number of scholarships you are eligible for is based on several criteria, including: high school, GPA, area of study and/or the educational institution you plan to attend.
Please note the Community Foundation also offers scholarships for certain local employers. If you or a family member are employed by English Gardens, Intertape Polymer Group, Plante & Moran or are a member of the Teamster’s Union you should complete the Employee Scholarship Application.
May I receive scholarships from more than one fund?
Yes. Occasionally a student may be selected to receive a scholarship from more than one Community Foundation scholarship fund.
Do I have to re-apply if I received a Community Foundation scholarship last year?
Yes, the majority of the Community Foundation scholarships are one-time awards. You are able to submit a new application each year if you continue to fit the scholarship’s criteria. If you received a renewable scholarship, you will be directly emailed a link to complete your renewal application.
Who should write letters of recommendation that may be required by a scholarship?
Letters of recommendation are required by some scholarships. Please read each scholarship description for specific criteria. Students should request letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches, advisors, employers, business associates, counselors, mentors, etc. Letters from family members, friends or other relatives are not recommended.
Are all Community Foundation scholarships need-based?
No. Each scholarship has unique criteria.
How is financial need determined?
It is a requirement of the General Scholarship Application to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and upload a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) with your application. This document includes your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is used to determine financial need. A sample SAR can be found by clicking here. The FAFSA and SAR are not required for the Employer-Based Scholarship Application, but submitting a SAR with your application will allow the Foundation to consider your application for the other scholarships we manage.
When must I have my FAFSA filed?
Applicants can submit their FAFSA any time after October 1. The Community Foundation recommends applicants file as early as possible. Please visit fafsa.ed.gov for more information. Please note that it often takes 3 weeks to receive a response from FAFSA and you need the Student Aid Report to be uploaded to the application. START EARLY!
Why is my parent’s income considered when I am going to be the one paying for my education?
Typically, most organizations support the Federal Methodology formula created by Congress. It is based on the premise that it is a parent’s and student’s joint responsibility to provide funds for higher education from their income and assets (to the extent possible). As a general rule, a student is considered independent at the age of 24, or if he/she is married, or is the primary provider for a dependent child or is a veteran.
Is there a way to estimate my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
Yes, a helpful tool for estimating financial aid and calculating your estimated EFC and financial need is found at www.finaid.org/calculators. Once you enter your student income, parent income, and estimated school costs, it will calculate an amount based on the US Department of Education EFC formulas.
Is an unofficial transcript of my grades okay?
The Community Foundation requires students to submit an official transcript from your high school if you are a graduating senior or your college/university’s registrar if you are currently attending a college/university. For high school seniors, your first semester senior-year grades must be recorded, along with your cumulative grade point average. Include your ACT or SAT score if available. Transcripts must be received by the Foundation on or before the March 15 application deadline.
How important is my personal statement?
Each essay is read and reviewed as part of the selection process. It is important that the applicant address the points highlighted in the personal statement section of the application; correct spelling and grammar is considered in scoring.
The personal statement may be the hardest part of your application to complete. But, it is also where you can stand out from the crowd. The key to writing a strong statement is to be personal and specific. Include details you feel comfortable sharing about yourself so the reader can get to know who YOU are and what you stand for. Be truthful and honest.
Scholarship selection committees may have hundreds of statements to review. It is YOUR job to get their attention. Remember to:
- Think before you write. Brainstorm to generate some good ideas and create an outline to help you get going. Make sure to address specific questions clearly.
- Be original and be creative in your answers. Show, don’t tell. Use examples to individualize your statement. Demonstrate the point you want to make. Avoid vagueness to make a strong impression.
- Know your audience. Personal statements are not “one size fits all”.
- Proofread. This is very important! You do not want to have any typos on your statement. Check spelling and grammar. Share your statement with a friend, parents or teachers. Another pair of eyes can catch errors you might miss!
- Create a portrait of a winner. By doing this on paper, you create a vivid portrait that will depict the person behind the grades, activities and awards. If a judge feels like he or she knows you, you have done your job and created a powerful emotional connection that elevates your application, and makes it stand out from others.
For additional guidance and to review sample statements, we recommend visiting College Board.
When will I be notified that I have been awarded a scholarship?
The Community Foundation will notify all applicants of scholarship awards throughout the scholarship process. Most award letters will be sent during the month of June.
If I am awarded a scholarship, how much will I receive and how is it paid?
Most awards range from $250 to $7,500, depending on the income available in each fund. A signed Terms and Conditions Form is required to receive payment. Checks are made payable to the educational institution indicated on the Terms and Conditions form and mailed directly to the educational institution. Checks are typically mailed in July.
The following is a general list of resources that many scholarship-seekers find helpful:
- FAFSA.ed.gov: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be considered for federal, state and college grants, loans and work study
- fastweb.org: Largest free online scholarship search website
- knowhow2go.org: Informative website to help you make your college dreams a reality
- EduGuide.org: Interactive website to help you develop your plan for college