Frequently Asked Questions about Scholarships

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions as well as practical answers that may help you in your pursuit of scholarship assistance:

Q. It's been a while since I graduated from high school. Will I qualify for a scholarship?

A. Even if you are not a recent high school graduate, it's still possible for you to qualify for scholarships. Scholarships come in all shapes and sizes. Many recognize that not all students attend and/or finish college right away. You should search for scholarships that reference a non-traditional, returning or adult student. Keep in mind some scholarships are for the period during enrollment and some are intended for after you have started school.

Q. When should I submit my scholarship application?

A. Anytime is a good time to search for scholarships. Keep in mind the peak season is traditionally from January through April of each year with the funds being awarded the following fall. It is recommend you search often and regularly as new scholarships open throughout the year. Most scholarships have lengthy application periods, and long decision periods. Scholarships are not a fast way to get money, but a long-term commitment to future potential.

Q. How long does it take to hear back on a scholarship entry?

A. Every scholarship has a different timeframe and you may not be notified of the final outcome. If you are unsure of your status, visit the scholarship organization’s website to see if an announcement has been made or for contact information. It might be a good idea to keep a log of all the scholarships to which you apply, including the contact information and decision dates.

Q. If I need a letter of recommendation to submit with my scholarship application, whom should I use?

A. Most scholarships will provide examples of who should be used for the letter of recommendation. However, if it does not, you should typically use someone from academics like a former instructor or if you work in the field, a professional contact. Typically using a family member or neighbor is not recommended.

Q. Why does the application require personal information?

A. The scholarship provider is investing in your future, so they want to know about you. If you are uncomfortable with any information being requested, you can choose not to apply for the scholarship or contact the provider to find out how they will use the information or why it is needed. If the scholarship application ever asks for your Social Security number, place of birth, and date of birth on the same application, question the legitimacy of the application because it could be a scam.

Q. Why do many scholarship applications require an essay for responses to personal questions?

A. Scholarship providers ask for essays for a variety of reasons, but mostly to learn more about the candidates and find one that best represents the company offering the scholarship. Essays also showcase that candidates can write at a college level. The essay is your chance to showcase your skills and experiences to the world.

Q. Can the same scholarship essay be used for more than one application?

A. This is not recommended, as each scholarship typically has a unique topic. You want your essay to reflect the application as closely as possible to increase your chances of receiving the scholarship. Parts of the same essay might work, but the opening and closing might need to be adjusted based on the topic.

Q. What types of scholarships are available?

A. When conducting searches for scholarships, you will find scholarships based on career choices, family background, income level, special talents, hobbies, memberships to certain organizations, etc. The list is extensive. The more data you put into the search, the more likely you will find a scholarship that fits you.

Q. If the scholarship asks for personal work experience or information for when and where I may have volunteered, or if I have not worked for a length of time, how far back should I include on the form?

A. The recommendation is to start with the most recent data and work your way back. List your data in reverse chronological order — newest to oldest data — and include the dates when each occurred.

Q. How many scholarship applications are needed to improve my chances of receiving one?

A. While there are a lot of scholarships, there are also a lot of applicants. It's a numbers game. The more applications you complete, the more likely you will increase your chances at winning a scholarship award. So, apply for as many scholarships as you can. Every dollar received is helpful so the time is worth the effort. If you are strapped for time, it might be better to submit a few high quality applications versus many low quality applications that may disqualify you.

Contact Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, to find out more about our programs, degrees and to learn the answers to many of the frequently asked questions many people have who are looking to attend an online college.