Are all scholarships need based?

The majority of scholarship donors have elected to make need one of the considerations during the selection process. However, that is not the case with all scholarships at The Community Foundation.

How is financial need determined?

Students/families seeking financial assistance should begin the process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Through detailed information provided on the application, a Student Aid Report (SAR) is issued. The SAR, in turn, is submitted with college applications.

Is there a way to estimate my expected family contribution?

Yes, a helpful tool for estimating financial aid and calculating your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial need is found at Once you enter your student income, parent income, and estimated school costs, it will calculate an amount based on US Department of Education EFC formulas.

Do I have to re-apply if I received a Foundation Scholarship that is renewable?

Yes. If you received a renewable scholarship, you will be asked to forward your transcript and additional information each year to make certain you still qualify to receive the scholarship.

Scholarship requirements are strictly enforced.

Is an unofficial transcript of my grades okay?

Yes. We prefer an official transcript but realize at some schools an unofficial is more easily available.

How is the scholarship paid?

The scholarship award is sent directly to the college or university along with your name and student identification number. Most checks are mailed out after July 1.

If most Foundation scholarships are need based, is it worth applying if my adjusted gross income is above a certain amount, or if I know I am receiving a large scholarship from the school?

We consider many factors when determining need, such as the number of family members and the cost of college education. As a general rule, if your EFC as determined by the FAFSA is more than the cost of attendance at the school, your student will not qualify for a need based scholarship.

What is a Financial Aid Award Letter?

A Financial Aid Award Letter is a document a student receives upon acceptance to a college/university. This letter is sent from the Financial Aid Office of the college/university. The document outlines the cost of attendance and financial assistance for the student, and utilizes data from a student’s FAFSA application. The financial assistance outlined may include Federal/State grant awards, scholarships awarded, student loan eligibility, and work study eligibility.

Financial Aid Award Letters are required as part of the application process for all Community Foundation’s needs-based scholarships. Financial Aid Award Letters are usually sent from a college/university Financial Aid Office to a prospective student in April.

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