Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to start searching for scholarships?
Generally, scholarships are awarded on an annual basis. Therefore, it’s advisable that you begin your search at least one academic year in advance.
What requirements should I look for when researching scholarships?
Requirements vary from scholarship to scholarship. However, the following are some common criteria: minimum GPA (usually 3.0 and above), letters of recommendation, a copy of your transcript, a scholarship essay, your major, ethnicity, residency, financial need, association with organizations, volunteer work, etc.
What is the minimum GPA for a scholarship?
The GPA requirement varies depending on the scholarship. Some scholarships require a 3.0 or better, and some may not have a GPA requirement at all. Please do not assume that you should receive a scholarship because you have a certain GPA, and do not assume that you can’t get a scholarship if you don’t have a certain GPA.
I have a 4.0 GPA. Does that guarantee me a scholarship?
No. As impressive as your GPA is, other criteria will be assessed before a scholarship is awarded.
Are there any scholarships for international students?
Yes. We have a section on our site dedicated to scholarship opportunities specifically for international students; check our â€œScholarship Listingsâ€� page. You may also want to do your own search using such reputable sites as www.iefa.org and www.internationalscholarships.com.
I am an international student. I have applied for a green card, and I know it will be approved. Should I apply for a scholarship as a United States resident?
No. If the scholarship you are applying for states that you must be a U.S. resident to apply, wait until you receive your green card to do so.
Should I have someone else proofread my essay before submitting it?
Yes. Another pair of critical eyes may catch any mistakes you make.
Some scholarships require letters of recommendation. How do I obtain them?
Letters of recommendation may be obtained from your professors, members of the clergy, college officials, business associates, civic leaders, etc. Cultivating healthy and professional relationships with your professors and others can be helpful. Some scholarship donors do request particular sources of recommendations.
How important is volunteering to receiving a scholarship?
Volunteering one’s time, talent, or service to a worthy cause could be the deciding factor in the scholarship decision-making process. Some scholarship donors do ask for the applicant’s list of volunteer activities to help them in determining an outcome.
Where can I perform volunteer work?
There are many volunteer organizations and volunteer service centers that welcome a person’s services. Please contact the Scholarship Office for information on where you can find volunteer work.
What are some of the acceptable volunteer activities?
Any activity in which you volunteer your time to give back to the college community, or your community at large, would be acceptable.
Should I pay any fees when applying for scholarships?
No, you shouldn’t pay any fees for a scholarship application. However, some scholarships require you to be a student member of the awarding organization, which usually entails a fee for membership only. If you have any questions regarding the validity of a scholarship, please contact the Scholarship Office.
Should I apply for every scholarship?
You should apply for every scholarship that you are eligible for. However, be wary of scholarship scams, as they can be abundant and enticing. Here are some of their favorite lines: "Free seminar," "you are a finalist," "it’s guaranteed," "we will do it for you for a fee," "millions of dollars go unclaimed," and "you can’t find this information elsewhere." If you have any questions about the integrity of a scholarship, please contact the Scholarship Office at 718-289-5903.
Can I appeal a scholarship decision?
No. The decision of the scholarship committee is final.
If I missed the scholarship deadline, can I still send in my application?
Late applications are deemed ineligible by most scholarship donors. You may use your discretion when sending in a late application. Keep in mind that it may not be accepted.
What’s the status of my application?
The scholarship coordinator cannot give an indication of the status of an application, as most of the scholarships are administered by outside organizations. Also, applications are not reviewed individually until final award decisions are made for each scholarship. Inquiries regarding the status of an application slow down the entire award process.
Will I be notified if I get a scholarship?
You will be notified if you receive a scholarship. In some cases, those not receiving scholarships will not be contacted. If you have not been notified, and have not yet received a scholarship, you may contact the Scholarship Office. The coordinator will contact the organization on your behalf.
When will awards be given?
The scholarship awarding process is one that is ongoing. While the scholarship committee attempts to make most awards between May and the beginning of the fall term, scholarships may be awarded throughout the academic year.
Do I have to file a FAFSA?
Students do not have to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to receive a scholarship. However, if the scholarship is a need-based award, students who have not completed it may not be eligible for these need-based scholarships.