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Scholarship Manager
Iida Berg


[email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers for applicants and recipients

Here are the answers you’re looking for!

If you are applying for scholarships, click on the topics below to expand the answers.

If you are a scholarship recipient, scroll down or click here for answers to commonly asked questions.

Answers for Applicants

$0 – Applying for scholarships through the Community Foundation is free. If a scholarship provider ever requires a credit card number to create an account or to submit an application, do some extra research to ensure it isn’t a scam. 

Each scholarship offered by the Community Foundation has a Scholarship Profile. The profile is a document that contains details like the eligibility criteria, award amount, payment process, and loss of eligibility. It may also contain background information about the donors. The profile can be accessed through a link on the List of Scholarships for each scholarship. Applicants should review the Scholarship Profiles carefully when they begin looking for scholarship opportunities.

The Community Foundation offers four types of scholarships:

  1. Scholarships for High School seniors – select your high school on the List of Scholarships page and our UWO-Fox Cities Campus.
  2. Scholarships for current college students and non-traditional students – visit our College and Non-Traditional Student page and our UWO-Fox Cities Campus.
  3. Corporate scholarships for dependents of employees at different companies – visit our Corporate Scholarships.
  4. Scholarship aid to K-12 students for art/music lessons – visit our K-12 Art/Music Lessons.

The Community Foundation’s scholarship webpage indicates how to apply for specific scholarships. Each scholarship listed has a “How to Apply” section indicating where to find the application. Applications will usually be located on the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Portal, at a high school guidance office, or somewhere else.

Note: To register, use an email you can access long term. Applicants should NOT use a school assigned student emails to register, as we communicate with applicants and recipients via email throughout the process.

Reference this Applicant Tutorial resource. This resource contains instructions videos and written instructions to find your way through creating an account, to how to find applications, and how to submit applications.

 To find scholarships that homeschooled students may qualify for, select “Homeschooled” from the High School drop-down menu at the top of the List of Scholarships.

There is no limit to how many scholarships someone may apply for, as long as the applicant matches the eligibility criteria. Eligibility criteria for each scholarship is displayed on the Community Foundation’s List of Scholarships.

Deadlines can be found in two places: on the 2023 Scholarship Application Deadlines document and on the Scholarship Portal on each application’s summary.

The Community Foundation does not have hard rules about what is considered “enough” financial need. It is true that scholarships that consider financial need will compare the applicants to each other to determine the highest financial need among multiple factors. That being said, those scholarships still consider all the other eligibility criteria. When a scholarship takes financial need into consideration, that does not mean that financial need will be the only determining factor in the selection process.

If an applicant meets the eligibility criteria for a specific scholarship, they should apply, regardless of their financial status.

Many scholarship opportunities offered by the Community Foundation take financial need into consideration. Without filling out FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you will not have access to your SAR (Student Aid Report).  To be eligible for scholarships that consider financial need, you may need to upload the SAR as part of the application. We strongly encourage all applicants to fill out FAFSA form and have SAR available before filling out your application(s).

Typically, scholarships cover either tuition expenses or other charges related to the Cost of Attendance (COA). This information is included in the Scholarship Profile for each scholarship, in the List of Scholarships.

Universal applications are applications that include multiple scholarships opportunities within a single application. Students only need to complete a Universal application one time to apply for all opportunities listed within that Universe. By filling out and submitting a single Universal application, applicants have a chance to qualify for multiple scholarships – without having to fill out multiple applications. Check out the Applicant Tutorial resource specifically for universal applications.

This means the full scholarship award is paid one time, in one lump sum, typically for the fall semester of freshman year of college. Payment details can be found in the Scholarship Profile, under “Award Amount and Payment Procedure.”

This means the scholarship award is split between more than one semester or school year and is paid periodically. (For example: A $2,000 scholarship award may pay $1,000 during the fall of freshman year and $1,000 during the fall of sophomore year.) The recipient must verify their continued eligibility between each payment. Payment details can be found in the Scholarship Profile, under “Award Amount and Payment Procedure.”

For applications open in the spring, scholarship selection committees recommend recipients between March-May, depending on the scholarship’s application deadline.

  • If the scholarship application is through a high school, students will find out in their high school’s award ceremony if they are recipients.
  • If the scholarship application is through the Community Foundation’s online Scholarship Portal, the students are typically notified via mail during the spring. Applicants can also check their application’s status through the Applicant Dashboard on the Scholarship Portal, under Active Requests: Undecided, Denied, or Approved.

For scholarships through other entities, or for applications that have fall deadlines, selection committees typically make their decisions within a month of the application deadline.

Answers for Recipients

The recipient’s congratulatory packet (mailed or emailed) will list instructions for their next steps and will include details on the award received. All recipients need to create accounts on the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Portal to accept their awards. This Applicant Tutorial resource is designed to help new users navigate the Portal to locate award information and any assigned follow-up forms.

Recipients can view the instructions document here.

If your phone number, mailing address, or email address has changed, log into the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Portal and update your profile information.

The Community Foundation staff will approve the Scholarship Acceptance Form submission in July. After that, the Scholarship Verification Form will become available for you to submit. if you have any questions or there is special urgency in your scholarship payment processing, please reach out to [email protected].

The Community Foundation sends the scholarship payments directly to the recipient’s school, designated to the recipient’s student account.

Renewable scholarship awards are split between semesters or academic years and are paid periodically. The recipient must verify their continued eligibility between each scholarship payment.


  • A $2,000 scholarship award for 2 years of college is paid $1,000 for the fall of freshman year, $1,000 for the fall of sophomore year.
  • A $1,000 scholarship award for the first year of college is paid $500 for the fall semester and $500 for the spring semester.

The Community Foundation’s Scholarship Portal has two steps for applicants to begin claiming their award:

1. Scholarship Acceptance Form

  • The recipient fills out this form to accept, decline, or defer their award. After accepting the scholarship, the recipient is assigned to the Scholarship Verification Form.

  • This form should be filled out as soon as the recipient knows the school they will be attending and their student ID number.

2. Scholarship Verification Form(s)

  • The recipient fills out this form and provides proof of continued eligibility to claim the award. The Scholarship Verification Form will tell the student what documents are needed. Documents needed may include, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Class/Registration list with credits listed
      2. Proof of major
      3. Invoice
      4. Previous semester/year’s transcript

Typically, the Scholarship Acceptance Form on the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Portal gives recipients the opportunity to defer their scholarship(s) for up to one year. Most of Community Foundation’s scholarships are deferrable.