Do I have to apply online?
Yes. Central Scholarship no longer offers paper applications. If internet access is a challenge for you, your school or your local library should be able to help you out.
Why do I have to create an account?
Smarter Select, who hosts our application, requires that all users have a unique account. Creating a user name and password allows you to save your application and come back to it.
What if I forget my password?
Not to worry! There’s a “Forgot Password” link right on the log-in screen.
Why do I have to give my e-mail address?
So we can get in touch with you. E-mail is our primary form of communication throughout the application process. We’ll remind you of deadlines, notify you if your application’s incomplete or contains incorrect information, and tell you if you’re a finalist. Don’t worry, we won’t provide your e-mail address to any third party or send you a bunch of spam.
Why do you want the last 4 digits of my Social Security number?
Since we often have two students apply who have the same name, it’s a way for us to verify your identity. Some schools also require that we provide it if we contact them about you.
We will need your full Social Security number for tracking purposes if you’re selected to receive an award.
What if I haven’t decided what school to attend yet?
That’s OK. Just enter your first choice for now. You’ll be able to log back in and change it at any time before the April 1 deadline. If you change schools after the deadline, just e-mail us to let us know.
What’s a Student Aid Report? How do I upload it?
The SAR is provided by the government when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (visit fafsa.ed.gov). It provides information about your educational plans and your eligibility for financial aid.
You can retrieve it by logging in to the FAFSA website and following links to “View/Print Your SAR.” Make sure you retrieve the complete SAR, which will be between 5 and 9 pages long. It will say “SAR” or “SAR Print Summary” at the top and contain your EFC (Expected Family Contribution). If you have trouble accessing it, you can get help by chat or phone from the FAFSA website.
Save the SAR to your computer, and then use the “Browse” button in the application to select the file. There is a 5 MB file size limit. If your file’s too large, try saving it in another format.
How will I know if my application is received?
You’ll get an e-mail at your registration address to confirm the application is complete. If you log back in and make changes later, you’ll receive another e-mail letting you know the changes were accepted.
I finished my application. What happens now?
If you’re selected as a semi-finalist, we’ll contact you by e-mail and ask you to submit a few additional documents, like transcripts, family tax returns, and cost of attendance and financial aid information of your school. Then, if you’re selected as a finalist, we may ask you to come to our offices for an interview. Final awards are also announced by e-mail.
What’s the deal with the interest-free loans? How do I apply? Or how do I opt out?
When you complete our initial application, we will contact you by e-mail after the deadline to ask you whether you would like to be considered for loan awards as well as scholarships. You’ll be asked to complete a short opt-in form providing information about your chosen cosigner and giving us permission to run a credit report.
Due to limited funding, these loan awards are competitive, and not everyone who applies will receive an award. The award amounts vary dependent on the funding available, the student’s financial need.
Loan repayment begins six months after the student completes their program. We do offer payment deferrals for students who decide to continue their education, and for students experiencing financial hardship, if they provide us with documentation. The repayment plan is on a graduated scale over ten years. That means that the first year, the payments are smaller, and then gradually increase each year as students become better established and better able to make payments.
Don’t want the loan? No worries! Just don’t complete the opt-in form. But we do encourage all students to opt-in if there’s a chance you may need the loan. You can always choose not to accept a loan that we offer you, if it turns out you don’t need it.Ready to apply? Click here.