Here Are Some of the Top Questions From Applicants
How many scholarships do you award?
In 2013, we awarded over $1 million in scholarships and interest free loans. The exact number of scholarships available varies from year to year.
What do you look for?
Some of our scholarships have specific criteria that you have to meet, such as a GPA level or major. Others are more general. Overall, we are looking for students who demonstrate that they are a unique person who will be worthy of the award. The members of the selection committees need to sense that you have something valuable to offer that will be enhanced by support of your college education.
How important is the essay?
We haven’t met you yet, so this is your chance to tell us who you are and what is unique about you. We know all students aren’t writers, so we’re not expecting Shakespeare, but taking the time to write a thoughtful, cohesive essay can be a big boost to your scholarship chances. Use this opportunity to talk about events and experiences that don’t come across in the regular application, and to showcase your motivations and goals. Don’t just tell us you collected canned goods for the homeless or were the valedictorian; tell us why you decided to do something, or what it meant to you and give specific examples.
I am a reapplicant. What should I include in my application to help me receive a scholarship again?
We really want recipients to be participants, not observers. Students who are responsive, who answer e-mails and phone calls and come to Central Scholarship events, always stand out. We also look for students to demonstrate growth, whether by success in their academic work or by giving back, in some way, to individuals or to the larger community.
What are some of the mistakes that applicants make?
It sounds so simple, but the biggest mistake is not completing the application. Every year, we get partial applications from students who would be excellent candidates, but since the application isn’t complete, we can’t consider them.
Once the application is complete, check that it is accurate before you submit it. Imagine missing the message notifying you that you won a scholarship because you forgot to put .com on your e-mail address!
Read the questions and instructions carefully. Our awards are based on the program you will be enrolled in for the current academic year, but every year we have undergraduate freshmen tell us they’re pursuing a master’s degree because they hope to attend graduate school in four years—and they can end up missing out on opportunities because of it.
I am having difficulty submitting my application or supporting materials because the website is not responding. What should I do?
If you are unable to submit your application or supporting materials by the deadline due to technical problems, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I fill out a paper application?
Central Scholarship only accepts applications submitted online. Please note that the link to the online application will only be available when the application is open. This means from January 1, 2014 to midnight on April 1, 2014. The 2015 application opens on January 1, 2015.
What if I have a problem submitting materials or I’m not sure if they have been received?
We will send you an email confirming that your application has been received. If you do not receive this email, the application was probably not submitted correctly.
We prefer that supporting materials be submitted electronically. Directions are included in the application.
Unless specifically directed to do so, please do not mail materials to Central Scholarship. These materials will not be processed and your application will be incomplete.
How do I send my transcript to Central Scholarship?
Transcripts should be scanned and uploaded and sent to Central Scholarship electronically. Although we prefer an official transcript, if your high school is NOT able to send an official transcript electronically, we will accept an unofficial transcript. We may ask you to provide us with an official transcript at a later date if you are selected as a finalist.
When will I know if I am selected to receive a scholarship?
You will receive an email from us in May or June notifying you that you have been selected as a semi-finalists and asking you to submit additional supporting materials. If you are selected as a finalist, you will receive an email inviting you to an interview with one of our selection committees. Finalists should be available for an interview. All scholarship award decisions will be made by July 31, 2014. Loan decisions will be made by the end of August of this year.
Can I still be considered for a scholarship if I have a job or internship out of town, or if I am studying abroad, and cannot come for an in person interview?
In some circumstances, we can agree to a phone or video interview.
Is there a fee to apply to Central Scholarship? Are there any other costs associated with the scholarship or loan programs?
Applying to Central Scholarship is completely free of charge. There are no fees at any time for any of our scholarships or loans.
An interest-free loan seems too good to be true. How does it work?
The funds for our interest-free loan program are given to us by individuals and foundations in the community. In return they ask that you, the borrower, complete your program of study and repay the loan so Central Scholarship can continue to help future students. There is a six month grace period after graduation and loans are repaid on a ten-year graduated repayment plan which means that your monthly payments are small when you are starting out, and increase each year.