Frequently Asked Questions 

Scholarship FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

You can get ready to complete the form by gathering letters of recommendation from your coaches, advisors, teacher, clergy, employers and other non-relatives who can speak about your character or suitability for your intended major.  This is also a great time to create your list of activities during the past few years (teams, clubs, leadership roles, awards, recognitions, volunteering).  Be sure to attend your high school’s financial aid night for information about the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) and other helpful information to get you ready for college costs.

If you are an Applicant, please provide an email address and create a password to sign up for an account. Do not use your high school provided email as the Foundation will use this email in future communications after you have graduated. Upon signing up, you will receive a confirmation email to ensure your identity. Please make sure to check your spam/junk folder for this email. Once you have confirmed your account, you can begin accessing the system.


Signing in

To sign in to the application, you will need an email address and you will have to create a password. Do not use your high school provided email address. Use an email address you will check often and maintain after high school as all of our communications and awarding are done via email.  Please write these down and keep in a safe place.  You must use the same email and password every time. This email and password can also be used next year when you come back to apply again.  If you have trouble signing in you can click on the “trouble signing in link” at the bottom of the sign in box.  Failed Attempts: After 10 failed attempts to log in, you will be locked out for one hour and you will be sent a link to setup a new password.


Can I complete one application (including a transcript, EFC information, personal statement, letters of recommendation) to apply for more than one scholarship listed?

Yes! You may be able to apply for several scholarship opportunities by completing one form. Some scholarships may require additional information, so make sure to read the brief information about each scholarship and click ‘apply’ for those scholarships for which you are eligible and want to be considered. 


Do I have a better chance if I fill my application out sooner?

No, our scholarships are based on various requirements but they are not first come first serve so please take your time filling out the application. It’s more important that you provide the correct information and submit it before the deadline than to be the first application submitted


My computer won’t let me enter or re-enter my scholarship application.  Can you help?

If you cannot enter at all, your computer may be blocking ‘pop ups’.  This may be shown as a message along the top or bottom of your monitor screen.  Usually it will give you a button or words to click to temporarily ‘enable’ or ‘allow’ the pop up to proceed. You may need to go to your computer’s Control Panel and enter into the Internet Options.  In the Privacy section, uncheck the ‘Pop up Blocker’ box.  The online scholarship application is located on a different website, which may trigger the message from your internet service provider.  Once inside the application, click the ‘Update Application’ button found in the upper right-hand corner.  Login using your password.


How can I scan and attach documents to my online application?

Here are some troubleshooting tips based upon calls we have received from students:

Jot down where your computer is saving scanned documents by watching the monitor when you are scanning. It will briefly show which folder is receiving scans. When you are in the online scholarship application, click the Browse button (located at various points in the application), which opens to your computer. You will need to find the folder inside your computer where scans have been saved, find the correct file and click it to attach it to the application.  If you are having difficulty replacing a document you have already attached to the online application, try saving the new document with a new file name and then attaching the newly-named file.


What if I don’t have a scanner to scan and upload my support documents?

You may want to seek assistance from a relative, friend, working professional or counselor who may have access to a scanner. The acceptable file formats are Word Documents and PDF for attachments. You may also download a free PDF converter on your computer, which converts any saved document to a PDF format for easy uploading to your application. Recommended websites are www.freepdfconvert.com or www.pdfonline.com/convert-pdf. Other document types create issues for reviewers to open and may lead to your application being disqualified because documents cannot be opened.

Additionally, most documents required for upload can be done as a screenshot or “print to pdf” without the need to scan. A simple Google search will provide detailed descriptions of these two processes.


What happens to my application if I am missing an Attachment?

Your application will be marked incomplete and it will not be sent to the selections committee.  We are not responsible for misdirected emails that do not arrive.  It is your responsibility to check your application in advance of the deadline to ensure it is complete and all required documents are included. You can view each attachment after it has been uploaded to your application and we highly recommend doing so to assure it uploaded properly and is the intended document. Be sure to double check that all of your references are submitted and that your submitted references are active on your application. This example shows how to know which references are active on your application.


Which FAFSA page should I send with my scholarship application?

Please submit Page 1 printed/copied directly from your Student Aid Report (SAR) showing your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number. You may also use the Electronic Student Aid Report (first page) or Confirmation Page (shows your EFC number).   Apply for your EFC number at www.FAFSA.gov. Your Student Aid Report must be for the current 2019-2020 school year. It must show either your name or the last four digits of your social security number for identification purposes. You do not need to provide all of the pages. Here are a few examples of what this document should look like. Please make sure your upload is either a word or pdf document.


Must I submit an ‘official’ transcript?

Yes, we require that you obtain an ‘official’ transcript (one that is printed on special paper or with a raised seal in one corner) and upload it online with your application if you are a current college student. Some schools can take several days/weeks to process your transcript request, so be sure to make that request well in advance of the scholarship deadline. Please make sure your upload is either a word or pdf document.

 

Current high school students will enter their counselor’s name and email so that the counselor can upload the transcript for them. Be sure to check that you have your counselor’s correct email. Also, before the deadline make sure to check that your counselor has SUBMITTED your transcript. It is your responsibility to make sure it is uploaded and your application will be incomplete without it.


Why aren’t my references receiving the request? 

The online system will generate an email based on the submitted email address. It is possible that the address was not entered correctly into the system. Another possibility is that the email was diverted into a Spam or Junk inbox.   

We suggest you contact your references to inform them that they will receive an email requesting a letter of recommendation. You can then resend the email request easily from your online portal. Find directions on where to go to resend a request here.


Can I request more than two letters of reference?

Yes, you can request more than two people to serve as references BUT only two submitted letters will be available for reviewers to read so you must choose those two. You will NOT be able to view the letters that the references submit. Requesting more than two can be beneficial in case one of your references doesn’t submit a letter but it is not required.


How can I tell if my reference letters have been submitted?

On your application, once you have sent the request for a reference letter it will read “requested” in the box.  Once it has been received the box will then read “submitted”.  Be sure to check this area often.  It is your responsibility to make sure that your references have submitted their letters prior to the deadline date. Your application will be considered incomplete if your two active references have not submitted their letters.


Eligibility Requirements

 

Do all scholarships have the same eligibility requirements?

No. Each scholarship has specific eligibility requirements that were defined by the donor when the scholarship was established.  Eligibility requirements are stated for each individual scholarship, so be sure to read the requirements carefully.


Can I apply for a scholarship if I don’t know where I’ll be going to school?

Yes. If you don’t know which school you’re going to attend, you can still apply for most Fairfield County Foundation scholarships. You are encouraged to list your first-choice and second-choice schools on your General Application/Student Profile.


I don’t have the best grades. Can I still be considered for a scholarship?

Yes. Some of the scholarships take grades into consideration, but other scholarships emphasize alternate areas of performance such as leadership, community service and other extra-curricular activities. Good grades are not always the only requirement for scholarship support.


I’m planning to go to trade school, not college. Can I still apply for a scholarship?

Yes. Several scholarships are for students planning to attend a technical school, trade school, or participate in an apprenticeship. Please complete the General Application/Student Profile and review the eligibility requirements under Recommended Opportunities.


I haven’t decided what my major is? Should I leave it blank?

No.  You should pick “Other” then type in “undecided”.


Can I apply for more than one scholarship?

Yes. You can apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible for but please carefully read the eligibility requirements of each scholarship that you’re applying for.


What is Recommended Opportunity section?

This section is a list of opportunities (scholarships) that you may be qualified for based on your answers on the general application.  Click on each opportunity name and read the criteria to make sure you qualify for that opportunity, prior to clicking apply.


What’s the deadline for applying?

The deadline for applying is March 15, 2019 11:59 p.m. and all required documents must be electronically submitted by the given date.


*NEW* Preliminary Review

If your application is fully submitted by Friday, February 15, 2019 the staff will review your application for completeness and email you with any issues by March 1, 2019 so that you can correct any problems before the final deadline on Friday, March 15, 2019.

This does not increase your chances of receiving a scholarship but provides an opportunity for mistakes to be corrected before the deadline and decreases the possibility of your application being ineligible.


Application Review

 

Who makes the award decisions?

Each scholarship has its own committee of volunteers who read and evaluate each application. Some scholarship committees exist at the high school level, some are at specific colleges and other selection committees are Fairfield County Foundation volunteers.  Each selection committee makes its decisions based on the fund’s guidelines and donor intent in compliance with IRS guidelines.


Are scholarships awarded on the basis of merit or financial need?

It depends. Some scholarships are merit based, some scholarships are based on financial need and some are a combination of both.  Scholarship reviewers make their selections based on a compilation of various criteria, including but not limited to: leadership potential, academic performance, work experience and commitment to school and community, as well as financial need and any other fund-specific requirements.


Notification and Awards

 

When will I find out if I’ve been awarded a scholarship?  Will you let me know if I have not?


Applicants are notified in writing through email (if they applied online) if they are selected to receive a scholarship award. All applicants can log on to the portal (www.fairfieldcountyfoundation.academicworks.com) to check on the status of an application. A status of “not qualified” or “declined” indicates that an applicant was not selected for an award.  We encourage applicants to check the website regularly for status updates between May and July.


What happens if I am selected as a scholarship recipient?


Scholarship recipients will receive an official letter by email, as well as an instruction sheet regarding how to claim a scholarship. These emailed documents will be sent to the address that was provided by the applicant on the General Application/Student Profile. Award recipients should be on the lookout for these documents to arrive. Read them and respond in a timely manner.


What expenses can the scholarship pay?

These scholarships are tuition only unless otherwise stated.


What happens if I move or change schools after I’ve been awarded a scholarship?

Award recipients who move should contact the scholarship staff with the updated address so we can make sure the check will be sent to the correct address. 

Recipients who have a change of school should also notify the scholarship staff of the change. Certain scholarships have restrictions related to the school that the recipient must attend.


What if I am only attending one semester and then graduating?

Scholarships are generally split between fall and spring semester. If you are graduating early or will not be attending one of those semesters please notify our Program Officer to discuss how payment will be handled.


If I receive a scholarship one year, will I automatically receive an award for the following year?

No, scholarships are for one academic year so you must apply each year.


Where can I send a thank you note?

Please send a thank you note upon receiving your award by mail to the Fairfield County Foundation at the below address. It can be addressed to the scholarship review committee for your specific scholarship award.

Fairfield County Foundation
162 E. Main Street
Lancaster, Ohio 43130

 

Questions? Please contact Program Officer Abby King at (740) 654-8451 or aking@fairfieldcountyfoundation.org