Empowering undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals
SCHOLARS PROGRAM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS DEADLINE
Q: I just found out about the New American Scholars Program. I don't think I can submit all the materials on time. Is your March 1st deadline fixed? A: Yes, our March 1st deadline is fixed. We strongly encourage all applicants to turn in their applications before that deadline, especially the Online Application.
ONLINE APPLICATION SUBMISSION
Q: I already submitted my Supplementary Materials. Is it too late to turn in my Online Application? A: We prefer applicants to submit their Online Application first. However, if you have already submitted your Supplementary Materials, you can still submit your Online Application. Q: Is there a way to preview the Online Application? A: Yes, you can download and print a PDF of the Online Application, so you can gather all the information you need before filling it out. Don't start completing the application until you have all the information you need.
Q: What should I do if I make a mistake on the Online Application? Should I re-submit? A: If you make a mistake on the Online Application (or if any of your information changes), please re-submit the Online Application. In the "Additional Information" text box, please write "This is an updated version of the Online Application I submitted previously."
Q: Do the recommenders I list on my Online Application have to be the same as the ones who write my recommendations? A: Yes. Do not fill out your Online Application until you have all the information you need, including the names and contact information of your recommenders. We recommend that you reach out to potential recommenders as early as possible.
Q: I just received my green card recently. Can I still apply? A: Unfortunately, no. Our Scholars Program is for immigrant students who do not have permanent residency (green card) or citizenship in the United States. Congratulations on getting your green card, though!
Q: I understand that only students from the San Francisco Bay Area can apply. How do you define San Francisco Bay Area? A: We define San Francisco Bay Area as the following 11 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo. In order to be eligible for our program, you must have graduated from high school and/or be attending college in one of those 11 counties.
Q: I go to high school in Southern California. Can I still apply? A: Yes, if you are planning to go to college in the San Francisco Bay Area. We define San Francisco Bay Area as the following 11 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo. In order to be eligible for our program, you must have graduated from high school and/or be attending college in one of those 11 counties.
Q: I go to high school outside of California. Can I still apply? A: Yes, if you are planning to go to college in the San Francisco Bay Area. We define San Francisco Bay Area as the following 11 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo. In order to be eligible for our program, you must have graduated from high school and/or be attending college in one of those 11 counties.
Q: I go to college outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. Can I still apply? A: Yes, if you graduated from high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. We define San Francisco Bay Area as the following 11 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo. In order to be eligible for our program, you must have graduated from high school and/or be attending college in one of those 11 counties.
Q: I’m not from the San Francisco Bay Area. Is there any chance I can apply? Is there anything else you can do to help me? A: Our Scholars Program is only for immigrant students who graduated (or intend to graduate) from a San Francisco Bay Area high school and/or are currently enrolled (or expect to enroll) in a San Francisco Bay Area college/university. Regardless of your eligibility for our scholarship, we encourage you to check out our Scholarship Resources page, which contains lists and guides about scholarships available for immigrant students nationwide.
Q: I don't meet your GPA requirements. Can I still apply? A: Unfortunately, no. If you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement, we encourage you to focus on improving your academic performance and apply next year. We consider students at any point in their college or graduate school career. We have had students who previously did not qualify but worked hard to raise their GPA, applied later in their college or graduate school careers, and then were selected for our program. We strongly consider academic progress and improvement.
Q: I'm a graduate student. Can I apply? A: Yes, we are supporting students who will be enrolled in either accredited college or graduate programs for 2018-2019.
Q: I applied to the program before but didn't receive an award? Is there any reason to apply again? A: Absolutely. If you meet our eligibility requirements, then we encourage you to reapply.
Q: Is it possible to submit unofficial copies of my high school and college transcripts? A: Yes. When submitting your Supplementary Materials, you may submit photocopies, scans, or printouts of your transcripts as long as they are clear and legible. If you are selected as a finalist, we will ask you to submit official transcripts. Q: I'm already in college. Do I still need to submit my high school transcript? A: If you are applying for a college scholarship, then please send us your high school transcript(s) so we can see your entire academic progress. If you are applying for a graduate scholarship, then you do not have to submit your high school transcript(s).
Q: I'm currently enrolled in a four-year college, but I was previously in community college. Do you require me to submit my community college transcript? A: Yes, in your supplementary materials please include your community college transcript so we can see your entire academic progress. The one exception would be if your current college already includes all your courses and grades from community college on their transcript -- then we would not need to see both.
Q: I've already submitted my Online Application. Why haven't my recommenders been notified? A: You must contact each of your recommenders and ask him/her to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. They will need to submit these recommendation letters separately.
Q: Is there a specific form for recommendations? A: No, there is no specific recommendation form, but you can share these Recommendation Instructions with your recommenders.
Q: Whom should I ask to write recommendations for me? A: We suggest you find people who can contribute to the whole picture of who you are as a student and person. We ask that at least two recommendations be from people who can talk about your academic performance, as this is very important to us. We also like to learn about other aspects of your life, which can include how you work with others, your dedication and commitment to a college education, community involvement, leadership, how you overcome challenges, your financial need, and why you would make a good participant in our Scholars Program.
Q: I'm a college student. Is it okay if I get a recommendation from my former high school counselor or teacher? A: Yes, that's perfectly fine. We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to get to know your college professors, especially if you're only in your first year of college. You can submit letters of recommendation from high school teachers, counselors, advisors, mentors, employers, or other people who may have worked closely with you. We would rather have a letter of recommendation from a former high school teacher who knows you well instead of a college professor who taught you recently but doesn't know you very well. We do encourage you to start getting to know your college professors, as their support and recommendations will be very helpful to you as you progress in your college career.
LIST OF AWARDS, EXTRACURRICULARS, AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
SUBMISSION OF SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS Q: My recommenders would like me to submit their recommendations. Is that okay? A: We strongly prefer that your recommenders submit your recommendation letters separately. However, if you are hand delivering or mailing your application, it is fine for your recommender to give you his/her recommendation in a sealed/signed envelope. Regardless, we must receive all Supplementary Materials -- including your recommendations -- by March 1st at 5 PM PST in order for your application to be considered.
Q: Can I submit my transcripts separately? A: We strongly prefer that you submit your transcripts with the rest of your Supplementary Materials. No matter what, we must receive all Supplementary Materials -- including your trancripts -- by March 1st at 5 PM PST in order to consider your application.
Q: It may be difficult for me to verify my family's income. What can I do about this? A: You do not need to provide income verification unless you are selected as a finalist. If you are selected as a finalist, we will work with you to determine how you might provide this information.
SELECTION PROCESS AND AWARD AMOUNTS
Q: How competitive is the selection process for your Scholars Program? A: Our selection process is extremely competitive. We anticipate having more than 100 applications for fewer than 10 scholarships.
Q: How will I know if I have been selected as a semifinalist? A: If you are selected as a semifinalist, we will contact you by email to ask you to submit additional information. We expect to contact semifinalists in March or April.
Q: How many semifinalists and finalists will you select? A: The number of semifinalists and finalists we will select has yet to be determined.
Q: How many students will you invite to join your Scholars Program this year? A: The number of students we will invite to join our program has yet to be determined. We anticipate inviting at least 10 scholars into the program
Q: Will each scholarship recipient receive $7,000? A: At this point in our application process, we don't know how much scholarship money each student will receive. However, $7,000 is the maximum amount we plan on providing to any scholarship recipient, and it is very unlikely we will award the full $7,000 to all students.
Q:If I am selected as one of your scholars, can you give me the scholarship money directly? A: No, funds from our scholarship must be disbursed to your school; we cannot disburse funds directly to you. The funds must be applied to your tuition, fees, books, and supplies (such as lab materials) needed for your coursework. The funds may be applied directly to your tuition account, or they may be used by your school to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket academic expenses.
Q: Where else can I look for scholarships? A: We have created and gathered extensive scholarships resources here.
Q: How else can I get involved in E4FC? A: Please join our Facebook page to find out about events and announcements related to Bay Area immigrant students.
Q: I have more questions about this process. Is there someone who can help me?
A: Yes, please email Ariana Aparicio, E4FC's Higher Education Specialist. She will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have about the application process.