Scholarship FAQs

Frequently Asked Scholarship Questions

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When can I apply for a scholarship?

We will be accepting applications for the 2019 – 2020 scholarship cycle in late January 2020.   Please be sure to sign up for our Scholarship eNewsletter for future information about our program.


What are the scholarship deadlines?     DEADLINE EXTENDED

The scholarship deadlines will be announced in January 2020.  Please be sure to sign up for our Scholarship eNewsletter for future information about our program.  


How do I apply for a scholarship?

When the scholarship cycle begins in January 2020, you will need to register with our online application portal. During the application period, you will be asked to complete an “Eligibility Quiz.”  Based on  your answers, when you click on “Apply” located at the top of the Applicant Dashboard, you will see a list of all the scholarships for which you meet the eligibility criteria.  Quick Link: Application Portal


What if I don’t see the scholarship I want to apply for?

The scholarships available each year vary.  First, find out if the scholarship you’re interested in is offered by visiting the scholarships information page. Then, review the Scholarships Guidelines to determine if you meet the Eligibility Criteria.  If you have determined that the scholarship is offered AND that you do meet the Eligibility Criteria, but the scholarship is not listed on your “Apply” page, please send an email to Grants@CFHoCo.org. Quick Link: HoCo High School Scholarships


Do I need to provide my high school with a copy of the HCPSS Student Transcript Request form after I’ve uploaded it to the application portal?

For the purposes of completing the application you only need to upload this form to the application system. However, if you need a copy of your transcript and/or report card you will need to submit the HCPSS Student Transcript Request form to your school.  As it relates to the scholarship application, you would only need one printed copy of the documents, which you’ll scan and upload to the system when asked to provide these materials.

You may also want to review the FAQ “What if I only have a paper copy of the materials requested?


What if I only have a paper copy of the materials requested?

All materials need to be submitted via the application portal. You have two options for converting your paper copy: scanning or faxing.  If you do not have access to a scanner, we recommend that you take advantage of the Portals “Fax to File” feature.  You access this feature at the top of the Applicant Dashboard. After selecting this option, follow the directions to obtain a fax number that allows you to send materials to the Portal.

Please keep in mind:

  • We will not accept cell phone pictures of your materials, as they are too hard for the Committee members to read.
  • Your materials need to be oriented right-side up.  We do not have a way to rotate the orientation of the files once they are entered in the system.  Our Committee members, on average, read 100 applications and they don’t want to stand on their heads to do it.

Do I have to upload just the materials requested in that section?  Or can I create one file with all the requested materials?

Yes, you will need to upload just the materials requested in that section. The system was designed to allow Foundation Staff to route each document to the person who needs to see it. We do not have a way separate the files once they are entered in the system.  We will not consider applications that consolidate materials into one file.


How will I upload documents that are needed from a third-party, such as a coach, a teacher, a registrar, or a guidance counselor?

As part of the application, you will be asked to provide the email address of the person that needs to be contacted.  The Application Portal will generate up to four emails: one that you write and send; one that the system generates, which includes an upload link; and two reminders generated by the system. The email address that the Application Portal uses is administrator@grantinterface.com and they are sent through a service called SendGrid (www.sendgrid.com). The alias (the name in front of the email address) is “Community Foundation of Howard County – MD.”  To reduce the possibility of messages going to spam folders, we advise that the email, administrator@grantinterface.com, be added to the recipients safe list.

If you are asking the same person to submit information for multiple scholarships, they will receive an email with a unique upload link for each scholarship.

Please keep in mind:

  • The third-party materials will need to be received by the submission deadline.  We recommend that you provide them with at least one week to submit the materials.
  • If you have already submitted your application and you want to change information about your third-party, you will need to contact the Foundation at Grants@CFHoCo.org,  before the application due date.

Do you have an example of how to compose an email to request a letter of recommendation?

SUBJECT: {insert your name} – Request for Letter of Recommendation – {name of scholarship}

BODY: I’m applying for {insert name of scholarship}. This scholarship is available to graduating seniors who {give some information about the scholarship}. The application requires that I include a one-page confidential letter of recommendation and I’m hopeful that you can provide one. Shortly after receiving this email, you will receive a second one that includes a unique link to this one. Please submit the letter of recommendation by March 8.


How do I know when a third party has submitted the materials?

From your “Applicant Dashboard” you will see a list of the applicantions you have started (draft) and submitted.  For each application, you will also see “Third Party: 0/0.”  As you provide the email address of each third party this information will change, for example “Third Party: 0/2.”  As each third party submits their materials the information will also change, for example “Third Party: 1/2.”  When both numbers are the same, “Third Party: 2/2,” you will know that all the required documents have been submitted.

Within the application, just below the third-party’s email address, you will see status information, such as the date and time you sent an email and when the materials where uploaded to the system.


Can I copy information from one application to the next?

No. While you will have some questions that are similar, such as contact information and school information, other information is unique to the scholarship, such as essay questions.