Scholarship Essay FAQs

Thank you for your interest in scholarships through the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation! Our goal to ensure that the application process goes as smoothly as possible for you. Below, is a listing of Frequently Asked Questions and tips for a great essay. If you still have questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to email us at foundation.scholarships@domail.maricopa.edu.

Do I need to submit a FAFSA?

A FAFSA is not required for a majority of Foundation scholarships. However, this information is required for need-based scholarships.

I do not qualify for financial aid through my school. Am I still eligible?

Not all of our scholarships are based on financial need. MCCF scholarships include privately funded opportunities that are open to all MCCCD students and are not dependent on lawful presence and need.

What happens after I complete my General Application?

There are two types of scholarships in our system: auto-match and apply-to. Your complete, submitted General Application profile is enough to apply to you any auto-match scholarships for which you are eligible. If you’d like to be considered for scholarships that require additional work outside of the General Application submission, you can select apply-to scholarships that have supplemental questions. Read the posted criteria carefully and only apply to scholarships for which you are truly eligible.

How do I know if I have been selected to receive a scholarship?

An email will alert you to any scholarship offers after decisions are made. You will be required to meet all criteria to receive the scholarship which may include credits hours registered and college. You will also have an opportunity to provide a thank you note for the scholarship donor. Log on to your Student Center regularly to check the status of all awards on your financial aid tab.

When will I get the money?

Awarded scholarships will be decided between July and August for Fall scholarships. Spring scholarship are awarded in November and December. Your financial aid office at your individual college will be able to assist you with further questions.

Do I have to reapply each scholarship cycle?

Yes, a new online application must be submitted each scholarship cycle.

If I am awarded a scholarship, how much will I get?

The individual scholarship funds offer varying award amounts, depending on the size of the particular fund, the number of qualified applicants, and the directions given by the donors or fund advisors of the funds. The average scholarship amount at the Foundation is $684.00

How much does it cost to apply for a scholarship?

It does not cost anything to apply for our scholarships, though we do estimate it may take up 45 minutes to complete the application in full. Unfortunately, scholarship scams do exist. Beware of organizations and websites that charge a fee, guarantee that you will receive a scholarship or are sent to you through direct mail or email spam.

I am not a straight-A student or athlete. Am I still eligible?

Our scholarships are not solely based on academic merit, athletic ability or leadership experience. Some are based on these criteria but most are geared to applicants with some financial need, participation in community service, extra-curricular activities and/or work experience, a minimum GPA of 2.0 or 2.5, attendance at particular high schools or colleges or specific majors or career goals. Please review the criteria of each fund to see which awards you may be eligible for.

How will my application be evaluated?

All scholarships have different criteria and different priorities. Our volunteer scholarship application reviewers score each scholarship application essay. Additional selection committees will consider all of the information that you provide in your application, such as your activities, your academics, your financial need and your essay.

What are my chances of receiving a scholarship?

The possibility of you receiving a scholarship depends on several factors, including how many applicants are eligible for the scholarship, how many scholarships will be awarded and how competitive the other applicants are. Because of this, we encourage you to apply to all scholarships for which you are eligible and to be thorough and thoughtful in completing your application.

If I change colleges in the Maricopa system, will my scholarship be transferred to my new college?

Some of our scholarships are limited to certain colleges in the MCCCD system. If you transfer to another college, please notify us immediately so we can determine whether you are still eligible for your scholarship. If you are eligible, we will transfer your award to your new college.

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION AND ESSAY

The key to writing a strong essay is to be personal and specific.  Include details about yourself so the reader can get to know who “you” are and what you stand for.  Be truthful and honest.

Scholarship Selection Committees may have many essays to review.  It is YOUR job to get their attention when reading your essay.

  1. Use an email address that you will continue to have access to and check periodically.
  2. Proof read your application! Have multiple people read your essay not only for spelling and grammar errors but also to check that your content has logical consistency and answers the questions. Also, type your essay in Word or another word processing program, read a printed version and only once you are happy with the final product, copy and paste into the application.
  3. Complete your application and ask us if you have concerns, PRIOR TO DEADLINES.
  4. Be yourself; and, do not try to find the “right” answer. Be original.
  5. Show, don’t tell.  Use examples to individualize your essay and demonstrate the point you want to make.  You’ll avoid vagueness and make a stronger impression.
  6. Know your audience.  Personal essays are not “one size fits all.”  Write your essay that fits the requirements of that scholarship fund.