COVID-19 Information Center

Member FAQ: Changing Scholarship Deadlines & Requirements


Are you changing application deadlines, requirements, or renewal scholarships because of Covid-19? If so, how?

NSPA Resources:

In the News:

NSPA Recommendation:

Be flexible with all requirements, including grades/GPA, transcript requirements, recommendation letters, community service hours, reflection papers, thank-you letters to donors, and more. Be as flexible as possible, so as to not add more stress.

Member Answers:

NACAC has the most comprehensive, searchable lists of college admission process changes related to COVID-19. It includes notes of delaying decision dates and deposit due dates.

Meredith Dohmen, Bright Foundation

At our community foundation, we have a few scholarships with deadlines this week and beyond and we are concerned that potential applicants may not be able to submit given all the disruptions to school and daily life. Even if applications are all on line, students may be scrambling, families may be scrambling, teachers (and other recommenders) may not be available to submit recommendations, etc. We are cognizant that students will likely still need financial support in the fall so we do not intend to forego the current cycles for these scholarships, but we are looking into suspending the deadlines and re-opening when things stabilize.

Laura Choe, East Bay Community Foundation

We at the Outer Banks Community Foundation have extended our Scholarship deadlines by one week. We have communicated with all the high school counselors, made lots of post on social media about the extension, updated our website with the new information and sent emails to all our scholarship committee members, partners and donors. Our Foundation also awarded a grant to the Dare County Schools for providing hotspots to students that do not have internet access at home since all our scholarship applications are on line and our schools have now moved to distance learning in response to the COVID-19 virus. The schools themselves are loaning out equipment to make this possible.

Nandy Stuart, Outer Banks Community Foundation

Not sure about anyone else, but schools closing will not affect our award cycle. 90% of our scholarship cycle is conducted via an online portal, from students applying for the scholarship, reviewing applications, and acceptance of any funds. Traditionally my committee meets in-person to review new policies and procedures before reviewing begins but we are scheduling online conferences to keep everyone informed. Human interaction does not need to occur until paperwork completion sometime in early July.

Catherine Wolff, WCU Foundation

We are expecting quite a few students with incompletes, and will just consider them in good standing and renewable for the next term.

Nancy Soward, Women's Independence Scholarship Program

The deadline for our college scholarships was April 1st but due to high schools closing and students no longer having access to reliable internet and teachers not able to provide recommendations and transcripts, we are looking to push back the deadline but are unsure how far back is feasible.

Aliza Krevolin, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley

We are overlooking this semester. We can’t think of a way to equitably get the information, as many schools have no way to provide it at the moment.

Tracy Lanier, 10,000 Degrees

We do our renewal process annually in June. Students must be in good academic standing as defined by their home institution. We haven’t had this conversation yet. Most schools require a 2.0, and most scholars are above that. We will start looking at the first renewals to see if there is a precipitous drop, but for now, that question hasn’t been definitively answered. If official documents are unavailable, students may be able to access an advising document or unofficial transcript. The ability to submit a .pdf of such a document might be helpful if they have any grades complete by the end of the spring term, but the registrar’s office is unavailable.

Jamie Willliams, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

We are reaching out to each campus to see if they’ll be offering remote or on-campus classes this summer, and to determine if scholarship money can actually be applied to summer sessions. Some institutions only allow funds to be used in fall and spring.

Nancy Grandison, A James and Alice B Clark Foundation

TDs renewal process begins in July-August, so a lot will depend on if universities are in a position to issue transcripts. Based on what we’re hearing, we will probably waive the requirement if documents are unavailable.

Jane Thompson, TD Scholarships

Realizing that it may be very difficult for students to access their official transcripts, student financial aid award letters or letters of recommendation, we've relaxed these requirements a bit. Students can now upload unofficial grade reports that they can access from their online student accounts. If they truly are unable to access letters of recommendation, then we are allowing submissions without them; the same with financial aid award letters which my be delayed. We think this will be a fluid process, requiring us to be as flexible as possible. Our goal remains to award all of our scholarship budgets this year and to do so without compromising the integrity of the funds' purposes while allowing for change in how we reach that goal.

Elizabeth Fickett, Maine Community Foundation

At Dollars 4 Tic Scholars, our application cycle ends on April 15. In light of the letters we have been receiving from students having trouble getting transcripts and reference letters, not to mention inability to reach physician offices for a diagnosis letter confirming our requirement of Tourette Syndrome, we examined our next steps and conferred with our Selection Committee. Our application is typically online plus mailed portions. We have decided to relax the requirements a bit to receive more emailed portions. In addition, we will be closing the application period on April 15 as planned with awards in June for Fall 2020, but then opening up a Round 2 application period beginning June 1 through September 30 that is awarded in November for Jan 2021 semester. We hope by Sept 30 students will be able to get the materials we need. The Selection Committee has reserved the right to move any Round 1 application that does not have satisfactory materials to Round 2 with no penalty to the student. We think this will work for us and take a little pressure off of students, and we'll see how it goes.

Diane Diamantis, The Kelsey B. Diamantis TS Scholarship Family Foundation, Inc. dba Dollars 4 Tic Scholars

We received this great summary of Covid-19 impacts on students, scholarships, the process, and their organization from our member Oregon Community Foundation. An excellent template for many organizations.

Erika Orsulak, National Scholarship Providers Association

National Scholarship Providers Association

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