Scholarship FAQs

Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

Unless individually noted, applications become available on our website after December 1. You must complete and submit them electronically by March 1. You will be notified in April, either way.

Most of the people who established the scholarships chose for recipients to be from southeastern Virginia--specifically South Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach) and Isle of Wight County. Several scholarships, however, do welcome applicants across Virginia and even beyond. But, if you are looking for scholarships in other parts of the country, you may want to check the Council on Foundation's Community Foundation Locator to search for the community foundation near your hometown.

All but five are based on financial need as well as other factors. Scholarships that are not need-based are the Frank Fang Memorial Scholarship, Harry Bramhall Gilbert Memorial Merit Scholarship, Adrian Ryan Kirk Scholarship, Carrie Biggs Morrison Memorial Scholarship, and Jarrod Camper Smith Memorial Scholarship. People establish new scholarship funds nearly every year, however, so read the descriptions carefully.

We consider the number of individuals in the household, number of family members in college, family income, financial resources, cost of attendance at the applicant’s college of choice and the expected family contribution as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Student Aid Report summarizes the data you provided on your FAFSA and indicates your Expected Family Contribution – the amount your family is expected to be able to pay toward your education. Turn in a copy of your SAR with your application. See what a SAR looks like.

In either or both cases, you are typically not going to qualify for any of our need-based scholarships.

We consider the following: demonstrated academic ability, demonstrated concern for school and community through extracurricular activities and volunteer service; life experience as demonstrated by voluntary or paid work experience that supports the student's goals; unusual circumstances which make the applicant more worthy of consideration; and any special requirements set forth by the donor, such as city or county of residence, the school to be attended, course of study and other factors. Unless otherwise noted, there is no minimum grade point average required.

Most of our scholarships are renewable so in some years, the available funds are only sufficient to cover renewals for existing recipients. In other words, there is no funding remaining to allow new awards until one of the recipients graduates or is no longer is eligible for funding.

Award amounts are based on the amount of funds available, the number of winners selected and individual financial need. Recipients – for undergraduate scholarships – have received awards ranging from $600 to $6,000, depending on the specific scholarship fund.

In general, our scholarship awards can be used at degree-granting, nonprofit, four-year colleges and universities in the United States that participate in the Federal Student Aid Programs (Title IV). The Community Foundation will review special requests for scholarships to attend community colleges.Some scholarship funds, however, provide scholarships to specific colleges and universities.

Typically, scholarship funds can cover educational expenses included in the school's Cost of Attendance budget, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and mandatory equipment.

No. Scholarship funds are paid directly to your educational institution. Your school will be instructed to apply the funds to your student account equally between semesters or quarters. If there are remaining funds, the school will return them to us so we can help other students.