Frequently Asked Questions

Deadline

  1. Does my application have to be submitted online by March 1, 2019?
    • Yes. Your entire application, including the application form, personal statement, recommendation letters, acceptance letter and/or transcript, and electronic signature, must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 1, 2019.

Schools

  1. Am I eligible to apply if I am a U.S. citizen or permanent resident attending school abroad?
    • JRF scholarships can be used to pay for expenses associated with a short-term study abroad program that will allow the student to earn credit at an accredited U.S. college. Applicants who plan to become permanent students at foreign schools are not eligible to apply.
  2. Is online coursework eligible?
    • Online coursework is acceptable if it is completed through a college that is accredited by one of the agencies we accept.
  3. Which accredited colleges are eligible to receive a JRF scholarship?

    • Colleges that are accredited by one of the following agencies are eligible:Accrediting Council for Independent College and Schools
      Middle States Commission on Higher Education
      New England Association of Schools and Colleges
      Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
      Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
      Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
      Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  4. How do I know if my college is accredited by one of JRF’s approved agencies?

    • Call the Admissions Office or check your college’s website to find out if your college is accredited by one of the agencies we accept. JRF cannot tell you whether or not your school is accredited.
  5. Why is it important that my college is accredited by one of JRF’s approved agencies?

    • Accreditation assures students that a school adheres to high quality standards. To earn accreditation, schools are evaluated on factors like professor-to-student ratios, student support services, and the quality of the educational programs. A college is eligible for JRF funding if it holds accreditation by one of the six regional accreditation agencies. The most widely recognized form of accreditation for public and state colleges comes from the six regional accreditation agencies. Credits and degrees earned at one regionally accredited institution are generally accepted in transfer by other regionally accredited institutions.

Completing the Application

  1. I don’t have internet access at home. How can I complete the application?
    • You may access the online scholarship application on any computer connected to the internet. You may use a computer at your school, your public library, or a friend’s home. Remember that the application process will take several hours, so plan accordingly.
  2. Do I need to create an account to complete the application?

    • Yes. To apply, click on the “Apply for a Scholarship” link on the Applications page of our website. This link will take you to the home page of our online application. Read more about our scholarship program on this page, then create an account by clicking the “Sign Up” button on the right side of your screen. You will need to provide us with your full name and e-mail address. Then, create a password and select “New Applicant.” Even if you’ve applied for a scholarship from us before, unless you were actually awarded a scholarship last year, you’ll need to select “New Applicant.” You do not need an access code, so leave that field blank. Select your time zone, then click “Register.”
  3. Will I need an e-mail address to complete the application?

    • Yes. If you do not have an e-mail address, you may obtain a free e-mail address using gmail.com, yahoo.com, or aol.com.
  4. What if I need more space than is provided in the tables for my education, work and volunteer history?

    • If you have more volunteer or work experience than will fit in the tables, you may wish to include only the most recent experiences, or those that are most important to you.
  5. Can I upload a resume instead of filling in the work and volunteer experience tables?

    • No. Fill in all of the tables. Do not send extra documents.
  6. Can I upload publications, projects, photographs, training certificates, and other documents to supplement my application?

    • No. Do not upload additional documents. Any materials other than those requested by JRF will be deleted.
  7. I completed the scholarship application form but received a message saying that I’m not eligible to apply. What does that mean?

    • If any of the responses you provide in the online application show you to be ineligible for a JRF scholarship, you will not be able to move forward with the application process. Review our eligibility guidelines here.

Finances

  1. Is my low-income eligibility based on my previous year’s income?
    • Yes. Your estimated household income for the calendar year 2019 is used to determine your eligibility. Please use your 2018 tax returns to determine your estimated income.
  2. Why do you ask for income and expenses for the upcoming year?

    • Because the scholarships we award are for two consecutive school terms, starting with the fall of 2019. We will need to know what your financial situation will be during the school year (August 2019-May 2020).
  3. Should I upload tax forms as proof of income?

    • Yes
  4. Should I upload a copy of my FAFSA form with my application?

    • No. We do not require your FAFSA information. Do not upload any extra documents.
  5. Can I apply if my income is over JRF’s guidelines?

    • No. If your estimated household income for the coming school year does not fall within the income guidelines, you are not eligible to apply.

Recommendation Letters

  1. Do my references have to submit their letters online? How will they know that I’ve requested a letter from them?
    • All references must upload their letters directly to our online application system. After selecting your references, let them know that you would like them to write recommendation letters for your scholarship application. Once each reference has agreed to write a letter, you’ll need to enter their name and e-mail address in the online application system. They’ll receive an e-mail asking them to write a recommendation letter with instructions for uploading the letter to our system. You may send them a reminder e-mail using the system as well.
  2. What if I’m afraid one of my references won’t write her letter of recommendation before JRF’s deadline?
    • Your references must upload their letters by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 1, 2019. You won’t be able to submit your application until both references have uploaded letters. Your online application dashboard will show you the status of your recommendation letters, so you’ll know when your references complete the letters. If you’re worried that a reference won’t upload the letter prior to our deadline, you may send them a reminder e-mail or withdraw the request and submit the name and e-mail address of another reference.
  3. Can I submit letters of recommendation from more than two references?
    • No. The online application system will only allow you to enter the names of two references. They will be required to upload their recommendations directly to the system.
  4. What if I don’t know of anyone to write a professional or academic reference for me?
    • You may ask someone familiar with your personal situation and/or academic goals, such as an employer, a co-worker, a counselor, or a volunteer supervisor. Choose references who you are confident know you well enough to write a positive, personalized recommendation. You may NOT submit a recommendation from a family member.
  5. Can a family member submit a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
    • No, letters of recommendation from family members will not be accepted.

Transcripts & Acceptance Letters

  1. I’m a new student. Can I upload a class schedule or financial aid award letter to verify that I’ve been accepted to my school?
    • No. If you aren’t yet enrolled, you must upload an acceptance or welcome letter from the school you plan to attend in the fall. If you are enrolled, but don’t have a transcript yet, you must upload an acceptance or welcome letter to verify enrollment. If you have been enrolled for at least one full term, you must upload a transcript. These are the only acceptable documents.
  2. What should I do if my school doesn’t issue acceptance letters?
    • Ask the Admissions Office to produce and sign a letter on official letterhead stating that you are approved to enroll for the fall term.
  3. What if the letter from my school says my acceptance is pending?
    • A letter that says your acceptance is pending receipt of other documents is not eligible.
  4. What if I haven’t received an acceptance letter from my school by the March 1, 2019 deadline?
    • If you aren’t currently enrolled, and the school you plan to attend hasn’t sent you an acceptance letter by March 1, 2019 you won’t be eligible to apply this year.
  5. I have my acceptance letter, but I don’t know how to upload it using your online application. What do I do?

    • There are several options for preparing your acceptance/welcome letter. Please remember that letters must show your unconditional acceptance to your school. Letters stating provisional or conditional acceptance will not be accepted.
      • Scan a hard copy: If you only have a hard copy of your acceptance/welcome letter, you will need to scan it and save a copy on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application). If you do not have a scanner, you may be able to access one on campus in your school's library, student center or other office. Your public library or local printing store (FedEx, Kinkos, Office Max, etc) may also have a scanner that you can use. All scanners are different, so wherever you go, ask someone if they can help you scan your letter. After it has been scanned, save the letter as a .PDF or .JPEG file on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application), then upload it.
      • Copy and Paste e-mail into Microsoft Word and save as a .DOC file: If you received your acceptance online via e-mail, you may also be able to copy and paste the content into a Microsoft Word or other document. Highlight the full text of your letter, including the date received and the sender's name and e-mail address, then press "Ctrl" and "C" simultaneously to copy the text to the clipboard. Open Microsoft Word and press "Ctrl" and "V" simultaneously. This will paste the text into the document. Click "File," then "Save as." Save the document as a .DOC or .DOCX file on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application), then upload it.
      • Scan a printed e-mail: You can also print and scan an acceptance/welcome letter that was sent via e-mail. After printing, scan and save a copy of the letter on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application). If you do not have a scanner, you may be able to access one on campus in your school's library, student center or other office. Your public library or local printing store (FedEx, Kinkos, Office Max, etc) may also have a scanner that you can use. All scanners are different, so wherever you go, ask someone if they can help you scan your letter. After it has been scanned, save the letter as a .PDF or .JPEG file on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application), then upload it.
  6. What if I’m currently enrolled, but don’t have a transcript because I haven’t completed a full term yet?

    • You may either upload an acceptance or welcome letter from your school or an enrollment verification confirming that you are currently a student. For the purposes of our application, you will be considered a new student.
  7. If I am currently enrolled, do I have to send an “official” transcript?

    • No. You may upload a copy of an official transcript, or an “unofficial” transcript, which can usually be obtained free of charge from the Registrar’s Office or by downloading it from the college’s website.However, unofficial transcripts are only acceptable if both your name and the name of the school are printed on them. If you aren’t able to get an unofficial transcript that meets this requirement, you will have to ask the Registrar’s Office for an official transcript.
  8. I have my transcript, but I don’t know how to upload it using your online application. What do I do?

    • To prepare your transcript to upload, you have several options. Please remember that all transcripts need to list both your name and the school's name. You may not type these items in yourself.
      • Download a .PDF or other file: If your school gives you the option of viewing your transcript online, you may also be able to download and save it as a .PDF or other file. You can save the file on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application), then upload it.
      • Take a screen shot and save as a .JPEG file: If you can view your transcript online but cannot download it, you can take a screen shot (basically, a picture of the screen) using the computer. Press the "Ctrl" and "Print Screen" keys simultaneously. This will take a picture of your screen showing the transcript. Then press "Ctrl" and "C" simultaneously to copy the picture to the clipboard. Open a photo editing program (like Microsoft Paint), and press "Ctrl" and "V" simultaneously. This will paste the picture of your screen into the photo editor. Click "File," then "Save as." Save the picture as a .JPEG file on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application), then upload it. *You may need to take multiple screen shots to capture all pages of your transcript. If so, be sure to combine all pages together into one .JPEG file since you can only upload one transcript file.
      • Copy and Paste into Microsoft Word and save as a .DOC file: If you can view your transcript online but cannot download it, you may also be able to copy and paste the content into a Microsoft Word or other document. Highlight the full text of your transcript, then press "Ctrl" and "C" simultaneously to copy the text to the clipboard. Open Microsoft Word and press "Ctrl" and "V" simultaneously. This will paste the text into the document. Click "File," then "Save as." Save the document as a .DOC or .DOCX file on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application), then upload it.
      • Scan a hard copy: If you only have a hard copy of your transcript, you will need to scan it and save a copy on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application). If you do not have a scanner, you may be able to access one on campus in your school's library, student center or other office. Your public library or local printing store (FedEx, Kinkos, Office Max, etc) may also have a scanner that you can use. All scanners are different, so wherever you go, ask someone if they can help you scan your transcript. After it has been scanned, save the transcript as a .PDF or .JPEG file on your computer (or the computer you're using to complete the application), then upload it.

Selection

  1. When will the scholars be chosen?
    • Our selection process takes place between March and May. Final selection will take place in June 2019 and recipients will be notified in July 2019.
  2. How will I know if I’m chosen?
    • Scholarship recipients will be notified by phone in July. If your application is disqualified due to ineligibility, you will be notified by e-mail immediately. All other applicants will be notified of their status by e-mail after application review is complete in June.
  3. When will the scholarships be awarded?
    • JRF scholarships will be distributed through recipients' financial aid offices starting in the fall of 2019.