Applying for Scholar Grants

Does my application have to be submitted online by February 17, 2023?

Yes. Your entire application, including the application form, personal statement, recommendation letters submitted by your references, school or program acceptance letter and/or transcript, and electronic signature must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, February 17, 2023.

Note: If you miss the deadline, we will be opening applications for 2024 in late 2023

1. Which accredited colleges are eligible to receive a Rankin Foundation Scholar Grant?
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

2. Am I eligible to apply if I am a U.S. citizen or permanent resident attending school abroad?
Rankin Foundation Scholar Grants 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. institution. Applicants who plan to become permanent students at foreign schools are not eligible to apply.

3. Is online coursework eligible?
Online coursework is acceptable if it is completed through an institution that is accredited by one of the agencies we accept.

4. How do I know if my college is accredited by one of Rankin Foundation’s approved agencies?
Call the Admissions Office or check your college’s website to find out if your school is accredited by one of the agencies we accept. Rankin Foundation cannot tell you whether your school is accredited. You may also search your school’s accreditation in the U.S. Department of Education at Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

5. Why is it important that my college be accredited by one of Rankin Foundation’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. The six regional accreditation agencies we list are the most widely recognized form of accreditation for public and private colleges and universities in the United States. Credits and degrees earned at an institution accredited by these agencies are generally accepted in transfer by the other regionally accredited institutions.

  1. I don’t have internet access at home. How can I complete the application?
    You may access the online Scholar Grant 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 save as you and plan accordingly.


  1. Do I need to create an account to complete the application?
    Yes. To apply, click on the “APPLY HERE” link on the Jeannette Rankin National Scholar Grant or Emerge Grant page of our website.
    This link will take you to the home page of the online application. Read more about our Scholar Grant 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 your full name and email address. Then, create a password and select “New Applicant.” You do not need an access code, so leave that field blank. Select your time zone, then click “Register.” Note: If you’ve applied for a Rankin Foundation Scholar Grant previously, you will still need to select “New Applicant,” unless you were awarded a Scholar Grant last year.


  1. Will I need an email address to complete the application?
    Yes. If you do not have an email address, you may obtain a free email address using gmail.com or yahoo.com.


  1. 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, we advise including only the most recent experiences or those that are most important to you.


  1. 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.


  1. 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 Rankin Foundation will be deleted.


  1. I completed the Scholar Grant 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 Rankin Foundation Scholar Grant, you will not be able to move forward with the application process. You may review the eligibility guidelines by taking the eligibility survey on the Jeannette Rankin National Scholar Grant and Emerge Grant webpages.


  1. Is my financial need eligibility based on my previous year’s income?

    Yes. For applications submitted in 2023, the household income for the calendar year 2021 is used to determine your eligibility. Please use your 2021 tax returns to determine your income. We will also ask you to provide your current monthly income and expenses.


  1. Should I upload tax forms as proof of income? Yes, you
    submit your completed tax forms if you have them.


  1. Should I upload a copy of my FAFSA form with my application? We require a copy of your
    Student Aid Report (SAR)
    . This is sent to you after completing your FAFSA.


  1. Can I apply if my income is over Rankin Foundation’s guidelines? No. If your household income does not fall within the income guidelines, you are not eligible to apply.

  1. Do my references have to submit their letters online?

Yes. All references must upload their letters directly to our online application system. After you have entered your references/recommenders’ names and email addresses in the application system and SUBMIT the completed application, your references will receive an email asking them to write a recommendation letter with instructions for uploading the letter to our system.


  1.  How will they know that I’ve requested a letter from them?

After identifying your two references/recommenders, ask if they are willing to write recommendation letters for your Rankin Foundation Scholar Grant application. We recommend giving your references at least three to four weeks to prepare their letters. Once each reference has agreed to write a letter, you’ll need to enter their names and email addresses in the online application system. Your references will be required to upload their recommendation letters directly to the system. You will not be allowed to do this for them. You can send them a reminder email through the system.


  1. What if I’m unsure if my references will write their letter of recommendation before Rankin Foundation’s deadline?

Your references MUST upload their letters by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 17, 2023. Your application will not be complete until both references have uploaded letters.

Note: We suggest that you carefully consider your references/recommenders and contact them prior to submitting your application to decrease the chances of an incomplete application.


  1.  How do I know if my references have submitted their letters on time?

Your online application dashboard will show you the status of your recommendation letters, so you’ll know when your references have completed uploading their letters. You will also receive an email when your references have submitted a letter through our online system. If you’re unsure if your reference will upload the letter prior to our deadline, you may send them a reminder email.


  1. 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 our online system.


  1. Who can write a letter of reference/recommendation for me?

    You may ask someone familiar with your personal situation and/or academic goals, such as an employer, a co-worker, a counselor, a volunteer supervisor or a professor. 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.
  2. Can a family member submit a letter of recommendation on my behalf?

No, letters of recommendation from family members will not be accepted.

  1. I’m a new student. How do I get a transcript if I just started?

You do not need to submit a transcript if you have not yet started coursework. Rather, you must upload an acceptance or welcome letter from the school you plan to attend.


  1. I’m a current student. What type of documentation will I need for my application?

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.


  1. I’m a transfer student. What type of documentation will I need for my application?

If you are transferring from a previous school into a new school, you will need a transcript from your previous school that you are transferring from as well as an acceptance letter from the new school that you will be transferring to.

  1. Can I upload a class schedule or financial aid award letter to verify that I’ve been accepted to my school?

No. You will need to submit either a transcript or acceptance letter, depending on the type of student that you are. Please see above for more information. Transcripts and acceptance letters are the ONLY documents that are acceptable for proof of enrollment.

  1. 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.

  1. What if the letter from my school says my acceptance is pending?

A letter that says your acceptance is pending will not be eligible as proof of enrollment.

  1. What if I haven’t received an acceptance letter from my school by the February 17, 2023 deadline?

If you are not currently enrolled and the school you plan to attend hasn’t sent you an acceptance letter by February 17, 2023, you are not 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 should I do? Click here for support in uploading documents to your application.

6. 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 your school’s Registrar’s Office or by downloading it from your school’s website. However, unofficial transcripts are only acceptable if both your name and the name of the school are printed on them. If you are not able to get an unofficial transcript that meets this requirement, you will have to ask the Registrar’s Office for an official transcript.

7. I have my transcript, but I don’t know how to upload it using your online application. What should 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 yourself.

Click here for support in uploading documents to your application.

  1. When will the Scholars be chosen?
    Our selection process takes place between March and May. Final selection will take place in June 2023, and recipients will be notified in July 2023.

  1. How will I know if I’m chosen?
    Scholar Grant recipients will be notified by phone in July. If your application is disqualified due to ineligibility, you will be notified by email immediately. All other applicants will be notified of their status by email after the application review process is complete in June.

  1. When will the Scholar Grants be awarded?
    Rankin Foundation Scholar Grant funds will be distributed to recipients starting in the fall of 2023.

  1. Can a Georgia or Montana resident 35 or older apply for both the National Scholar Grant and the Emerge Grant?
    No. Applicants may only fill out one application. We recommend applicants take the eligibility surveys on the grant webpages and apply for the Emerge Grant if they are a Georgia or Montana resident and meet the eligibility requirements. You can take the eligibility requirement survey on the Emerge Grant webpage.
  2. Do I need to be enrolled full-time to apply?
    No. There are no requirements for enrollment.
  3. If I didn’t receive a grant award, can I reapply?
    Yes, you can reapply each year. You do not need to create a new account in our online system; however, you will need to begin a new application each year.

Additional questions?

You may send us an email and someone will get back to you within 24 – 48 hours. When our application period opens in November, we will hold weekly Application Support Hours to walk through our grant eligibility criteria, application process and timeline, and tips for strengthening your application.