SCHOLARSHIP FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions help us help you. That is why we encourage you to check here first if you have a question. If you do not see the information you need, contact Samantha Rajotte at 860.583.6363 or samantha@mainstreetfoundation.org.

General

The Scholarship Directory and the application are available on the Foundation’s website on January 15th of each year.

The application deadline for the 2017/2018 academic year is March 27, 2017. The deadline is always around the mid/end of March.

All questions and concerns can be addressed to Samantha Rajotte, Communications Manager, by calling 860.583.6363 or by emailing samantha@mainstreetfoundation.org.

It depends on the year, but in 2016, the Foundation received over 800 applications.

Most scholarship funds offer varying award amounts, which range from $350 to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the particular fund, the number of qualified applicants and the intent of the fund's donor(s). If the amount of the award is known, it will be listed in the Scholarship Directory. In 2016, Main Street Community Foundation awarded 128 scholarships totaling over $171,000.

Eligibility and Criteria

Each scholarship fund has specific eligibility criteria that have been defined by the donor. Please read through the specific criteria per scholarship to see if you are eligible.

Each scholarship fund has specific eligibility criteria defined by the donor. Please read through the Scholarship Directory to see if you qualify for a scholarship. However, general criteria that apply to most scholarships include: Being a resident of or attending a high school in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington or Wolcott; demonstrating financial need; demonstrating community service; and attending an accredited two- or four-year college or university or enrollment in a career training program.

The majority of our scholarships require you to be a resident of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington or Wolcott, Connecticut or require that you are attending a high school in one of those towns. However, there are a few scholarships that do not, so please read the eligibility criteria carefully before applying.

The majority of scholarships require that you be a graduating high school senior; however, there are numerous scholarships that are open to students who reside in or attended a high school in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington or Wolcott, Connecticut. As always, please read the eligibility criteria carefully before applying.

Unless noted differently in the eligibility criteria, the majority of scholarships are for an accredited two- or four-year college or university anywhere in the United States.

Yes. You may be eligible and selected as a recipient for more than one scholarship.

Applying for a Scholarship

No; however, by far the majority do. Be sure to read through the criteria outlined in the Scholarship Directory to see if the scholarship you want to apply for requires a different application or has any other special instructions.

Additional instructions and requirements are listed on the application, but the following are required in order for the application to be deemed complete:
- Electronic signature, including the electronic signature of a parent/guardian if under the age of 18
- All required questions to be answered, including the upload of letters of recommendation and the completion of the essays
- One (1) copy of transcript
- One (1) copy of FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)

You will need to prepare the following support materials to send in with your scholarship application:
- Copy of your full Student Aid Report (SAR), which you receive when you complete the FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov).
- Current transcript/report card.
- Two letters of recommendation (required for most funds; must be blinded).
- Essay (required for most funds; each fund has its own unique essay).

Yes. You must fill out an application for each scholarship you are applying for. If each scholarship that you are applying for requires that you use an online application, you can click the "Import Responses" button at the top of your dashboard and import the responses to many of the questions you already answered.

Your financial information will never be shared with anyone other than the foundation staff member who processes the application. This information will not be seen by the scholarship reviewers.

Not all scholarships consider financial need when evaluating applicants, some focus on other things, such as community service, school involvement or your intended field of study. Additionally, scholarships give a varying degree of weight to financial need. For example, financial need is 50 percent of the total score for some scholarships, but only 5 percent of the total score for others. Furthermore, other factors help determine financial need, including the number of people living in your home, the cost of the college and any unexpected financial hardships your family has faced in the last few years.

Main Street Community Foundation utilizes a blind review process to ensure not only confidentiality but also fairness. Other than on the cover page and your transcript, you cannot put any identifying information, including your name, your parents’ names, your siblings’ names or your address.

Yes, as long as your name is not readable on the letters anywhere, they are acceptable.

Yes, an unofficial transcript or Internet printout of your transcript is acceptable.

No; however, if your school or recommender requires that your transcripts or letters of recommendation be sent individually, those can be submitted separate from your full application until the application deadline. In addition, if you do recognize that an error has been made, contact the Foundation's office and we will work with you to correct it.

If the scholarship requires completion of the online application, then you cannot submit a paper application.

Using the Online Scholarship System*

*These FAQs are only relevant to the scholarships requiring completion of the online application.

Once you have determined what scholarships you qualify for and would like to apply to, proceed toMSCFScholarships.CommunityForce.com.

Yes. You must create an account to save and submit an application. An account allows you to access your application, and all required documentation, and it allows us to send you notification.

If you are a first-time applicant with Main Street Community Foundation:
- Go to MSCFScholarships.CommunityForce.com.
- Click the Login button on the top right.
- Click "Create New Account".
- Enter the required information.
- Login using the email address and password you just created.
- Begin your application.

If you have an account, but have lost or forgotten your password click on the Forgot Password button below the sign in screen. A link to reset your password will be emailed to you.

Yes. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save button. Make sure you click the Save button before exiting out of your account.

When you login you will be brought to a screen that has two tabs at the top. One of the tabs will bring you to where you can search for scholarships that you wish to apply for. The other tab is titled My Applications. Click on that tab and you will be brought to a list of the scholarships you have begun applying for.

Wherever you see an Upload button section, click the button to browse. From there you need to find the completed and saved document on your computer. Click on that document and hit the Open button.

Only PDF documents will be accepted. If your document is saved in Word, click Save As and under "Save as type" choose PDF.

When you submit your application you will receive a notification on your screen and you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received. Of course, never hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.

All applicants must complete and submit the online application; please contact your local school, library or senior center to determine if you are eligible to use their computers.

CommunityForce has their own list of FAQs, which can be accessed here: http://support.communityforce.com/faq/faq/applicant/. This page details how to do everything from register, to printing the application to filling out the forms. Of course, do not hesitate tocontact us should you have additional questions or concerns.

Selection Process and Award Payment

A volunteer selection committee will review each application and select the recipients based on the criteria established by donors. All applications are blinded so the selection committee does not know who the applicants are.

Main Street Community Foundation will notify only scholarship recipients by early June.

Scholarship award checks are paid directly to the college or university that the student is attending.

All scholarship recipients must fill out and return the Scholarship Payment Form to the Foundation with a copy of the college invoice/bill for the upcoming academic year or semester, whichever is available. The scholarship award will then be processed and sent directly to the recipient’s school.