Frequently Asked Questions

Adversity Section

  • Why do I have to lock the adversity section?
    The adversity section must be locked in order for your Support Form provider to receive notification and instructions for completing this online form. Once the adversity section is locked an email will automatically be generated to the adult you chose to complete the Support Form. If this section is not locked, your Support Form provider will not receive the email with instructions to complete this information.
  • What if I locked the adversity section before completing it?
    Once you have locked the adversity section you CANNOT unlock this section. Once this section is locked an email is automatically generated to your Support Form provider to verify the adversity you mentioned in this section. A new application will have to be started if you left out important information in this section.


  • When is the deadline for submitting applications?
    The application deadline for the Idaho, Louisiana and Montana scholarships is 11:59pm (Eastern Time Zone) on April 15, 2014. Applications will automatically be submitted to the Association at this time (there is no submit button on the application). The national application will re-open August 1-October 25, 2014 for high school seniors graduating in the spring of 2015.
  • I missed the deadline. Can I still apply?
    No, due to the large number of applications submitted, applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • I am a home-schooled student, can I apply?
    Yes. To apply as a home-schooled student you will need to enter 970000 for the CEEB code (note this is not an official College Board code).
  • Is there a minimum SAT or ACT score requirement?
    No. The Association does not require a minimum score on the SAT or ACT.
  • What if my SAT or ACT score changes after I submit my application? Should I update you on my scores?
    No. The scores that you submitted before April 15 are sufficient.
  • Is there a minimum Grade Point Average requirement?
    Yes. All applicants must have and maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  • Do I have to be a United States citizen to apply for a scholarship?
    Yes. You must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for Horatio Alger Association scholarships.
  • I am eligible for more than one scholarship that the Association offers. Do I have to fill out more than one application?
    No. You only have to submit one application to receive consideration for all of our scholarship programs for which you are eligible.
  • Where does funding for Horatio Alger Association Scholarships come from?
    Horatio Alger Association Scholarships are funded through the generosity of the Association's Members, Life Partners, and Friends of the Association.
  • Are there any other scholarship programs that I may be eligible for?
    There are many additional sources of scholarships and financial aid available. Visit and for more scholarship listings.

Essay Questions

  • What essays are required on the application?
    There are four required essays. The first three essays are a maximum of 150 words. The first essay must describe the impact adversity has had on the applicant’s life. Next, applicants must describe how they have overcome those adversities, as well as about the person or organization who has had the most positive impact in helping them overcome those events. The third essay asks what lessons the applicant has learned, or personal insight have they gained, that helps them prevent their adversity from having a negative impact on their present and future. Lastly, applicants must also provide a personal statement of 50-200 words in which they compare elements of an Association Member's life with their own.
  • Where can I access a list of Members bios to write the Member essay?
    To access Member bios please go to

General Information

  • Is there a fee to apply?
    No. There are no fees to apply for Horatio Alger Association scholarships.
  • Are paper applications accepted?
    Paper applications are not accepted. In extreme circumstances, students may request a paper application from the Horatio Alger Association at
  • How can I contact the Association if I have questions about the application?
    Applicants can email or call toll-free at (866) 763-9228.
  • Where is the submit button on the application?
    There is no submit button. All applications will be automatically submitted to the Association on the April 15 deadline. Please make sure to save and exit the application each time.

Income Information

  • Is there an income limit?
    Yes, applicant’s adjusted gross family income must be $55,000 or lower.
  • Whose income should be listed if my parents are separated or divorced?
    You should list the income of the parent/guardian with whom you lived for most of this past year. If you are not listed on that tax return, please include a note on the application that briefly explains the situation.
  • I am a foster child/independent student, what do I list for income?
    If you are in foster care or independent student please enter $0 in the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) field. Please explain your situation in your application essay and answer "yes" to the question of are you or have you been in foster care or independent student? For verification purposes your high school must confirm your current status as a foster child or independent student by completing additional information on your Certifications Form. This information is required in order for your application to be complete.

Notification and Award Information

  • When are the winners notified? Are applicants who have not won also notified?
    Only awardees will be notified personally. Recipients will be notified via email and mail by June. A listing of recipients will also be posted online.
  • If I am awarded a Horatio Alger Association Scholarship, how will I receive my money?
    Disbursement information will be sent to you each year in May. You will be asked to go online and request your funds for the upcoming year at that time. We send the check directly to your college to be credited to your account. Scholarship funds may only be used for tuition and fees, on-campus room and board, books, and summer school.
  • Can I use a Horatio Alger Association scholarship at any college and for any major?
    Scholars must attend a non-profit public or private accredited four-year institution in the United States on a full-time basis and pursue an uninterrupted course leading to an undergraduate bachelor’s degree.  Two-year colleges qualify for the first two years of study if the credits are transferable to an accredited four-year college or university. The Association will not send funds to proprietary (for-profit) or online colleges.  Therefore if you plan on attending a for-profit college you will not be eligible to receive this scholarship.  To verify that your college is not a propriety institution, please click here. Search for your college and view “School Type.”  If “Propriety” is listed under school type then you are not eligible to receive this scholarship.   Idaho Scholarship recipients must attend North Idaho College, the University of Idaho or Lewis-Clark State College (Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston campus only). Louisiana Scholarship recipients must attend a college in Louisiana. Montana Scholarship recipients must attend either a University of Montana or Montana State system school. All scholarship recipients may pursue any major of their choice leading to a bachelor's degree.
  • If I am awarded other scholarships or financial aid, does it affect my eligibility for a Horatio Alger Association Scholarship?
    No. The only exception is if you receive a scholarship or other funding that covers your basic expenses of tuition, fees, books, and on-campus room and board. We would then ask that you notify the Association so that we may re-award the scholarship funds.

Supplemental Documents

  • What is the Certifications Form?
    The Certifications Form is an online form that must be submitted by the applicant’s high school counselor to verify the applicant’s academic information. Once the applicant completes the Academic Section of the application, an email will automatically be generated based on the counselor’s information the student entered in the application.
  • What is the Support Form?
    The Support Form is an online form that must be completed by an adult over the age of 21 who is not related to you and who can verify the adversity mentioned under the adversity section of your application. In order for the Support Form to be generated, the Adversity Section of the application must be locked (note: once this section is locked it cannot be unlocked). Once this section is locked, an email will be generated to the support provider with instructions.
  • What is an Income Verification Cover Sheet needed for?
    If you are submitting your tax information via mail you must submit a cover sheet, which can be found online here. A cover sheet is needed for administrative purposes to make sure your tax information is matched up to the correct application.
  • If I filled out my application online, how do I submit the supplemental materials (Certifications Form, Support Form, Income Verification (tax form or tax transcript), and high school transcript)?
    Certifications forms must be completed online by your high school counselor. The Support Form must be completed online by an adult over the age of 21 who is not related to you and who can verify the adversity mentioned in your application. Tax documents may be uploaded online (preferred) or submitted by mail with a cover sheet. Click here to download the cover sheet. High school transcripts may be uploaded online by the applicant or counselor, or applicants may send this by mail.
  • What if I do not have access to a copy of my parent/guardian’s tax return which was filed?
    You have the option to submit a copy of the tax transcript which can be requested through the IRS website at Please note: Tax transcripts may take 5-10 days for you to receive from the IRS. Tax transcripts will list dependents by social security number, for verification purposes please write your name next to your social security number on the tax transcript.
  • Where do I send my supplemental documents?
    We strongly encourage applicants to upload tax information and transcripts online, however, if you choose to send this information by mail please send these documents to: Horatio Alger Scholarship Programs, 327 2nd Street, Suite 103, Coralville, IA 52241
  • Should I submit my supplemental documents by mail and online?
    No, please choose one way to submit your documents. If you upload your documents online, please do not mail them in and vice versa.
  • What should I do if my parents do not file an income tax return?
    If your parents/guardians were not required to file a tax return, include statement copies showing the amount of any government benefits received, such as Public Assistance or Disability Statement documents. Faxes/emails will not be accepted.  If you have any questions about appropriate forms, please contact the Association at
  • I have mailed in my tax return and/or high school transcript.  Why is it not showing as being received online?
    Due to the large number of applications received, it may take up to one week for your paperwork sent via mail to be updated. Please be patient with us as we work to get your paperwork along with other applicants’ paperwork updated in a timely manner.

    By logging into your application online you can view the status of all paperwork by going to the Paperwork Status section of your application.