Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  1. Is there a fee to apply?
    No. There are no fees to apply for Horatio Alger Association scholarships.

  2. How can I contact the Association if I have questions about the application?
    We encourage you to review the FAQ, Eligibility Section and Required Forms pages of our website to locate answers to any questions you may have. If these pages do not answer your question, please email scholarships@horatioalger.org or call toll-free at (844) HAA-4200, Monday‐Friday, 8:00-5:00 Eastern Time.

  3. 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.

  4. Are there any other scholarship programs that I may be eligible for?
    There are many additional sources of scholarships and financial aid available. Visit www.fastweb.com and www.wiredscholar.com for more scholarship listings.

Deadlines

  1. When is the deadline for submitting applications?
    The online application will remain open for Idaho, Louisiana and Montana until 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. In order to be considered, all sections of your application must be completed and all required documents must be uploaded to your online application by Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The deadline for all other scholarship programs with the exception of Idaho, Louisiana, and Montana has passed. View a full listing of recipients here.

  2. 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.

  3. What if my Counselor/Support Form Provider does not complete their online form by the deadline?
    Due to the large number of applications submitted, no required forms will be accepted after the deadline. All applicants are responsible for following up with their counselors and/or Support Form Providers to ensure the email communications are received and that the forms are completed by the deadline.

Eligibility

  1. 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 on the Certifications Form. This code will assign the school name “High School Clearing House” to your application
  2. Is there a minimum SAT or ACT score requirement?
    No. The Association does not require a minimum score on the SAT or ACT.
  3. 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.
  4. I’ve already received my GED/Diploma; do I qualify?
    No. If you have already graduated from high school, you do not qualify. To be eligible, you must be a current high school student progressing normally towards graduation in Spring/Summer 2015.

  5. 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.

Background Information Section (Contact information, student status)

  1. There is an error in my first/last name, but it won’t let me change it. How can I correct it?
    If you have an error in your first and/or last name, please email the Association scholarships@horatioalger.org and provide us with the error made and how this should be corrected; we will make that adjustment for you.

  2. I don’t feel that I fall into either the Independent or Dependent student status categories. What do I do?
    For the purpose of our scholarship, all applicants must be determined as an Independent or Dependent student.

    Click here and answer a few questions to quickly find out if you are an Independent or Dependent student. If you are still not sure, please contact the Association at scholarships@horatioalger.org.

  3. Why do you ask for local newspaper, radio, and TV stations?
    Often, the local media will announce and congratulate scholarship winners within their community through the use of newspapers, radio broadcasting, and news stations. By providing this information in the application, the Association is able to provide a list of our winners to the proper individuals.

Academic Information Section (Certification form, Counselor information)

  1. What is the Certifications Form?
    The Certification Form is an online form completed by the students’ high school counselor. This form is used to verify the students’ academic information (i.e. GPA, class ranking, coursework, etc.).

    Below is an outline of how this process works.
    • In the Academic Section, students must provide the name and email address of their academic counselor. Once the Academic Information section is complete, an email is automatically generated and sent to the counselor.
    • This email provides the counselor with instructions and a passcode to complete the online Certification Form.
    • Students are encouraged to notify their counselor that they will receive this email from the Association.

  2. What if I have resent the Certifications Form email and my counselor still has not received it?
    Many organizations often block automatically generated email communications such as ours. If you have resent the Certification Form email more than two (2) times and it has not been received, please email scholarships@horatioalger.org and provide the following information: applicant’s name, counselor’s name and email address. Our staff will manually send this email for you.

  3. What if I entered the wrong name and/or email for my counselor?
    If you need to change your counselors name and/or email address, you can make those changes in the Academic Information section. Once you have made these changes, you will need to check the box to have the communication resent.

Adversity Section and Support Form

  1. What is the Adversity Section?
    The adversity section provides an opportunity for applicants to share the types of adversities they have experienced in their life. As part of the application criteria, students are required to have overcome adversity to be eligible to apply. We encourage you to be as detailed as possible in these sections to provide the selection committee with a clear picture of the adversity you have faced.

  2. Why do I have to lock the Adversity Section?
    The adversity section must be locked so your Support Form Provider can verify its contents. If this section is not locked, your Support Form Provider will not receive the email with instructions to complete this form.

  3. What if I locked the Adversity section before completing it?
    Once the Adversity Section is locked, it CANNOT be unlocked for any reason. The information you provide in the Adversities section is verified by your Support Form Provider. You cannot make edits to the information once they have confirmed its accuracy.

  4. What is a Support Form?
    The Support Form is an online form that is completed by your Support Form Provider. This online form contains all of the information you write about in the Adversities section. The Support Form Provider reviews the information online, confirms the accuracy of the information and is asked to provide additional comments about you and your ability to overcome these adversities.
  5. How do I send the Support Form?
    Prior to identifying a Support Form Provider, the applicant must lock the Adversity Section. Once the Adversity Section is locked it CANNOT be unlocked for editing. Therefore, please carefully review the Adversity section to make sure all necessary information is included in the answers.

    Follow the steps below to ensure the online Support Form is completed successfully:

    • Complete the Adversity Section and lock this section once complete.
    • Once the Adversity Section is locked the applicant will need to identify one (1) Support Form Provider by entering the person’s name, email address, and other contact information requested.
    • Once the Support Form Provider has been identified, an email is automatically generated and sent to the Provider. This email contains instructions and a passcode to complete the online Support Form.
    • Students are encouraged to notify their Support Form Provider that they will receive this email from the Association.

  6. What is a Support Form Provider and who should I list as my Support Form Provider?
    A Support Form Provider must be an adult over the age of 21 who is not related to you. This person will read all of the information you provide in the Adversities section of the application. The Support Form Provider is asked to confirm the accuracy of the information and to provide additional comments on your behalf. You want to choose individuals who are familiar with the adversities you have written about and who can provide additional information and insight about you and your ability to overcome these adversities. Examples of a Support Form Provider include, but are not limited to: a neighbor, family friend, counselor/therapist, pastor, or teacher.

  7. Can I change my Support Form Provider?
    If you need to change your Support Form Provider name and/or email address, you can make those changes in the Adversity and Support section but only if a Support Form has not been completed. If you make changes to your Provider, you will need to check the box to have the communication resent. Once a completed Support Form is submitted on your behalf, this section is marked as complete and changes to the Provider information are no longer allowed.

  8. What if I have resent the Support Form email and my Provider still has not received it?
    Many organizations often block automatically generated email communications such as ours. If you have resent the Support Form email more than two (2) times and it has not been received, please email scholarships@horatioalger.org and provide the following information:

    • Applicant’s name
    • Support form provider’s name
    • Support providers email address.

    Once this information is received, please allow 1-2 days for our staff will manually send this email for you.

Financial Information

  1. Is there an income limit?
    Yes, applicant’s adjusted gross family income must be $55,000 or lower.
  2. Whose income should be listed if my parents are separated or divorced?
    Applicants of divorced or legally separated parents/guardians need to submit tax forms from both parents/guardians as long as you still have contact with both parents.
  3. I am a foster child/independent student, what do I list for income?
    If you are in foster care or an 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: “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 submitting a letter on school stationery. This letter must be uploaded as your income verification document. This information is required in order for your application to be complete.
  4. What if I do not have access to a copy of my parent/guardian’s tax return that was filed?
    You have the option to submit a copy of the tax transcript which can be requested through the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript. 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.

  5. 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 scholarships@horatioalger.org.

  6. Based on my student status, what do I need to provide to verify my income?
    Please refer to the definitions below to determine how you should determine your student status.

    Independent Students do not need to provide verification of income; however, they will be required to verify their status as an Independent student by providing copies of a court’s decision that as of today the student is an emancipated minor, ward/dependent of the court, or is in legal guardianship/foster care.

    Dependent Students have one or more legal parent (biological and/or adoptive) or stepparent and does not meet any of the criteria for an Independent Student. The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you: grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older brothers or sisters, and uncles or aunts. Dependent Students are required to verify a household Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $55,000 or lower by submitting official income documentation. If your household AGI exceeds $55,000 for the 2013 or 2014 year, regardless of the number of dependents in the home, you do not qualify for our program.

  7. What do I need to submit to verify critical financial need?
    Based on your student status, use the chart below to identify what income verification documents you will need to provide:

    I am a Dependent Student…To verify critical financial need, I need to submit…
    with one or both parents who filed a 2013 or 2014 tax return.

    NOTE: See questions #8-11 if your parents are not married, if you have a step parent, or if you do not live with your parent(s)

    A copy of the first page of your parent(s) federal tax return

    • Federal 1040 (example)

    • Federal 1040A (example)

    • Federal 1040 EZ‐ only one page (example)

    • Official IRS issued Tax Return Transcript: Can be obtained online or mail: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript

    Please note: IRS tax transcripts are processed immediatley if done online through the IRS site, but will take 5-10 days to receive via mail.

    with one or both parents who have not filed a 2013 or 2014 tax return NOTE: See questions #8-11 if your parents are not married, if you have a step parent, or if you do not live with your parent(s)

    Provide statement copies of all government benefits the household receives. Statement copies must show the monthly and/or annual dollar amount of assistance received.

    • 1099‐SSA Social Security Form (SSI) – received by parent(s) only (exampl

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

 

    I am a Indpendent Student… To verify Independent status, I need to submit…

    with legal guardian(s), in foster care, a ward/dependent of the court, or an emancipated minor

    No income documentation is needed; however, you are required to verify independent status by providing copies of a court’s decision that as of today the applicant is an emancipated minor, a ward/dependent of the court, or is in legal guardianship/foster care.

    who is homeless

    If you are homeless, you must upload the following to the financial verification page:

    A statement from your school counselor on letterhead explaining your situation. 

    Documents that are acceptable forms of income verification are:

    • Federal 1040

    •Federal 1040A

    • Federal 1040EZ

    •IRS Tax Transcript

    Documents that are acceptable forms of government benefits are:

    • 1099‐SSA Social Security Form (SSI) – received by parent(s) only

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

    Please Note: Statement copies of the documents listed above must show the monthly and/or annual dollar amount of assistance received.

    The following documents are not acceptable forms of income verification:

    • W2s, 1099 or check stubs

    • Child support payments/Divorce agreements

    • Checking/Savings account statements

    • Free/Reduced lunch forms/letters/statements

    • Social Security payments for students or children

    • Utility assistance

    • Pension statements

    • Copies of food assistance cards

    • Medicaid/Medicare cards or statements

    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

    • State or Foreign tax returns

    • Handwritten tax returns or benefit worksheet

8. What if my parents never married, are divorced, remarried or widowed?
Please read the situations that best descript your parent(s) situation to determine what tax verification needs to be submitted.

  • If your parents are living together and/or married to each other, provide tax information for both parents.
  • If your parent is widowed, provide information for that parent.
  • If your custodial parent is remarried as of today, provide information for that parent and the person to whom your parent is married (your stepparent).
  • If your custodial parent and stepparent file taxes separately, provide information for only the custodial parent.
  • If your parents are divorced or separated, provide information for your “custodial” parent. The custodial parent is the parent with whom you lived most during the previous 12 months.
  • If your parents have joint custody and you lived with each for the same amount of time during the prior year, then include the information for the parent who provided the most financial support to you.

9. What if I have a stepparent?
If you have a stepparent who is married to and files jointly with the legal parent with whom you lived the most during the previous 12 months, you must provide information about that stepparent as well.

10. What if I don’t live with my parents?
If you do not live with your parents, a court appointed legal guardian(s), or in a foster home you must answer that you are a dependent student. Not living with your parents by choice does not make you an Independent Student. Therefore you must provide income documents from your parents. Please reference the chart in question #7 under the Income Information section for further details.

The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you: grandparents, aunts or uncles, brothers or sisters, or family friends.

11. What if I have no contact with my parents?
If you don’t know where your parents live, or you’ve left home due to an abusive situation, contact Association staff at 844.422.4200 or scholarships@horatioalger.org to discuss how to proceed.

Personal Statements

  1. What essays are required on the application?
    There are a total of four essays within our application; three (3) are located under the Adversity and Support section and one (1) is in the Personal Statement section. The three (3) Adversity and Support essay questions accept a maximum of only 150 words and ask about the following.

    1. Describe the impact adversity has had on the applicant’s life.

    2. Describe how the applicant has overcome those adversities, as well as about the person or organization who has had the most positive impact in helping them overcome those events.

    3. What lessons has the applicant learned, or personal insight have they gained, that helped them prevent their adversity from having a negative impact on their present and future.

    4. Lastly, applicants must provide a personal statement of 50‐200 words in which they compare elements of an Association Member's life with their own.

  2. Where can I access a list of Members bios to write the Member essay?
    To access Member bios please go to www.horatioalger.org/members.

Supplemental Documents

  1. How do I submit my documents?
    All documents must be uploaded through the online application. No documents submitted by mail, email or fax will be accepted.

  2. My counselor and/or support form provider is not receiving the email to complete their portion of my application, what can I do to ensure this email is received?
    Many organizations often block automatically generated email communications such as ours. If you have resent the Certification Form and/or Support Form email more than two (2) times and it has not been received, please email tech@fluidreview.com and provide the following information: applicant’s name, counselor/support form provider’s name and email address. Our staff will manually send this email for you.

Citizenship

  1. 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. If you were born in another country, you will be required to submit proof of citizenship. U.S. residents do not qualify for our program.

  2. I have a permanent resident card, can I apply for a Horatio Alger Scholarship?
    No. Individuals with a permanent resident card, US green card or who received permanent residency under the DREAM Act are not citizens of the United States.

  3. Am I required to submit proof of citizenship?
    Yes, applicants not born in the United States but who are United States citizens are required to verify their citizenship by uploading one of the following documents to their online application:

    1. A copy of the photo ID page from your United States issued passport which includes your full name; or

    2. A copy of your citizenship certificate. If you do not have a certificate but your parents are United States citizens please submit a copy of a parent’s citizenship certificate; or

    3. A copy of your Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

    If you were born in the United States, do not submit proof of citizenship.

Notification and Award Information

  1. 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 May. A listing of recipients will also be posted online.
  2. 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.
  3. Can I use a Horatio Alger Association scholarship at any college and for any major?
    Scholars must attend a nonprofit public or private accredited fouryear 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 (forprofit) 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 read the description about the school stating if it is a public, private, or propriety school. 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.
  4. 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.