Who is eligible to apply?

Each scholarship fund has specific eligibility criteria that were defined by the donor when the fund was established. Please read through the specific criteria to see if you are eligible for any of the funds.  Generally, to be eligible to apply a student must be planning to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited vocational or technical institution in the United States. Unless otherwise noted in the scholarship guidelines, students applying must be home school or high school students in one of the 20 counties that make up the INWCF service area.

Are part-time students eligible?

Scholarships are awarded for full-time enrollment only.

Are scholarships and loans open to graduate students?

Unless otherwise indicated in specific scholarship guidelines, scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students only.

How much does it cost to apply for a scholarship?

There is no charge to apply.

If I am awarded a scholarship, how much will I get?

Scholarships are awarded in varying amounts, typically ranging from $500 to $3,000, depending on the size of the particular fund, the number of qualified applicants, and the wishes of the donors.

Where can I attend school with these scholarships?

Unless noted differently under the scholarship description, the scholarships are for accredited schools anywhere in the United States.

May I receive grants from more than one scholarship?

Yes, you can apply to all the scholarships for which you are eligible and can be selected as a recipient by any or all.

How do I apply?

Each scholarship program has its own application process and requirements which are detailed on the INWCF Web site. Some scholarships are applied for directly on the INWCF Web site; some are applied for through Scholarship America via the INWCF Web site, and others must be applied for through a specific educational institution. In general you be expected to provide the following in order to apply to any of the programs:  

  • A completed application form
  • High school and/or college transcripts(submitted online via scholarship application portal)
  • One or more letters of recommendation (submitted online via scholarship application portal)
  • A copy of your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) information 

What if household income is relatively high?

There is no maximum income or financial cut-off. Since several funds consider other criteria besides financial need, all students who meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.

When should I apply?

Please review carefully the deadlines associated with each scholarship program. In general, scholarship applications are due on March 1 of every year.  For applications that are processed through INWCF, your application and all supporting materials are due on the application deadline date. To ensure that your application is on time, you should request your Academic Performance and appraisal letters at least three weeks prior to the deadline.

When mailing your application, be sure to allow sufficient time for delivery. Materials received after the deadline are considered incomplete and cannot be reviewed. We are unable to accept faxed or e-mailed materials. Due to the number of applications that are received, we are unable to extend the deadline for any reason.

Do I need to pay scholarship money back?

No. Scholarships are charitable grants that do not need to be paid back provided they are used for the purpose stated in the scholarship award.

How are scholarship decisions made?

Each scholarship program has its own advisory committee that reviews applications and makes recommendations for scholarship recipients to the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees.  These recommendations are based on criteria stated by the person or organization that established the scholarship fund at INWCF.

When are decisions made?

Generally, decisions are made by the middle of May and applicants are notified by early June.

If I am awarded a scholarship, what are my responsibilities?

Recipients will be notified by INWCF via the online scholarship portal or from Scholarship America notifiying them of their award and what they must do to confirm their award. Unless otherwise noted, students must enroll full-time at an accredited post-secondary institution and study toward a degree or certificate.  Recipients will be required to notify either INWCF or Scholarship America of the name of the post-secondary institution in which they will be enrolled for the upcoming school year.

Scholarship recipients must attend college on a full-time basis in the fall of the year in which the scholarships are awarded and continue in college that entire academic year without interruption, barring illness or emergency.

How are awards paid?

Scholarship checks are made payable to the educational institution and mailed to students in August. It is the responsibility of award recipients to deliver the checks to their school's financial office to be credited toward their tuition and/or other educational expenses.

What can my scholarship be used for?

All scholarship grant funds must be used for tuition, books, fees and school-related expenses for the upcoming school year only. Any other use is contrary to the intended purpose of the scholarship and would make your scholarship award taxable and could lead to a revocation of funds.

If I receive a scholarship one year, will I automatically receive an award for the following year?

No, scholarships are not renewable.  However, some scholarships do allow you to apply again in subsequent years. Check each scholarship description for further information.

Will the Community Foundation release any of my personal information that it receives?

All application information is confidential and will only be reviewed by the appropriate scholarship review committee members who agree to maintain confidentiality. If you are chosen to receive a scholarship your name and award information may be used by INWCF in publicizing awards.

Where should I send a thank-you letter if I receive a scholarship?

Address a thank-you letter to “Scholarship Committee” and mail it to Inland Northwest Community Foundation, 421 W. Riverside Avenue, Suite 606, Spokane, WA 99201.

Are the scholarship awards taxable?

Generally, scholarships used for educational costs, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies are not taxable.  Please consult a tax expert for advice.

What if a student withdraws or attends only one semester in an academic year?

Most awards under $1,000 are paid in the fall semester. Awards over $1,000 are generally paid in two equal installments during the fall and spring semesters for the academic year. If a student attends only one semester, awards will be made only for the semester enrolled. Awards must be used during the current academic year, and any unused funds are to be returned to INWCF.

How do I obtain my FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)?

Go to.fafsa.ed.gov

  • Under FAFSA Followup, select View and Print your Student Aid Report
  • From the dropdown, select 2009-2010 and select NEXT
  • Follow the instructions. Note: you will need your 4 digit PIN.
  • On the Transaction page, select the most recent transaction number
  • On the Processing Information page, select Print Summary from the left menu bar
  • On the Print Summary page, select html or pdf format
  • Print the SAR. Remember to save or print a copy for yourself

TIPS for obtaining and processing your SAR:

  • Make sure you follow the instructions regarding obtaining your parents signature as instructed on the website.
  • If you provide an e-mail address on the FAFSA, you should receive a confirmation in about a week that your SAR is available. Follow the link provided to receive your SAR.
  • If you don’t provide an e-mail address, the SAR will be mailed to you in about four weeks.
  • If you have trouble obtaining an SAR, contact your college financial aid office or call the Federal Department of Education at 1.800.433.3243 for assistance.
  • File as early as possible and keep copies of all forms submitted.