How long is your scholarship application open?

For years, our organization's annual scholarship application has opened on January 15 and closed two months later on March 15. We're considering moving up the deadline and having the application open for a shorter period of time, possibly 6 weeks.

What are the open & close dates for your scholarship program? What factors influenced how long the application is open for?




  • BettieStammerjohnBettieStammerjohn Posts: 98
    Voter Scholarship Lifecycle Manager (SLM) 100 Likes 10 Comments

    @ElenaKeltz - We open our scholarship application around Feb 20 and close April 1.

    Factors in the dates :

    Open date - Feb 20: We won't formally post our scholarship application until we have confirmation from donors on the amount and number of awards for each fund which can vary from year to year depending on the earnings from the year before. Our board does not approve payouts until the end of January.

    Close date - April 1: That gives us time to review the completed applications, get them to the committees, give the evaluators time to complete their reviews and me time to summarize evaluations (love the Report function) and back out to the committees before we meet to make final recommendations at the end of April/early May. We typically start announcing awards around the second week of May at the various school award programs.


    Bettie Stammerjohn

    Executive Director

    Community Foundation of Greene County, Pennsylvania

  • TomWickershamTomWickersham Posts: 82
    Rule Breaker Scholarship Lifecycle Manager (SLM) 100 Likes 10 Comments

    Our is similar: Jan. 10 opens; closes around March 10. Side note: This is one application deadline that changes from year to year. We purposely have the deadline always fall on a Wednesday night (moving date) rather than a fixed date, which may result in deadlines on weekends.

    KaraAdams (Former Community Manager)
  • Most of our applications open in January and close in April. We require financial aid award letters for our need-based scholarships. Our past experience was that many incoming freshmen don't have their institutional award info before April 1. Our renewal applications close in mid-June, also due to timing of financial aid award letters.

    TomWickershamKaraAdams (Former Community Manager)SarahBurzyckiKellieUtzinger
  • robincowlesrobincowles Posts: 24
    Groundbreaker Scholarship Lifecycle Manager (SLM) Foundant Scholarship Management+ Certificate Third Compass Anniversary

    We have our applications open from October 1 through March 1.

    KaraAdams (Former Community Manager)
  • SarahBurzyckiSarahBurzycki Posts: 10
    Conversation Starter Second Compass Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper
    edited October 2021

    This is a great question as we are currently revaluating our timeline. In the past we opened our scholarships mid-November on a Monday (around 11/16) and close mid-February on a Wednesday (around 2/12). We allow an extra week for 3rd party recommendations as it seems majority of the students wait until the last minute to send the requests. Over the past few years we've noticed majority of our applications are started/completed during the last two weeks with the bulk coming in the last few days. We do a staff review and remove any applications that don't meet criteria before we send them to our committee for review. We try to give the committee a month for reviews (again it seems they are either completely quickly within the first few days of assignment or at end of the period). For certain scholarships we do interviews - typically the top 2 or 3 students for each scholarship based on the committee evaluations. Interviews are early May with awards announced at year-assemblies/graduations in late May.

    KaraAdams (Former Community Manager)[Deleted User]
  • karagilleykaragilley Posts: 1
    10-Year Anniversary First Compass Anniversary

    We changed ours a couple of years ago to open on November 1st with a deadline of January 15th.

    I like that we opened it earlier for the current college students and high school seniors to be able to apply while they are on Fall and Winter break.

    KaraAdams (Former Community Manager)[Deleted User]JoAnnaDardaMadiSyring
  • JoAnnaDardaJoAnnaDarda Posts: 15
    Voter Scholarship Lifecycle Manager (SLM) Third Compass Anniversary Foundant Grant Management Certificate

    Our scholarship process used to open on January 1 and close on March 1, but we recently started opening the scholarship application in mid-December so that students can work on applications over the winter break. Some students do take advantage of this. We are considering moving our deadline to a bit earlier because spring break tends to fall in the middle of our first phase of evaluations, which causes some problems.

    We give phase 1 evaluators (donor voters and schools) two weeks to review applications. Then staff has one week to process those initial votes and prepare for phase 2 of evaluations (our Foundation's scholarship committees), who have 3 weeks to complete their evaluations. Applicants are notified of scholarship decisions on a rolling basis throughout the month of April.

    LaurieAbildsoKaraAdams (Former Community Manager)
  • LaurieAbildsoLaurieAbildso Posts: 66
    Foundant Fan Third Compass Anniversary 10 Comments Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM)

    @JoAnnaDarda I'd love to hear more about how you structure your evaluations with two phases. We have one phase with donor representatives sitting on committees (as a minority), and we give them two weeks to review and enter their ratings. Once their ratings are entered, I prepare summary reports for committees to use in their discussion meetings. Then they have an additional week to finalize their selections.

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

  • elianapritchettelianapritchett Posts: 13
    Conversation Starter Foundant Grant Management Certificate Name Dropper First Comment

    Hi! Our application is open from January 15 to February 28th. The applications go through staff review (for eligibility) and then committee review. Committee review begins in mid-March and ends in mid-April. We like to have notifications out to students by May 1.

    KaraAdams (Former Community Manager)GrettaKrausJulieLooperJoAnnaDarda
  • MadiSyringMadiSyring Posts: 11
    Volunteer Scholarship Lifecycle Manager (SLM) Foundant Scholarship Management+ Certificate Regional Training

    Our scholarship application opens around November 7 each year and closes around February 6 depending on how the week falls. That leaves about 13 weeks when the application is open. This gives us enough time and flexibility to go into most of our area schools and work with students directly on filling out their FAFSA and answering questions they have about the application process.

    We have also recently considered moving up when the application is due to allow for more time on the backend to process and award. Once our application closes, we send out evaluation materials to reviewers for subcommittees. Then we work to get standing committee materials out after. This process for both takes up to one week. We try to allow about one month for evaluations.

    This year our standing committee met to award on March 24 and our BOT will approve in the coming weeks.

    KaraAdams (Former Community Manager)GrettaKrausJulieLooper
  • FrancescaWisemanFrancescaWiseman Posts: 4
    5 Likes First Compass Anniversary First Comment
    edited October 11

    Our application opens December 1 and closes on February 1. Big push from guidance counselors to have it available over the December break so kids can work on it without conflicting school assignments. But as of last year, we do a "soft launch," i.e. not advertised, to coincide with the first college fair in the fall (next Monday). We provide a UPC code on our flyer and if some student who has just spoken to us wants to get right to it, they can. I think the compressed deadline forces us into locking in the application too early, but we made it work. And by too early, I mean if a new scholarship opportunity arises and the donor has some new request for info (or an essay!), it can be tricky. I would prefer December 1.

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