SCHOLARSHIP FAQs

Eligibility

My family's income is higher than your limit. Should I still apply?

Yes! If your family’s income is over our limit, be sure to provide an explanation of your family’s circumstances in the indicated section of the application so we have a better idea of your family’s financial need.

Are step-children eligible to apply?

Yes! If you’re a step-child you may be required to provide additional documentation to show proof of your relationship to the qualifying military parent (typically a tax document or a marriage certificate).

I'm a part-time student. Am I still eligible to receive a scholarship?

Yes! Awards are available for part-time students.

I’d like to attend career training or trade school for a non-degree certificate program. Am I eligible?

Yes! Scholarships are available to students attending career training or trade school at any institution listed here.

If your program is less than 12 months in length, you can apply for our Career & Technical Education Scholarship.

Students pursuing non-degree certificate programs that are longer than 12 months need to apply for our Undergraduate and Associate Degree Scholarships.

I’ve already completed my undergraduate courses/earned my bachelor’s degree. Am I eligible?

If you’ve already earned an undergraduate degree or have already completed all of your undergraduate courses you are NOT eligible for a scholarship. Check out our Resources page for other organizations that might help!

I’m receiving VA and/or GI Bill benefits, can I still apply?

Yes! Our scholarship can be used in conjunction with any other benefits you may be receiving.

Application

How do I apply?

You can learn more about how and when to apply here.

When does the application open and what is the award timeline?

UNDERGRADUATE/ASSOCIATE SCHOLARSHIP TIMELINE

  • January 1: Application open for new and renewal applicants
  • March 1: Application closes
  • March – May: Applications reviewed
  • May 31: Award decisions e-mailed
  • August 1: First payments sent to schools
  • November 30: Deadline to complete post-award steps
  • December/January: Transfer paperwork due (if applicable)

CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP TIMELINE

  • Application available all year
  • Applications processed monthly on on-going basis
  • Week 1 & 2: Complete and submit an application
  • Week 3: Application reviewed and processed
  • Week 4: Award notification sent
  • Week 5: Post-award process and payment of scholarship to school

I’m a new applicant. What documents are required for the application?

The following documents will be a required part of your application:

  1. TRANSCRIPTYour current year school transcript that shows your name, your school’s name, and a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  2. 2014 FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN: The first two pages of the 2015 Federal Income Tax Return (or 2014 if 2015 has not been filed) you are listed on OR the Statement of Non-filing of a Federal Tax Return AY 2016-17 form.
  3. QUALIFYING MILITARY PARENT SERVICE DOCUMENTATION: click here to learn more about the document you’ll need to provide.
  4. PHOTO: A photo of yourself suitable for reproduction (at least 500KB and preferably 300dpi) in our publications and donor relations.

Additional information about these documents can be found in Application Documents.

You may also have to provide an additional document:

  • If you’re applying as a grandchild: you’ll have to submit an Association Document (roster list, membership card, or copy of newsletter with their name and address) proving your grandparent is a member of the association for which you are applying for.
  • If you indicate your parent was medically retired from the military: you’ll have to submit the letter from the Commandant of the Marine Corps assigning your qualifying military parent to the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL).  DON’T provide a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • If YOU served in the US Armed Forces: you’ll have to submit your own military document (DD214 Member-4 version) or Statement of Service. Your character of service must also be “honorable.” No other character of service is accepted.

I’m a renewal applicant that was awarded in the 2015-16 academic year. What documents are required for the application?

The following documents will be a required part of your application:

TRANSCRIPT: Your current year school transcript that shows your name, your school’s name, a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.

2015 FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN: The first two pages of the 2015 Federal Income Tax Return (or 2014 if 2015 has not been filed) you are listed on OR the Statement of Non-filing of a Federal Tax Return AY 2016-17 form.

Additional questions about these documents can be found in the Application Documents.

Can I email, postal mail or fax my documents?

No. All documents must be scanned and uploaded into the application. Any supporting documents sent by e-mail, postal mail, or fax will not be accepted and will be destroyed.

Don’t have a scanner? Visit your local copy center, school library, or consider asking a teacher, friend, or family member if they can help you.

I was previously awarded a scholarship. Do I need to apply again?

Yes. If you’ve previously been awarded, you are eligible for four paid awards but are required to re-apply and continue to meet eligibility each year. The renewal application is simple and doesn’t take too long to complete.

You’re not required to be awarded in consecutive years, but if you weren’t awarded in the 2015-16 academic year, you’ll need to complete the application process as a first time student.

What is the dollar amount of the scholarship awards?

Scholarship awards are $1,500, $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 per academic year.

Application Documents

Transcript

I won’t be able to get my official transcript by the application deadline. What can I do?

You can provide an unofficial transcript; it must include:

  • Your full name (first & last)
  • Name of your school
  • Cumulative, unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Semester/date your grades are through

Screenshots are valid, IF the items listed above can be seen. Microsoft Word, text, or editable documents aren’t acceptable.

GED recipients: provide a copy of your GED if you haven’t attended college or career training since earning your GED.

My school will only postal mail my transcript, but you don’t accept documents by mail. What should I do?

Request your transcript be mailed to you. When you receive your transcript, open it, scan it, and upload it to your application. We’ll accept your transcript as “official” even though the sealed envelope has been opened.

If your school mails your transcript to our office, it will not be accepted and will be destroyed. No application documents are accepted by e-mail, postal mail, or fax.

Tax Document

What tax forms are accepted?

The first two pages of the 2015 federal income tax return (or 2014 if 2015 has not been filed) you are listed on.

Even if you file your own taxes, you may still have to provide your parent’s tax document. Check out the next question to determine which tax document we’ll need.

You’re not required to provide the tax document for your qualifying military parent (unless that’s the parent that claims you!). If your parents are divorced, submit the tax document for the parent that claims you.

Acceptable federal tax forms are:

  • Federal (US) 1040 – submit first two pages*
  • Federal (US) 1040A – submit first two pages*
  • Federal (US) 1040EZ – acceptable for independent students only

*You will need to submit the first two pages of the IRS form itself (not necessarily the first two pages of the document that you have if you use a tax preparer). Page 1 should have your full name listed as a dependent and the tax filer’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and page 2 should have the tax filer’s signature so that we can verify that the document is authentic.

Unacceptable tax forms include:

  • Summary pages
  • Form 1040-ES
  • Form 1040-X

The general IRS site for all forms is: http://www.irs.gov

How do I know if I submit my parent’s tax return, or my tax return?

There are two types of students in the Financial Aid world: dependent and independent. Determine the type of student you are here: www.studentaid.gov/dependency.

  • Dependent applicants must provide their parent’s tax return of which they’re claimed on (this means your name will appear in box 6c of the 1040!). Even if you file your own taxes, you’ll still have to provide your parent’s tax document.
  • Independent applicants must provide their own tax return.

Not living with your parents, being responsible for your own educational expenses, or not being claimed by your parents on your tax forms doesn’t make you an independent student.

If you are a dependent student and aren’t claimed on your parent’s tax document, contact us for more information on the documentation we require.

I’m considered a dependent student, but I am paying for my own education. Do I still have to submit my parent’s tax return?

Yes. For the purposes of our program, if you’re considered a dependent student, then you have to submit your parent’s tax document (your name will appear on the tax form in box 6c of the 1040).

Not living with your parents, being responsible for your own educational expenses, or not being claimed by your parents on your tax forms doesn’t make you an independent student.

If you are a dependent student and aren’t claimed on your parent’s tax document, contact us for more information on the documentation we require.

My parents are divorced or separated. Whose tax document should I use?

Submit the tax document for the parent that claims you (your name will appear on the tax form in box 6c of the 1040). You’re not required to provide the tax document for your qualifying military parent (unless that’s the parent that claims you!).

What if my parent’s federal taxes will not be finalized until after the application deadline?

You can provide the previous year tax document, but you may be required to provide an updated tax return at a later time.

What if I, or my parents, don’t file a tax return?

You’ll need to provide the Statement of Non-filing of a Federal Tax Return form in lieu of a tax document. The form can be found within the application and must be signed by you and your parents.

If awarded, you’ll be required to complete IRS Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return), and provide us with an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter.

Awardees that fail to provide the official confirmation, or provide false statements, risk forfeiting their scholarship award.

Military Service Documentation

What military document do I need from my parent for the application?

If your parent is no longer serving in the Marine Corps or Navy:  DD214 (Member-4) form.

If your parent is currently on active duty or is a drilling reservist:  Statement of Service (dated within 90 days of March 1, 2016).

If your parent was killed in action, killed in service, or killed in training: Report of Casualty DD Form 1300

What is a DD214 (Member-4 version) form?

This document is provided to your parent upon discharge from the military and should be used if your parent is no longer serving in the Marine Corps or Navy.

The Character of Service on the DD214 must read: HONORABLE. No other character of service is accepted for our application. Read the next question to find where this information can be found on your parent’s form.

The following documents will NOT be accepted in lieu of the DD214 Member-4: Honorable Discharge Certificate, Certificate of Release or Discharge,  DD214 Member-1 forms (or short forms), DD214s that don’t indicate “Character of Service,” letters from Veterans’ Affairs, disability documents, duty orders, or military IDs.

Where can I find the “Character of Service” on the DD214 (Member-4 version)?

You can find the character of service on your parent’s DD214 using the table below.  The form number/date appears in the bottom left corner of the DD214.

DD Form 214, Aug 2009: Box 24
DD Form 214, Feb 2000: Box 24
DD Form 214, Nov 88: Box 24
DD Form 214, 1 Jul 79: Box 24
DD Form 214, 1 Nov 72: Box 9e
DD Form 214 MC (1900), 1 Jul 66: Box 13a
DD Form 214, 1 Nov 55: Box 13a

Some DD214s don’t show the character of service on the form. That doesn’t mean your parent didn’t serve honorably—it just means they don’t have the final version! Your parent will need to obtain a final version online at: www.archives.gov/veterans.

What if I don’t have my parent’s DD214 (Member-4 version), or proof of their honorable service?

Your parent will need to obtain their military record online at www.archives.gov/veterans.  These generally get turned around quickly, but it can take up to several months to obtain this information, so plan accordingly.

My parent is currently on active duty or is a drilling reservist. What kind of service proof do you require?

If your parent is still on Active Duty or a drilling Reservist you’ll need to submit their Statement of Service.  The Statement of Service must be on official letterhead and signed by the Adjutant, Personnel Officer, Executive Officer, or Commanding Officer of the unit and dated within 90 days of March 1, 2016.

The following documents will NOT be accepted in lieu of the Statement of Service: duty orders, military IDs, Honorable Discharge Certificate, Certificate of Release or Discharge, DD214 forms, letters from Veterans Affairs, or disability documents.

My parent was killed in action, killed in service, or killed in training. What service document do you require?

If your military parent was killed in action, killed in service, or killed in training you’ll need to provide the Report of Casualty DD Form 1300.

My parent is wounded, ill, or injured. What service document do you require?

Depending on your military parent’s service status (discharged, active duty, or drilling reservist) you’ll need to provide the appropriate service document as indicated above.

If your parent has been placed on the Marine Corps Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL), then you’ll need to also provide a copy of the letter from the Commandant of the Marine Corps assigning your parent to PDRL.

There is no need to provide us with documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Have more questions about this? Contact us!

Photograph

What are the requirements for the photograph I need to include in my application?

If awarded, your application photo becomes an important part of your scholarship profile. Provide a photo that is at least 500KB and the highest resolution possible (300 dpi preferred). Professional photos (senior portraits or otherwise) are preferred. Be sure your face is clearly visible. Select a photo that represents you in a positive way and has an appropriate setting.

All photos must meet the following requirements:

  • High resolution (300 dpi preferred)
  • A clear face shot
  • Suitable for Scholarship Foundation publications to include: our website, newsletters, donor communications, and/or event materials.
  • Your photo should represent you in a positive way and have an appropriate setting.

Don’t submit:

  • Selfies
  • Photos that have other people in them
  • Have distracting elements in the background
  • Photos that are inappropriate or provocative
  • Poor quality, grainy, or highly pixelated photos

I’ve been awarded… now what?

I’ve been awarded a scholarship…now what?

Congratulations! Your next step is to login to your MyMCSF account and complete your post-award steps. Don’t have a MyMCSF account yet? Get one here.

I’ve completed all my post-award steps…now what?

After completing all post-award steps, login to your MyMCSF page to track the progress of your scholarship.  You can also find more information about when and how your scholarship will be paid after logging in.

I'm not attending the school I indicated on my application. How can I update it?

No need to update us on your change of plans—just be sure to indicate the correct school on your Expenses and Aid form.  The amount you were awarded was not based on your choice of school. If you change your school, it will not result in a decrease or increase in your scholarship award.

Can my scholarship be applied to summer classes?

Yes. Communicate this with your school early in the academic year, so your award can be distributed to include the summer semester.

I have funds leftover from my scholarship. Can I use them for the next academic year?

No. Your scholarship is only for use in the academic year for which it was awarded. If your scholarship is paid partially, or in full, it will count as one of the four paid awards allowed for each recipient. Any unused portion of your scholarship must be returned to us at the end of the academic year.