Scholarship FAQs

Answers to questions frequently asked by our scholarship applicants can be found below.

About Applying

Do I have to attend a four-year college to apply for a scholarship from The Philadelphia Foundation?

Not necessarily. While some of our scholarships are for four-year college programs, others cover the costs of two-year programs, vocational or technical training. You should thoroughly review each application’s criteria to determine what it covers before applying.

Do I have to be a graduating high school senior to apply for a scholarship?

No. We do award scholarships to graduating high school seniors but also to current undergraduate students, and students continuing their education at an undergraduate level. You should thoroughly review each application’s criteria to see who is eligible before applying.

Who can write a scholarship recommendation for me?

Unless the recommendation form specifically indicates who should complete the recommendation, recommendations may be written by a teacher, counselor, spiritual leader, employer, etc. Your recommender cannot be related to you. Your recommender must be able to describe how they know you and support the information you have provided in your scholarship application.

Can I submit my application materials electronically?

No. All completed applications and supplemental materials must be submitted together by mail or hand delivered to our offices at 1234 Market Street, Suite 1800, Philadelphia PA, 19107.

Understanding Scholarship Terms

What is the FAFSA?

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, loans, and work-study, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.

In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.

Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

What is the SAR?

The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a paper or electronic document that gives you some basic information about your eligibility for federal student aid and lists your answers to the questions on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What is the EFC?

Your SAR will include your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines your eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant, and the college uses the EFC to assess your eligibility for other federal and nonfederal student aid.

The Expected Family Contribution is part of your SAR. It is the amount you and your family are expected to contribute to your college education for one year. The contribution may be through personal payments or through student loans.

Resources for Finding Scholarships

Where can I find additional scholarships and financial aid resources?

Start by reviewing some of the resources compiled by The Philadelphia Foundation: Scholarship Resources (XLS)

The Philadelphia Foundation has also compiled a list of national scholarships (PDF)

Visit the websites of colleges you are interested in attending. Many of their sites offer information about financial aid and scholarships provided by the institution.

Talk with your high school guidance counselor to learn about resources available to you. If you are attending college, talk with a representative from the financial aid office to learn about resources and programs.

Receiving A Scholarship Through The Philadelphia Foundation

When will I know if I have been selected as a recipient for a scholarship administered by The Philadelphia Foundation?

Applicants will be notified of the scholarship selection committee’s decision in late June by mail.

Will I receive a check if I am awarded a scholarship?

No. All scholarship checks are made payable to the college or university you are attending and mailed directly to the Bursar’s Office or the Financial Aid Office of your school.

If a scholarship is renewable, will I automatically receive it the following year?

You must confirm your eligibility each year. Typically, The Philadelphia Foundation requires students to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to qualify for a renewal scholarship. Students must submit their grades and a letter highlighting their academic year on an annual basis.


For answers to more questions about applying for scholarships,
call (215)563-6417 or email us.

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