Interview with Caroline Flynn, International Scholarship & Tuition Services, Inc.

How long does it typically take for an applicant to learn whether he or she was selected as a recipient of an award? Do certain types of programs take longer than others?

After a scholarship program deadlines, the selection committee takes multiple steps to prepare the applications for the selection process. This pre-selection stage may last several weeks. The selection process for a typical program normally takes a few additional weeks to complete but may be longer for programs that select a large number of winners or require employment verification for the student or his or her parent. A student should expect it to take up to two months after a deadline to be notified.  If a student has not received a notification after two months, it is best for the student to check with the program administrator. In most cases, the student will know whether he or she has won a scholarship well before heading off to school in the fall.

What steps are important for the student to take after learning he or she has won?

Congratulations! After celebrating that you have won a scholarship, it is very important to follow all directions to officially accept the award. You should receive an e-mail or letter with the details of your scholarship and how to submit your acceptance. Usually, there is a standard process recipients must follow. At ISTS, for example, winning applicants must complete an online acceptance form. This process offers the student the opportunity to provide his or her most up-to-date contact and college information and agree to any publicity terms (if the scholarship provider wants to share the winners’ information). Photos are also sometimes collected for this purpose. 

If your scholarship application required input from other individuals, such as a letter of recommendation, then a handwritten “Thank you” note is a great way to show your appreciation.

What about the check – who deals with the money?

Once you have officially accepted the award, keep an eye out for your check in the mail. Some programs require the recipient to personally deliver the scholarship check to college or university. This ensures the funds are credited to the student’s account – but always ask for a receipt!