2020-21 Frequently Asked Questions

 

APPLICATIONS OPEN OCTOBER 15, 2020 

DEADLINE TO APPLY: JANUARY 15, 2021 

 

Most Common Questions on Application 

Where do I go on the Website to apply? Go to the Smith Scholarship Foundation Website: (www.smithscholarships.com). On the Home Page click on “Apply for the Smith Scholarship Here! 

How do I get back on the application? Once you have created an “Account”, remember that your “required” email address and password will be your “Keys” to return to the application. You can return to your application as many times as you desire. However, once you click on “Submit”, you cannot return to your application. Note: DO NOT click on “Submit” until you are completely finished with your application. 

Do I have to finish the entire application at one time? No… You do not have to complete it all at once, however make sure you remember that the deadline to submit your application is January 15, 2021. ALL ATTACHMENTS INCLUDING ALL LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION MUST BE UPLOADED OR EMAILED to the Foundation no later than January 15, 2021. Do not wait until the deadline. Past Applicants have experienced difficulty in uploading due to large numbers of applications at one time. 

What if I do not know the answers to some of the questions? If you are unsure of any of the questions, thoroughly review the “commonly asked questions” on the website and then contact the Smith Scholarship Office via email (appsupport@smithscholarships.com) for further assistance. Only students and school personnel should submit a request, not family or friends of the applicant, as this scholarship is an accountability program. Parents and guardians should not call the office. Please do not call unless you have failed to receive a response within 48 hours. Be sure to remember your username and password to return to your application for submission. 

What if I do not have the Income Tax information for this year yet? FASFA 2020-21 uses 2019 Tax Information and the application can be filed starting October 1, 2020. If you are homeless or a ward of the state or receiving no support from your parents, please follow the FASFA rules carefully so you are properly classified for aid. It is imperative that students obtain homeless or “at risk homeless” and “unaccompanied” documentation to obtain “independent” classification. Contact your school or district homeless liaison. 

(Federal Student Aid and Homeless Youth: https://studentaid.ed.gov; Dependency Status: https://fasa.ed.gov>fotw1920>help). 

The new FASFA form allows you to directly access IRS tax information while completing the new form. The FASFA application must be filed before SSF application is submitted and a copy of the Student Aid Report (“SAR”) attached. If possible, use the IRS information option to upload required information. If unusual circumstances prevent you from submitting the FASFA, including DACA status, contact SSF by email as soon as possible with written explanation of steps taken to complete, missing information and an explanation regarding such information. 

Can I mail the application in? No. The application is not formatted for print out. Therefore, if you have issues submitting your application, call us and we will help. Ask your school counselor to use a school’s computer as public libraries are closed. The application can also be completed on a smart phone or mobile device. If you have no way to complete the application, call us and we will make arrangements to assist. 

What if I do not have information for “Mother” or “Father”? Enter UNKNOWN and make notes on your Application, explaining your circumstances as directed on the Application instructions in significant detail to allow SSF to understand your current living arrangements and what events led to your situation. WARNING “Unknown” without accompanying explanation will not be accepted and your application will not be reviewed. 

What if I have not taken the ACT? List the date you are scheduled to take the ACT and follow up by providing your scores. You must take the ACT and provide scores to be eligible for this scholarship. Ask your counselor or Upward Bound representative for help in obtaining a waiver and registering. See www.act.org. No minimum ACT is required. Note: ACT plans to offer online testing options in 2021. 

Who should apply for financial aid? All applicants are required to apply for financial aid. All recipients of the SSF scholarship must complete all follow up information required by FASFA or their college before SSF will remit any payments. 

Why should I apply for financial aid? Financial aid is required to be eligible for SSF scholarships. Financial aid is available to assist students and families in meeting the costs of a college education. The total amount of funding by SSF may not cover all college cost. 

What if I have not applied for college admission? Apply now if possible and list the schools you plan to apply for later and why you have a preference for that institution. Apply for College ASAP. Utilize application fee waivers to avoid costs. Deadlines for University Scholarships are early so review scholarships offered by several institutions. The SSF Application requires that you apply to at least 3 other scholarships, including scholarships provided by each of your preferred institutions. 

Example. If you list 2 colleges as preferred, you must apply to each college and their scholarship program(s) and an additional outside scholarship. If you apply to 3 colleges and all 3 of their scholarship programs, you have met your minimal requirement of 3 “other” scholarships. 

Examples of College Scholarship Deadlines 

  • Auburn University has a December 1, 2020 deadline for freshmen who must apply using “AUSOM” and complete the admission application. (See Auburn website.) 
  • University of Montevallo – Admission application must be submitted before students qualify for college scholarships. 
  • Academic and Leadership: February 1, 2021 
  • Academic Recognition: February 1, 2021 
  • Freshman Leadership: February 1, 2021 
  • MLK: February 1, 2021 
  • Presidential: February 1, 2021 
  • Ambassador: February 1, 2021 
  • Troy – See Troy “Online Scholarships” and the Troy website for deadlines as they may vary by campus and scholarship type. 
  • USA – Requires Admissions Application to be completed by December 1, 2020. Some scholarships are automatic for freshman; others require a separate scholarship application. 
  • UAB – Requires students to submit admissions application and all required documentation by December 1, 2020 for all ACT and GPA scholarships. See “BSMART”, the Blazer scholarship management. 
  • UAH – UAH allows students to retake the ACT even after admission to increase scholarship eligibility. See the UAH website for deadlines. 

SSF has established new deadlines to try and encourage all students to qualify for both institutional or college provided aid and governmental aid both state and federal. 

Please visit college websites and contact scholarship personnel at your selected universities. Examples provided may not be updated and should not be relied upon. 

See SSF website for a list of additional scholarships that applicants should also apply for when seeking financial assistance for college. 

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