Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

Information, tips and how to apply for academic scholarships.


Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions. To view an extended list of questions click here.

Who is eligible?

Scholarships from the Community Foundation are open to all Santa Cruz County students. See specific scholarship qualifications outlined on Our Scholarships page.

What do scholarships pay for?

Awards can be used towards tuition, fees, books, supplies, required equipment, room and board, and other relatable expenses.

What about the Matt's Climb Scholarship Award?

The Matt’s Climb Scholarship is a one-time non-academic award for a Cypress Charter High School student to attend Camp Unalayee for a wilderness adventure. 

There is no online application process. For more information email Nallely Martinez or call her at 831.662.2071.


How do I apply?

Applications are submitted via our online application portal. Paper applications are not accepted.

Review scholarship descriptions in Our Scholarships and the information on this page. Then click Apply Now


Step 1: Create an account

Select the "Don’t have an account? Register!" button to register as a new applicant. Once you fill out the required fields and choose a password, you’ll be able to start the application.

Step 2:  Begin your application
Select the “ADD NEW APPLICATION” button and enter in CFSCC as the program key.

Step 3:  Complete Your Application

Academic data and resume: You will be asked to provide information about your academic history and any extracurricular and/or volunteer activities.

Narrative responses: you’ll be asked to answer two short narratives within a 500 word limit.

Step 4:  Upload Supporting Documents

You will need to upload the following documents to complete your application:


  • ACT/SAT Test Scores: incoming college freshman only

  • If you have not taken either test you may leave this section blank.

  • High School Transcript: incoming college freshman only
  • Unofficial transcripts are acceptable and must show your name and your full academic history at the school. Please do not provide a report card.
  • College/University Transcripts: incoming college sophomores, juniors and seniors only
  • 2019-20 FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR): all applicants

Step 5:  Letter of Recommendation.

A letter of recommendation in support of your application is required. Letters will be accepted from a teacher or member of the community who is familiar with your academic performance or community involvement. A community member may be an advisor, employer, mentor or any other adults you interact with through community involvement or volunteer work.

All applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. PT, on Monday, February 4, 2019.

How do I navigate the online portal?

Click here to view the full list of frequently asked questions including screenshots to help you navigate the online application.


How are recipients selected?

Selections are made by the scholarship committee and approved by our board of directors, based on the criteria outlined in Our Scholarships

International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS)  administers the academic scholarships.

When will I know if I've been selected for a scholarship?

All students with an application status of COMPLETE will receive a notification with the selection results by May 2019.

Successful applicants will be sent an acceptance form from ISTS.  The form must be submitted to ISTS by the deadline date.

When do I receive my scholarship? What about renewable scholarships?

ISTS will processes your scholarship after receipt of your confirmation form.

Payment is subject to verification that you satisfy the scholarship requirements. A check will be mailed in mid-July to your home address and made payable to you.  As the recipient, you are responsible for taxes, if any, that may be assessed against your scholarship award. We recommend consulting a tax adviser for more guidance. You may also consult IRS Publication 970 for additional information.

Renewable scholarship payments will be made upon receipt of annual renewal forms for up to three additional years or until a degree is earned, whichever is first. Renewal is contingent upon maintaining the cumulative GPA and enrollment status as specified in Our Scholarships.

What should I do if my contact information or school enrollment changes?

As a new applicant, please ensure your updated contact information is listed on your My Profile 30 days prior to the check issue date listed above.

If you have a current renewable scholarship, ISTS  will be in touch with next steps by March 2019. An award check to support your 2019-20 academic year will be mailed to your home address and made payable to you.