Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

Information, tips and how to apply for academic scholarships.


When can we start applying?

You can start applying in December 2018 for scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic school year. We encourage you to re-visit our website then for more information.

Who is eligible?

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

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 open 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. In December 2018, we'll post a link here to access our online portal to complete the following steps. 

Step 1:  Log In
Select the "Create New Account" 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:  Student and Family Data
Your parent or guardian needs to help you complete the financial data section of the application.

Step 3:  Narrative Responses
You’ll be asked to share your interests and experiences that have shaped your academic and/or career pursuits.

Step 4:  Upload Documents
Applications must include the following documents uploaded by a school administrator. You will be asked to provide the email address for the appropriate school administrator who can provide the following:

  • Transcript(s) required only for current high school students. Transcripts do not need to be official, but must include:

> Your name

> School's name

> Number of credits earned in each term

> Grade received for each course

Please note: If you attended more than one high school and your current transcripts do not list the courses and credits you received from previous schools, you must include transcripts from those schools. If you're currently in a post-secondary institution, please include all transcripts since you graduated from high school.

  • Class rank and GPA.

Step 4:  Test Scores
You will be asked to submit your SAT and/or ACT test scores. If you have not taken either test you may leave this section blank.

Step 4:  Letter of Recommendation.

A letter of recommendation in support of your application is required. Letters will be accepted from a teacher, employer, mentor or any other adult you interact with through community involvement or volunteer work. Letters will not be accepted from a peer or family member.

Important: If you’re applying for the Emmett and Elsie Geiser Scholarship, your letter of recommendation must be written by a coach or athletic director outlining academic achievements and confirming that you’ve achieved a letter in at least one sport.

Can I save and come back to my application?

Use the "Save Application" button at the bottom of the online application form.

Next time you log in, click the "Edit Application" link from the home screen/dashboard to continue working. Don't try to access your saved draft by clicking "Apply". That link is only for starting new applications.

Save often!

If you are logged into the online portal and inactive for longer than 90 minutes, you'll be automatically logged off for security reasons.

I meant to save, but submitted instead. Help!

If you submit your application in error or if changes need to be made to it, email Nallely Martinez at the Community Foundation or call her for help at 831.662.2071.

Can I get a copy of my application?

Our system can create a PDF copy of the entire application including all uploaded documents.

Once you’ve submitted your application, click the “View Application” link from the dashboard, and click “Application Packet” button at the top of the page. This generates the PDF, which you can save and print for your records.

How will I know if my application was submitted correctly?

After submitting your application, you’ll see a confirmation page, and you’ll be sent an automatic email from "CFSCC Application Administrator" ( confirming that your application has been received.

The online system will not allow incomplete applications to be submitted. If you make errors, they'll be displayed in red and must be corrected before proceeding.

Nallely Martinez ( may also email you directly with questions. To ensure emails reach you, please add these contacts to your email address book.

If in doubt, you can always refer to your dashboard in our system to see the status of your 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

Scholarship America administers the academic scholarships.

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

All applicants will be notified of their status by May 2018. 

Those not selected will receive an email notification.

Successful applicants will be sent an acceptance form from Scholarship America confirming contact and post secondary school information. A short description of recent activities and honors, as well as a wallet size photo is requested for publicity purposes.

The form must be completed, signed and returned to Scholarship America by the deadline date.

A short bio about yourself, as well as a high resolution photo to be used for publicity purposes should be emailed to Nallely Martinez, within one week following notification.

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

Scholarship America processes scholarships after receipt of your confirmation form.

Payment is subject to verification that you satisfy the scholarship requirements. Checks are mailed to your home address and made payable to your school.

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?

You must notify Scholarship America of any changes in address, school enrollment, or other relevant information and send a complete transcript when requested. Please send updated information to:

Community Foundation Santa Cruz County Scholarship Program
Scholarship America
One Scholarship Way
Saint Peter, MN 56082

You must also email Nallely Martinez at the Community Foundation or call her at 831.662.2071.