Frequently Asked Questions
Will scholarships be given out every year?
This is an annual program. The program opens October 15, 2007 and closes January 15, 2008. Your application will be reviewed using your current transcript.
Is there an application fee?
No, we do not charge students to apply for this scholarship.
Who is eligible?
- High school seniors who have a parent with MS who will be attending an accredited post secondary school for the first time.
- High school seniors who have MS and will be attending an accredited post secondary school for the first time.
- High School (or GED) graduates of any age who have MS and who will be attending an accredited post secondary school for the first time.
- High School (or GED) graduates of any age who have a parent with MS and who will be attending an accredited post secondary school for the first time.
- Applicants must be either a United States citizen or legal resident who plans to enroll in an undergraduate course of study at an accredited two-or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school located in the United States. Applicants must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester in course work leading to a degree, license, or certificate.
Why don't you expand the eligibility guidelines?
While we know that there are many qualified and worthy candidates for the scholarship, the expense of running an open-ended program is prohibitive. There are costs associated with collecting and reviewing each application. A larger number of applications mean larger administrative costs. By restricting the eligibility, we are able to contain the administrative costs and award more scholarships. A committee of volunteers and National MS Society staff determine the eligibility criteria.
I live outside the United States. Can I apply?
This scholarship is only for individuals who are served by the chapters of the National MS Society in the United States. People who live outside the country who are or whose parents are in the U.S. military, government service or other U.S. corporate employees are eligible as long as they meet the basic eligibility requirements.
Where can I get an application form?
The application form will be available at our website, main.nationalmssociety.org, in October. It will remain posted until the closing date, January 15, 2008. National MS Society chapters will also have the applications available. Contact your chapter by calling 1-800-344-4867.
What's the deadline?
Your application must be postmarked by January 15, 2008. Applications will be accepted between October 15, 2007 and January 15, 2008. Please do not send your application before October 15.
I missed the deadline can I still apply?
Unfortunately, late applications will not be accepted. Please plan to get your application in early to avoid unexpected delays. There will be no exceptions.
Can I apply again next year?
An individual may apply for the scholarship as long as he/she meets the eligibility criteria, i.e., a person with MS or a high school senior or high school (or GED) graduate who is the child of a person with MS who will be attending an accredited post secondary school for the first time. If you applied previously for the scholarship and didn't receive an award and subsequently attended post secondary school, then you would not be eligible. If you received a National MS Society scholarship, you are not eligible to apply again.
I have some questions about how to fill out the form whom do I ask?
This scholarship program is administered by Scholarship Management Services a program of Scholarship America. Scholarship America is dedicated to improving access to postsecondary education for students through scholarships and educational support. You may contact Scholarship America at 800-537-4180, extension 471.
How much money is given to each individual?
The minimum scholarship award is $1,000 with a maximum award of $3,000.
How much money is given overall?
The awards each year will depend on available funding. Last year, 332 scholarships were awarded for a total of $700,440.
Why do I have to send the application to Scholarship America and not to my chapter?
Scholarship America is a national nonprofit educational support and student aid service organization that receives and evaluates all of the applications. They send the top candidates to the National MS Society for a final review and final award decisions. Scholarship America also handles the distribution of award checks and monitors student enrollment. All checks are made payable to the student's school for the student's account. The award checks are mailed to the student's home address on August 15.
What are the criteria for selecting finalists?
All applicants must meet the basic eligibility criteria, fully complete the application, and meet the deadline of January 15, 2008. Scholarship America will select scholarship finalists on the basis of demonstrated financial need, academic record, leadership and participation in school or community activities, work experience, an outside appraisal, goals and aspirations, special circumstances, and an essay regarding the impact of MS on their life. Decisions are not affected by a person's race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
Who selects the recipients?
The National MS Society convenes a special panel that consists of people with MS, chapter and home office volunteers and staff, and national board members. This panel reviews applications and makes final scholarship decisions.
Must I plan to be a full-time student?
We understand that full-time study is not possible for everyone due to health concerns or family care responsibilities. You must be enrolled for at least six credit hours per academic term to be eligible as a part-time student. The scholarship is intended for students who are pursuing a degree, license, or certificate and is not for those who want to take an occasional personal enrichment class.
What will be required of me if I am selected to receive a scholarship?
We will ask you to verify that one of your parents or you have multiple sclerosis. We will ask you to write a thank you note to one or more of our donors. You will be asked to sign a media release form giving us permission to use your photo and reference your application materials in media releases.
Where does the money for scholarships come from?
There have been a wide variety of donors to this fund and include people with MS and other individuals affected by MS, foundations, individual National MS Society chapters, and staff and volunteers of the National MS Society.
What if I don't know where I will attend school?
List the schools to which you have applied on your application in order of preference. Upon acceptance, you will need to make a final decision and notify Scholarship America of your school choice by early July.
I want to go to a technical school and not to college. Can I apply?
Any post secondary, undergraduate school is fine as long as it meets national, state, or professional accreditation standards. You must plan to attend school at least part-time six credit hours per school term.
How and when will I be notified if I receive a scholarship?
Initially, you will be sent a postcard from Scholarship America acknowledging receipt of your application. You will be notified by early June if you have been selected to receive a scholarship. Communication with applicants is done both by paper mail and by email. If you have listed an email address on your application, please be sure to check your email regularly.