How do I know if I am eligible for a particular scholarship?
Most scholarships have eligibility criteria such as graduating from a high school in a certain county, planning to major in a specific course of study, attending a particular college or university. or participating in a designated extracurricular activity. You must meet all stated criteria to be eligible. Eligibility criteria is listed in summary form on the "User Friendly Scholarship Chart" and in more detail under the "Student Guide and Available Scholarships" tab.

How do I apply? 
All applications are required to be filed online. Access the application via the "Access Application" link for each scholarship under the "Student Guide and Available Scholarships" tab.

May I apply for more than one scholarship? 
Yes. You must submit an application for each unique scholarship. 

Which counties are ETCF counties named under the hometown or geographic region eligibility requirement? 
Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Freestone, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Leon, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt, Wood

Which high schools are considered Smith County schools for eligiblity requirements? 
Public and private schools located in Arp, Bullard, Chapel Hill, Lindale, Troup, Tyler, Whitehouse, and Winona are Smith County schools. Students residing in Smith County and within the Van ISD and Gladewater ISD boundaries are also eligible.

May homeschool students apply? 
Homeschool students may apply as private school students, assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria. Be aware that a reference from a teacher with direct classroom experience may be required and references from relatives are not allowed.

Must I be a U.S. citizen to apply? 

Why can't I access the application when I click the "Access Application" link?
Links are not live until the application process opens. Applications open in early January. The link will automatically shut off on the deadline date at 5:00 p.m.

Will any browser work with the scholarship application software? Google Chrome is the recommended browser. Whichever browser you are using must be one of the two most recent versions.

May I mail my transcript and other requested documents?
No. The entire application should be submitted electronically. Simply scan the document, save it in a file, and attach that file to the application where requested. If you have mulitiple transcripts, they may be saved in a single file.

Will I be able to make changes to my application after I submit it?
Yes, up to the deadline.

Why is submission of my application not allowed even though I have completed all the information?
Read all notifications regarding missing information. If you have submitted all requested information and documents and still cannot submit, your references are probably the problem. Until references are received electronically in our office, your application is considered incomplete, and you will not be allowed to submit your application. If you do not see a submit button, you missed the deadline!

How do I know my references have been sent and / or received?
You will be notified by e-mail when the request for a reference has been sent and again when the completed reference is received by ETCF. The status of the reference section will also be posted as either pending or received. You will not be able to view the completed forms. 

I entered the wrong email address for my reference so the request has not been received. How can I fix it?
Choose edit application, go to the reference page, enter the correct email address, and click the green "Resend Request" button. Save.

May I change a reference to someone different once I have sent a request? 
Yes. Choose edit application, go to the reference page, and click the gray "Cancel Request" button. Enter the new name and email address. Save. The new reference writer will receive an email request, and the original recipient will get a cancellation message if they later try to respond. If you prefer to send a reminder to your original reference, simply click the green "Resend Request" button.

May I attach my resume' or brag sheet as a supporting document?
No. Only attach the requested documents. If you have more extracurricular activities or community service than space allows, include those activities most important to you in the space provided. You should be able to copy and paste from a Word document into the application.

Will a screen shot of my ACT or SAT scores be acceptable as an attachment? Yes.

What is the FAFSA and how do I complete it? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is used by colleges and universities to determine the amount and type of financial aid awarded to students annually. Complete the free application at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The amount your family is able to pay for school, the Expected Family Contribution or EFC, will be determined and reported to you. The EFC amount is required on all East Texas Communities Foundation need-based scholarship applications. Helpful resources related to filing the FAFSA can be found at https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa and https://www.edvisors.com/fafsa/ and http://www.educationquest.org/ and https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/

How will my application be scored and evaluated? 
A committee of at least three impartial volunteers will read and evaluate your application. Generally, points are allocated as follows in the case of strictly merit-based scholarships: 1/3 for academic information; 1/3 for extracurricular activities, community service, and employment experience; and 1/3 for essay answers. Need-based scholarships vary in the emphasis placed on the requested financial information, but approximately 25% of the total score is based on need with each of the areas mentioned above also worth about 25% each. 

When will I know if I have been awarded a scholarship? Recipients will be notified by mail in April. Applicants not awarded a scholarship will be notified by e-mail. 

© East Texas Communities Foundation
315 N. Broadway, Suite 210 • Tyler, Texas
903-533-0208 • 1-866-533-ETCF