Eligibility (back to top)
1. Q: How can I increase my chances of being awarded a scholarship?
A: Be sure the 2 people writing your letters of support discuss the specific project on which your application centers in their letters (please see our Letter of Support Form). Also, make sure the people writing your letters of support and providing your transcript can meet the April 30th deadline. (Remind them of the due date when you ask them to write the letter of support for you. Giving them stamped, addressed envelopes may make it easier for them, too.).
2. Q: If my grades aren't great should I forget about applying?
A: No. This scholarship is not tied to academic achievement. It is given for what you have accomplished in areas that may or may not correlate with getting good grades.
3. Q: I applied for this once before and was not selected/only got an honorable mention. May I apply again?
A: Yes. As long as you still meet the eligibility requirements AND your application is for a different project.
4. Q: If I am not a United States citizen, can I apply?
A: If you graduate from a high school in the United States, then you can apply.
5. Q: Why should high school juniors apply for this scholarship?
A: It can help you in your college applications.
6. Q: If I've already graduated from an undergraduate program and earned a BA/BS degree, am I eligible to apply?
A: No, the scholarship is intended for first-time college students.
About your Project (back to top)
7. Q: If I have created a project that is new to my school or community but has been done in other communities, am I likely to win?
A: What you have done may be commendable and valuable but if it replicates something that has been done elsewhere it is less likely to be awarded a scholarship.
8. Q: If I created a "Walk for…", for a project that has never been done before, can that be considered?
A. The focus of this award is originality and innovation. It is unlikely that a scholarship would be given to an applicant who simply applied a familiar and often-used fundraising strategy such as a "walk for" to a cause for which it had not previously been used.
9. Q: May I apply for this scholarship in connection with a project I completed a year ago?
A: Yes, as long as it is fresh in the minds of your letter-writers.
10. Q: May I apply for a project that I worked on as a member of a team?
A: Yes, but make sure you specify exactly what your role was on the team, and make sure that those writing your letters of recommendation confirm what your role was. If you led the team or came up with the idea for the project, you are more likely to be recognized for what you did than if you were just a member of the team working on it.
11. Q: Am I likely to win if I started a club that is a local chapter of a national organization at my school or in my community?
A: Probably not. Starting a local branch of a national organization would not ordinarily fit the scholarship's criteria for innovation and creativity.
12. Q: Can I apply if I've creatively solved a problem faced by my family, rather than by my school or community?
A: Yes. That is fine. Just explain clearly what the problem was and how you solved it, and make sure that your letter writers corroborate what you did.
The Online Application (back to top)
13. Q: I'm having trouble with the online application. Who can help me?
A: If you run into trouble and/or have a question, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven at 203-777-2386.
13. Q: How do I access the online application?
A: The online application with instructions about required supporting documents is available here. You will need to create an account to enter the scholarship portal, which allows you to save and re-access your application as a work-in-progress as needed.
15. Q: When I click on the link to start the online application, why doesn't the page say "Milton Fisher Scholarship" anywhere?
A: The Milton Fisher Scholarship is administered by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and the online application operates using their services. Once you create an account and log in, you will be taken to the Milton Fisher Scholarship application, where you will see our banner.
16. Q: Why do I have to create an account?
A: You need an account in order to save your progress as you complete the online application. Also, since the Milton Fisher Scholarship is administered by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, your account is initially created on their server, which then takes you directly to the Milton Fisher Scholarship portal. Your account is completely private and confidential.
Supporting Materials (back to top)
17. Q: If my project comes across more clearly with video or audio materials, how do I submit those?
A: We prefer materials in a form that is easy to circulate via email for the 8 members of the reviewing committee to see. A digital file is best—you may upload digital files in the "Attachments" section of the online application (files must be 100 MB or smaller). If you would prefer to email the file(s) as an attachment (if you have a file in a certain format, e.g.), you may email it to email@example.com (attachments for gmail must be 25 MB or smaller).
18. Q: How do I send artwork, press clippings, photographs or other hard copy material that is relevant to my project?
A: Digital versions of your supporting materials are easiest to share with the reviewing committee. We recommend that you scan relevant artwork, newspaper clippings, etc. and upload it in the "Attachments Section" of the online application, or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. Q: What if I do not have digital versions of supporting materials I wish to send?
A: You will need to send 8 hard copies via regular mail to:
20. Q: Who should write my letters of recommendation?
A: People who know you and who are familiar with the project that is central to your application.
21. Q: Do recommendations have to come from teachers?
A: No, but at least one should come from someone from your school who is familiar with you and your project.
Financial Information (back to top)22. Q: Why do you ask for my parent(s)/guardians' IRS 1040?
A: We initially request financial information simply to confirm that the name on your scholarship application matches with the name on an official government form. Later on in the scholarship process, if you are chosen as a winner, then your financial information is used to determine the dollar amount of your award. If you have any questions about this stage of the application process, please do not hesitate to contact us at: email@example.com.
23. Q: What is the proper way to include the IRS 1040 with my application?
A: We only need the first two pages of your parent(s)/guardians' IRS 1040—the form should have YOUR NAME included on it. Typically, your name appears as a Dependent in Item 6, unless you live independently and file your own taxes. If you file separately, include your own IRS 1040 with your application. PLEASE cross out ALL Social Security Numbers (including your own).
24. Q: What if my parents/guardians do not file taxes in the United States, or at all?
If you cannot provide an IRS 1040, then we accept full copies of your FAFSA (Student Aid Report) instead. Again, PLEASE cross out your Social Security Number. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Use of Scholarship Funds (back to top)
25. Q: What if I don't know what college I want to go to yet?
A: That's OK. We make the awards based on what you have done, and wait to find out where you decide to go to school before sending the check to your college registrar.
26. Q: What if I don't go to college right after high school, but take some time off? What if I take time off during college?
A: That's fine. Just let us know where and when you will be entering college and the scholarship will follow you. If you decide to take a leave of absence during college, you will not get any funds during that time, but the scholarship can resume when you return to school.
27. Q: If I'm already getting financial aid, and I win this scholarship, will my financial aid be reduced by the amount of the scholarship?
A. That is not supposed to happen, and we warn your college not to do that when we send the check. If they do that anyway, let us know.
28. Q: What happens if I transfer from one college to another?
A: The scholarship follows you. Just let us know and provide evidence that you are a full-time student in good standing at your new college.
29. Q: If I take more than four years to get my degree, may I get the scholarship extended?
30. Q: May I use the scholarship for books and school supplies?
A: The scholarship may be used to support only tuition, room and board (unless your college's financial aid office has a process for allowing financial aid to cover books purchased at the college bookstore, in which case you may use it for that, as well).
31. Q. How is the amount of the award determined?
A. The judges evaluate the amounts to be awarded to each winner on a case-by-case basis.
32. Q: May I spread the amount of the scholarship over the four years in a manner that is not four equal payments?
A: You may not get more than $5000 your first year. If you prefer to defer the scholarship for your first year until your second year (due to your financial aid package), you may receive two years' worth of payments in your second year. You may always defer a payment, but may not get a payment in advance.
33. Q: Can the scholarship be used for a vocational or technical school?
34. Q: Can the scholarship be used for a two-year school and then transferred to a 4-year school?
35. Q: Can the scholarship be used for an online program?
Winner Obligations (back to top)
36. Q: How do I prove that I am still a student in good standing each year?
A: You will receive an email from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven regarding your Milton Fisher renewal. The email will provide details about the materials that you will need to submit by June of that year in order to be considered for a scholarship renewal.
37. Q: What does winning the Milton Fisher Scholarship require me to do?
A: Your job is to continue being an innovative and creative person in whatever path you choose. In addition, we welcome (but do not require) your assistance in recruiting future applicants for the scholarship.
Notification of Award and Help (back to top)
38. Q: What happens after the April due date? When can students expect feedback, or notification?
A: The applications are prepared for committee review and read carefully. In August, that committee convenes to discuss and determine winners. Applicants will be notified of decisions by the end of August.
39. Q: What if I get stuck on my application...and have questions about how best to write up my project? What if I have a hard time writing the essays? My parents are not fluent in English so they cannot help me go over my application.
A: We have volunteer mentors whom you can contact for encouragement or specific assistance. Please email or call us and we will find someone who can give you some help. We have help available.