Answering Your Questions

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Who can apply for a scholarship offered through the Cleveland Foundation?

Please note the following universal eligibility criteria for scholarships offered through the Cleveland Foundation:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen, which is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as a U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island), U.S. permanent resident (who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C [Permanent Resident Card]), or an individual who has an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:
    • "Refugee" 
    • "Asylum Granted" 
    • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)"
    • "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980) 
    • Victims of human trafficking, T-visa (T-2, T-3, or T-4, etc.) holder 
    • "Parolee" (You must be paroled into the United States for at least one year and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)

The scholarships have varied and diverse criteria beyond these universal requirements. Visit our Scholarship Listings page where you can click on individual scholarships for more detailed information.


Is Financial Need a criteria for all of your scholarships?

The majority, but not all, include financial need as a criteria in addition to academic achievement (merit). Based upon the information that you submit with the Common Application, we will match you to those scholarships for which you have the best opportunity for award. 


Is there a minimum grade-point average required?

A minimum grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.0 or GED score of 2.89 is required. Some scholarships specify a higher GPA for consideration. Go to the Scholarship Listings Page and click on the Scholarship name to view eligibility criteria for specific scholarship. 

What are the deadlines for applying for a scholarship through the Cleveland Foundation?

Application deadlines are posted on our Scholarship Listings Page

Our online application portals open in early January for scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Our best tip is to START EARLY! If you have questions or need assistance, we will have time to help you. The process is not difficult, however your application will not be reviewed until all your requirements have been uploaded. It is more likely that we can alert you to errors or omissions you have made to an application submitted early (by February 15).


Can my references send their Letters of Recommendation directly to you?

It is preferable that you upload your own references to assure your application is complete by the deadline. However, if they prefer to send them to us directly, they must be emailed prior to the application deadline, to: TCFScholarships@clevefdn.org, Ask them to include your full name (as it appears on your application) and your application number, if available. 

We will upload emailed Letters of Recommendation to your application as soon as possible.  Please allow time for processing at our end, particularly on or near the deadline when the volume of incoming applications and materials is extremely high. 

Can I still apply if I have not yet received a college acceptance letter?

Some scholarships require acceptance into a specific college for award consideration. If you are a first year college bound student and have your letter of acceptance at the time of application, please include it.  You may submit your application without the college acceptance letter.

How will I know if my application is complete?

Once you have submitted your application with all your requirements, it will be reviewed and verified by our staff.  If we identify errors or omissions to your submitted application prior to the deadline, we will alert you.  Reported errors/omissions must be resolved within the stated deadline for application consideration.  There will be no deadline extensions.  If your application and all requirements are successfully completed prior to the deadline, it will be considered and you will receive an email confirming your “completed” status.

How will I know if I am selected for an award?

Selection Committee Meetings take place beginning in April and continue thru June.  Applicants chosen for an award will be notified primarily by email (US mail in some cases) as soon as committee selection results are reported.   We will notify all online and renewal applicants by email, when the internal selection process has concluded.  Refer to Scholarship Details for awarding of “External Application” scholarships.

What happens after I am awarded?

You will receive an email (US Mail in some cases) notifying you of your award.  Included in your award letter and the accompanying attachments/enclosures, will be details regarding the scholarship you received including: eligible expenses and how they will be paid, what your responsibilities are as a recipient, and the renewability of your award for subsequent years.  If you have any questions after you have received your award, you may contact us at 216-615-7164.

When will my school receive payment of my award?

For traditional college students (attending the full academic year), awards greater than $750 will be paid in two equal installments in August and again in January.  Awards less than $750 will be paid in full fall term.  Payments will be scheduled to arrive at your school by August 15 in the fall, and in early January for the spring term.  You may use your award letter to report this award to your school for their anticipated receipt of our payment.

Please be aware that payments may be delayed or cancelled if you did not submit your Student Verification form upon award notification, or if you have neglected to send your grade reports at the end of each scholarship term in compliance with your scholarship requirements for continued support.

If awarded, how do I send my grade reports at the end of each term?

All active Cleveland Foundation Scholarship recipients are required to submit a grade report to the Foundation at the end of each term, as soon as available.  You do not need to send an “Official Transcript”.   An acceptable grade report would include: student name, school name, course grades, credit hours, term and cumulative GPA, and academic standing.  This data is generally available to all students online.  Save in a pdf format and email to: TCFScholarships@clevefdn.org

Are scholarships renewable?

Some are, depending on the preference of the donor who established the scholarship fund, provided you have met the requirements for continued support. Go to the Scholarship Listings Page and click on the Scholarship name for these details. 

To renew a current scholarship for the upcoming academic year, complete and return the Renewal/Verification form by April 15, 2016.

To renew a scholarship from a previous year, students must submit a new Common or Corporate/Group Application to be considered for additional support.

Where can I get more information on scholarships and financial aid?

Visit our Student Resources page for useful information on the national, state, and local level.