Application Process

*Dates subject to change.





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Application Period: January 1st - March 31st



  • The 2017-2018 application cycle is now closed.
  • Stars accepts applications starting January 1st.

  • The postmark deadline is March 31st at 5:00pm

  • Stars begins to open mail during this period, however as mail increases closer to the deadline, this process will be slowed.

  • Stars sorts mail by the last name on the package.

  • If you are submitting your application and materials via mail/email/fax after March 1st, we will not be able to tell you immediately if we received all your items, you will be required to wait until we can input your application in to our database and create your Stars account.  Note: If your school says they sent your transcripts and/or you know you sent your documents, we most likely have them.

  • If you applied online, you will be able to upload most documents via your Stars account. Uploaded documents will remain in "Received - Pending Review" status until the processing period. (View upload instructions here) As long as we have the documents by the deadline you do not have to be concerned over a "pending" status.

  • If you sent documents via mail/email/fax BEFORE March 1st, we will update your documents status as quickly as possible to "Received - Pending Review". We will not be able to review (approve/reject) all documents until the review period.

  • If you sent documents via mail/email/fax AFTER March 1st, we will NOT update your documents status until the Review Period. We will not be able to review (approve/reject) all documents until the review period. Note: If your school says they sent your transcripts and/or you know you sent your documents, we most likely have them.

     

Applicants that applied and sent documents early in the process (before March 1st) may have their documents processed early, however as the cycle progresses we cease doing this. We realize that as the deadline nears you will start to grow concerned if we have received your documents. All documents will be filed and recorded as quickly as possible. Rest assured that if we find you sent in an incorrect document, we will contact you and allow you to submit the correct document to us. In the past, Stars has made exceptions for late documents and applications, however due to the increase in applicants, we will be unable to continue to accept late documents or applicants. Please make sure you submit your documents by the deadline (3/31 at 5pmCST). (View list of required documents here)






  

Processing Period: April 3rd - April 28th



  • We understand that when requesting transcripts the time frame in which the school processes your request is beyond your control; therefore we will accept official college transcripts until April 16, 2017.
  • We will not accept any other documents after the deadline.
  • Stars will open mail, sort submitted documents and print emailed documents during this period.
  • Stars will match documents and create files for applicants.
  • We will enter hard copy applications during this period so that your account can be created. Applicants sending hard copy applications will be sent an email and prompted to complete set up a Stars account in order to view your application information.  If you sent us documents separate from your hard copy application we will make every attempt to match documents and update your document status too, however you may have documents remain in "Missing" status until the next period.
  • If you applied online and uploaded your documents, your document status will stay in "Received - Pending Review" during this cycle.
  • Any documents mailed, emailed, faxed or dropped off BEFORE March 1st were updated and applicant's status will remain unchanged until the review period.
  • If you mailed, emailed, faxed or dropped off documents AFTER March 1st, your document status will stay in "Missing" during this cycle.  Note: If have receipt of your transcript being sent to us, your school says they sent your transcripts and/or you know you sent your documents, we most likely have them. Please do not contact us to ask if we have documents.
  • If you need to make any changes to your application during this period, you will need to submit an Applicant Update Request Form.
      

Any documents sent to us that are not required such as resumes, photos, high school transcripts, copies of awards, etc. will be shredded at this time. Additional materials hold no bearing on your application. Stars scores each applicant based on information obtained in the application only.




Reasons to contact Stars during this period include:

  • You need to make a change to your application and you have questions
  • You are locked out of your account.
  • You need to reset your password and are having trouble with the online link.
  • We sent you an email prompting you to take action and have questions.
  • We sent you an email or called you and requested a call back.


  

Review Period: May 1st - June 2nd



  • Stars begins to review applications and documents to determine eligibility.
  • Stars does this in alphabetical order by last name, not on first come, first serve basis. Stars uses the entire period to conduct this process. For example: If your last name begins with an "S" you can expect to hear from us closer to the end of this period.
  • You will get an email from us to your primary email when we begin to review your application.
  • Stars will change status of documents from "Missing" OR "Received - Pending Review" to "Accepted" or "Rejected" or will remain "Missing" if the document was not received.
  • Stars will extend a courtesy to applicants if a document is "rejected" and allow applicants (1 week from time of notification) to send in the correct document. Correspondence is done via email and statuses can be checked at any time from the applicant's Stars account.
  • If you have submitted all required documents and all documents have been "Accepted", your application is deemed eligible and will be considered during the next selection/award period.
  • We will not accept any new documents after the deadline. If you are missing any documents you will be deemed ineligible.
  • We encourage you to check your Stars account regularly. If you applied and submitted your documents within the deadline and you notice your account has not updated by June 2nd, please contact us. 
  • If we get through this period and you are showing a missing document and you feel it is an error, please contact us so we can review your situation.
  • If you need to make any changes to your application during this period, you will need to submit an Applicant Update Request Form.
       

Please note that becoming eligible for the scholarship DOES NOT mean you will be offered a scholarship. We do not guarantee scholarships to ANYONE. Unfortunately the need for scholarships far outweighs the funds we have available to award scholarships.


Selection & Awarding Period: June 5th - July 14th


 

Stars begins to select candidates. We provide continuous award updates via our website during this process. See selection process below:



Step 1...



  • Stars will begin to sort ELIGIBLE applicants by school and score applicants. Scores are based on quantitative information included in your application such as GPA and earned hours, along with financial need based on your Student Aid Report.
  • During this process, Stars starts processing scores for applicants by school, starting with the matching schools. Scores are processed in our database. This process is designed to be fair and objective to every eligible applicant.


Step 2...

*Candidates are recommended to Matching School

     

  • Stars will establish a preliminary list of candidates by school based on highest to lowest scores, until funds are depleted. Stars then consults with our matching schools to confirm academic progress and financial need, prior to offering the award to the candidate. The process is designed to be fair to all that apply and are deemed eligible and for us to help as many students as possible.

  • For students who attend a school other than our matching schools, considered under the "General Program", Stars awards applicants with the highest scores until funds are depleted. Stars does not consult with any schools for candidates under this program.



Step 3...

*Award Letters are provided



  • Award letters are uploaded to the candidates Stars account. Applicants will be able to log in to their account to view selection notice. Applicants selected will see a notice and a PDF of their award letter. All candidates will also be sent an email notification prompting them to check their Stars account. We suggest that once an applicant sets up their Stars account, they check their Stars account often to check for updates.
  • You will first receive a "Congratulations" email from us. When you log in you will be able to see the details of your award offer and a link to the award letter.
  • At this point, it becomes very important that applicants understand the terms they agreed to under the Certification and Release Form. Points 10 - 16 pertain to the awarding of scholarships.
  • We will NOT notify applicants if they were not awarded. If you were selected as a recipient, you will know.
  • We will NOT tell applicants why they were not awarded. (Selections are done based on a scoring system, if you did not get the award your score was not higher than the applicants who did get awarded. A way to improve your chances in receiving the scholarship is by increasing your GPA. If you have a 4.0 GPA, then your score may have been affected by your financial need, determined using your EFC score.)


Step 4...

*Recipients Accept Award Offers



  • Recipients must accept the award letter and return the Acceptance Form to Stars by a specific deadline. This deadline varies for candidates based on the school. All recipients must return the form by the deadline or the scholarship offer will be forfeited.

  • There will be NO extensions of deadlines for any reason. It is the responsibility of the applicant to retrieve their award letter. When a candidate fails to return the acceptance form by the deadline, Stars offers those funds to a new candidate, therefore there is no way to accept late forms. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure Stars receives their form by checking their Stars account to see that it was processed.

  • Once you receive your award letter, you will need to sign the Acceptance Form and return it to us with your signature. (We require a hand written, ink signature).

  • Once signed, you can scan the form or take a clear/quality photo of the form.

  • From there you can email the form to us at helpdesk@starsscholarship.org, upload the form to your Stars Account or fax it to us at 956-928-0327. DO NOT MAIL FORMS.

  • After that deadline has passed, Stars will finalize all matching schools recipient lists and confirm award with schools.

  • If you are transferring schools or need to make a change on information provided on award offer, you will need to send us a "Recipient Update Request From". This form will be available on our home page and via your Stars account once award offers have been provided.

  • If you require an exception to full-time enrollment, please review requirements for this process here.






    

Fall & Spring Verification

12th Day of Class



  • In the fall, Stars Scholarship Fund verifies that you are meeting enrollment criteria as it is noted on your award letter.
  • In the spring, Stars Scholarship Fund verifies that you are meeting GPA and enrollment criteria as it is noted on your award letter.
  • Stars will verify this information directly with your school.
  • After the 12th day of class, Stars will contact recipient's schools to verify enrollment. Given the number of recipients we have annually, this process takes 7 to 10 days.
  • Once the verification process is complete, Stars will process payments and send directly to schools, this process takes 7 to 10 days.
  • Stars provides disbursement updates on our home page throughout this period.