Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

The entire application process takes place online using Academic Works software; a link is provided on the Ridgewater College website at You should review our “Scholarship Application User Guide” provided on the website for help in completing your online application.

Yes. (This is new requirement this year). You should allow a minimum of 3 business days for your application for admission to be processed.

You must complete the entire admissions process at Ridgewater before your StarID will be authenticated by our system.

As many as the system matches you to. Using the answers you provide on the application, our system will automatically match you to each and every scholarship where you have met all of the required criteria.

You can review the List of Available Scholarships each semester from the website to learn what opportunities are available. These are also listed in Academic Works. You do not need to pick which scholarships to apply for; the system does that for you automatically, though you will not see which scholarships you are matched to.

In general, approximately 300-400 students out of the approximately 1000+ students who apply each year will receive a scholarship from the Foundation. Your odds depend on both the number of applicants and the dollars available.

Our deadlines are 11:59 p.m. on October 15 and April 15 each year.

  1. Read the Scholarship Application User Guide before doing the online application.
  2. Fill in each section of the application form completely, honestly, thoughtfully and accurately. Answer all of the questions! Do not “stretch the truth” - we will be able to confirm such things as your completed credits, enrolled major, cumulative GPA, etc. before reviewing your application. If you provide false or misleading info, you may be disqualified from consideration for scholarships.
  3. Always use proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization. Failure to do so may disqualify you from consideration for scholarships. Incomplete and/or poorly written applications will not be considered.
  4. Provide thorough, detailed and thoughtful answers to each of the essay questions. Be sure to answer/include all of the elements that are required for each question. [TIP: Consider preparing your essay answers in a word processing program so that they can be spell-checked and easily copied and pasted into your application]. Answers that are only 1-2 sentences may disqualify you from consideration for scholarships.
  5. Make sure your current name and any other prior names that you have had, as well as your student ID, are on any documents that you upload/attach to your application (such as a transcript).

If you have never attended any college before Ridgewater and you don't yet have a college GPA, put 0.0 for your College GPA. If you have attended other colleges before Ridgewater, you will need to indicate your cumulative GPA from your prior colleges on the application.

Wherever we ask for GPA, we are referring to a cumulative GPA that summarizes all semesters. If you use a current semester GPA because it is higher than your cumulative one, we will catch it and change it on your application when we confirm GPAs off your transcript. BE HONEST and use your cumulative GPA.

A copy of your high school transcript with GPA information may be obtained from the Ridgewater College registration office/front desk.

If it is not available, you will need to estimate your high school cumulative GPA as best you can, based on the following scale:

  • A average = 4.0
  • B average = 3.0
  • C average = 2.0

You will need to put 0.0 in the GPA box. There is an option for you to choose “GED” on the application. And, for the “what High School did you graduate from” question, make sure you select GED.

Yes, your scholarship application is closed out each semester and you will need to update all of your information appropriately each time you apply.

A current instructor, advisor, counselor, employer, supervisor or another person who knows you well should be willing to provide a letter of recommendation for you. (Recommendations from family members, roommates, friends or neighbors are discouraged). Note that some of our scholarships require that you obtain a recommendation from an instructor in your program or other specific person.

In the Academic Works system, you will be prompted to provide an e-mail address for the person you are asking to provide your recommendation. [You should contact your reference(s) first to ask them if they are willing to provide a recommendation for you. Ask early and give them time to consider the request]. After entering your recommender's email address in the system; they will be sent an email with instructions and a link which allows them to login and complete a recommendation within the system. [They are also given the option to upload a recommendation letter as well].

One letter of recommendation is all that is required. The maximum the system will accept is two; if you request more than two, the system will only keep the 2 most recent ones received.

You will be able to see on the references section of your application the status of your recommendations. However, you will be unable to open or view.

No. You will be disqualified from consideration because you did follow the directions.

A “non-traditional student” is someone who has been away from a college setting for 5 or more years at any point in time.

All communication will be sent to your Ridgewater College e-mail account (or to the preferred alternate email address provided on your application form). E-mail notifications will be sent approximately 4-5 weeks following the application deadline.

Ridgewater College Foundation scholarship awards are applied directly to the student's account at Ridgewater College for tuition, fees and books for the semester they are awarded.

Scholarships will not affect a student's grants, but they may reduce the amount of loans and/or work study that a student can receive. The Ridgewater College Foundation is required to report all scholarship awards to the Financial Aid office so that all sources of financial aid for a student are coordinated. A student's combined financial aid (grants, loans) and scholarship awards cannot exceed the annual estimated cost of attendance.

No. There are hundreds of other scholarship opportunities available from other sources that you may research and pursue. The Foundation maintains a list of known regional opportunities; please contact the Foundation to request that list. You should also watch your Ridgewater email for scholarship alerts, which the Foundation sends out periodically to notify students of outside scholarship opportunities as they arise.  

Maybe. There are a few scholarships that you cannot receive more than once. But you may apply and reapply for all Ridgewater College Foundation scholarships as long are you are a current student here returning for the next semester.