Scholarship Application Hints & FAQs
Apply Only if You Qualify
This is critical! Many students are disqualified for a scholarship because they do not meet the minimum requirements for that scholarship. If a scholarship requires an applicant to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0. If you have a cumulative GPA of 2.8, don't bother applying – you will be disqualified. You will also be disqualified if you are new to the college and have not established a GPA, i.e. your GPA is 0.0.
Review all of the scholarships and their requirements. Mark all scholarships that you qualify for on the application. The committee tries to award scholarships to as many students as possible. Do not select one or two scholarships. Select as many scholarships as you are eligible to win. Your chances of being awarded a scholarship you qualify for are greater, than if you select one or two.
Begin Early, Finish Early
Once you determine which scholarships to apply for, begin completing your application immediately. Set a self-imposed deadline of two weeks prior to the official deadline. This safeguard will assist you in submitting your application on time. By beginning your application early, your application will be a better quality submission: You will have time to polish your application, and not throwing it together at the last possible minute.
Proofread Your Application
It is always a great idea to proofread your application. You may want to “lay down” your application for a day and come back to it another day – you may find errors you otherwise would not have caught when you were tired. Correct spelling and grammar errors, and if you’re not sure, ask someone else to proofread it for you.
The committee does not want to read a scholarship application that is crumpled, has coffee stains or food stuck on it, streaked pen or pencil, and is impossible to read. Type your application. It makes it easier for the committee to review.
Scholarship award selection is competitive. Treat your scholarship application materials as if you are applying for a job. You want to make the best impression possible. Neat and well organized applications are more professional than sloppily prepared applications and are viewed more favorably by the Committee.
Why do I need two reference letters?
CMC would like to hear more about you, academically and personally, from two different people. The purpose of a reference letter from your current instructor is that it gives the committee insight into you as a student. The purpose of a reference letter from an employer or pastor is that it gives CMC insight into you as an employee or a community member.
Think carefully about who knows you best when selecting your recommenders and give each of them plenty of time to write you a strong letter of recommendation.
Inform your recommenders of the requirements of the scholarship and ask them to address how you match the selection criteria.
Check in with your recommenders at least a week before a deadline and make sure they are aware of all deadlines.
Send a thank you note! Writing a good letter of recommendation is hard work!
Can I complete the application online?
At this time, the application cannot be completed online. You can download the application from CMC’s website. The application is even available in a fillable Adobe PDF form. You can fill it out online and print a copy; however, you cannot complete it or submit it online.
Can students outside of Copper Mountain College apply?
You must be a current, attending student of Copper Mountain College to submit a CMC scholarship application. CMC scholarships are awarded only to students who attend CMC. We are a community college and this is one way we can support our students.
Successful Scholarship Applications
What can I do to make sure I receive high scores on my application?
In order to ensure your application receives the highest scores possible: First, read the application in its entirety. Next, be sure to follow the directions closely. And finally, answer all of the questions as completely and clearly as possible. Following directions is critical.
Clear, Concise Essay or Answering Questions
When answering application questions or writing an essay, make sure your answers and essay are well-thought out, clearly written and be sure to incorporate your life experiences. You should include work experience.
Clearly make a statement in your answers, and be sure that your answer directly addresses the questions posed.
Follow Instructions Carefully
All scholarships do not have the same requirements. Some require essays. Many have a minimum GPA. Others require minimum unit completion in the current and previous semester. Students who do not meet the minimum qualifications for that scholarship are disqualified. Make sure you answer all questions on the application thoroughly. You are more likely to receive a high score if you follow directions precisely. If you do not follow the application directions, your application will be disqualified.
Pay Attention to Details
When you apply for several scholarships at once, it is easy to confuse the requirements and overlook critical details. It is important to follow scholarship guidelines exactly and precisely. If the deadline is the 12th, do not submit it on the 13th. If you miss a deadline, there is no second chance. Note approaching deadlines and give yourself plenty of time to complete the application. Scholarship committees strictly adhere to published deadlines.
All blanks must be filled in. Do not include a resume. Attaching a resume in place of filling in blanks is not acceptable.
If it says to type the application, put down the pen or pencil.
- Read each scholarship’s specific qualifications thoroughly. You must meet ALL qualifications for each scholarship you select. If you do not meet even one of the qualifications, you do not qualify for that scholarship.
- Make sure you have the absolute minimum cumulative GPA for each scholarship selected.
- Make sure the number of units needed for each scholarship is the number you completed in the fall or you are enrolled in for the spring.
- Ask more than two people to provide you with letters of recommendation. This ensures at least two references will submit recommendations on your behalf. Professional references only; no relatives or friends! At least one must be a former or current instructor or teacher.
- There are five (5) discussion points; make sure all five are answered.
- If a specific scholarship requires additional information or a separate essay, make sure you complete that requirement and submit it with your application.
- Make sure your application is completely filled out, including your signature. Unsigned and/or incomplete applications are automatically disqualified.
- Type your application. It makes it easier for the committee to review. If you cannot type your application, print carefully and legibly.
What Not To Do
- Do not wait until the last day or week to complete your application.
- Do not write too much or too little.
- Do not write a “cheerleading” statement. Focus on your specific strengths and achievements with examples of what you have done rather than vague references to yourself.
- Do not write negative comments or criticism; although being honest about yourself is important, reviewers take negative comments very seriously. This could impact the overall ranking of your essay.
- Do not rely on spell check for grammar and spelling. Work with an editor on every aspect of the content and structure of your essay.
- Do not lie or exaggerate.
Notification of Winners
How and when are the winners notified?
You will receive either an award letter or a letter of regret in the mail by the end of June. If your address changes before letters are mailed, please let Admissions & Records know, so they can notify the committee.
How is the scholarship award applied?
The scholarship recipients must be enrolled in classes at CMC by fall of the upcoming school year. The scholarship is only applied to the academic year it is awarded. If you do not attend in the fall or spring, that portion of your scholarship is forfeit. If you do not attend in the fall and spring, your entire scholarship is forfeit. Should you receive an award letter, there will be directions on how your scholarship award is disbursed.
Thank You Notes
If you receive a scholarship, be sure to write a thank you note. Copper Mountain College alumni and friends provide scholarships to help pay for your education because they believe that students like you can make a difference in the world. It is important to give credit and thanks where it is due. This ensures that generous alumnae and donors are acknowledged for all they do to promote their alma mater's future.
Mail your thank you note within 14 days of receiving your scholarship award letter to:
Sandy Smith, Executive Director
Copper Mountain College Foundation
PO Box 1398, 6162 Rotary Way
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
If your scholarship award is from The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation, please mail your Thank You note to:
The Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation
PO Box 936
Rancho Mirage, California 92270-0936
If your scholarship award is from The Community Foundation, Serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, please mail your thank you note to:
Manager, Grant Programs
The Community Foundation
3700 Sixth Street, Suite 200
Riverside, CA 92501
Donors ask for nothing in return, however, receiving a well written thank you letter from a student is always special and lets the donor know that his or her scholarship was greatly appreciated. Your letter reminds them why they gave in the first place and often help secure continuing gifts for future students.