Step 1: Applying for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
In order to begin the process of applying for a RCBC Foundation Scholarship, you must complete a FAFSA application, which is required of every student. Your scholarship application cannot be processed without filling out your FAFSA. You can file an application by going to www.fafsa.ed.gov. The RCBC Federal School Code is 007730. You MUST select RCBC as your school or your FAFSA information will not come to the college.
Step 2: Letters of Recommendation
It is always best to tackle letters of recommendation right away. This allows the person writing the letter to have ample time to write a great letter. We suggest giving about two to three weeks notice when asking for your letters. Our scholarship application requires that TWO positive letters of recommendation be attached at the bottom of the online application.
Who can write me a letter of recommendation?
A letter of recommendation can be from a professional or personal reference. Some of the best possible sources are*:
- A professor
- A counselor/advisor
- An employer
- A community leader
- A personal acquaintance of several years
*We do not allow scholarship applicants to obtain letters of recommendation from family members or spouses. Any letters from a family member or spouse will not be accepted.
What should be included in the letter of recommendation?
In a letter of recommendation, the writer should include details of positive experiences working with you, whether it be in the classroom, at your place of work, at a community event or as an acquaintance. This letter should serve as an expression of your positive attributes and support your being awarded a scholarship.
What formats are accepted?
Being that our application is online, we strongly encourage all letters of recommendation to be in an electronic file format. Letters are most easily opened as Word Documents, a JPEG or a PDF. If you are unable to get your letter electronically, please contact the Foundation office at 856-291-4246 to make additional arrangements.
Step 3: Writing a Personal Essay
In addition to the two letters of recommendation, the application also requires you to attach a personal essay. This essay should be about 400 words.
What should this essay include?
This essay should really encompass two things – your academic goals and your career aspirations. Our donors and scholarship committee members would like to know what obtaining an associate’s degree means for your future. It is also best to include anything that you believe will help better explain your current situation.
What formats are accepted?
Again, being that our application is online, we strongly encourage all personal essays to be in an electronic file format. Essays are most easily opened as Word Documents, a JPEG or a PDF. If you are unable to write your essay electronically, please contact the Foundation office at 856-291-4246 to make additional arrangements.
Step 4: Searching for Scholarships
Now that you have your letters of recommendation and your personal essay done, it is time to review the available scholarships. Select Scholarship Application. This page will allow you access to our scholarship descriptions, as well as the application itself. Each student will be permitted to select three scholarships on the application. This can be time consuming, which is why we suggest you do your research prior. The application does have a time limit of 40 minutes, but if you do your research ahead of time, the application should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Please keep in mind that every student is considered eligible for the Holiday Auction Scholarship, therefore it is not listed as an option.
Why only three scholarships?
First, it is important that you know upfront that YOU ARE NOT LOCKED INTO THESE SCHOLARSHIPS. Just because you do not select a certain scholarship does not mean that you cannot receive it. Selecting those specific scholarships allows us to have a guideline.
What should I be looking for?
When you look over the available scholarships, you should look for three scholarships for which you best meet the criteria. Remember, only you know what scholarships you best fit, so this helps us know what scholarships you best fit as well. You should also note whether or not the scholarship you are choosing has additional requirements.
Step 5: Completing the Online Application
- Before starting the application, please read all directions carefully.
- It is best to list the email address that you use most frequently. It is also important to check it frequently. If something is missing from your application, we will contact you via email.
- Please include your mailing address in full. Your scholarship letter will be mailed to your house and without your full address, you may not get your letter as quickly.
- When selecting your degree program, please select the degree program you are currently enrolled in. If you are planning to switch majors, you can include that information in your personal essay.
- For the attachment box on the bottom of the application, it operates similar to how you would put attachments in an email. You will browse your computer to the location that your documents are saved and attach them.
- Please remember that the application will time out after 40 minutes, which is why it is important that you have everything done prior to starting the application. If you are timed out, you will have to start the online portion of the application again.
- Make sure you give yourself plenty of time prior to the deadline to complete the application. It is best to have time to handle any unforeseen problems.
- If you receive an error message of any kind, please contact the OIT Help Desk at 609-894-9311 ext. 1304.
Step 6: The Application is Submitted, What Now?
Now that your application is completed and submitted, you should come to a page that advises you to print the page for your records, which you should do. If you are NOT directed to this page, the application was NOT submitted or received at the Foundation office.
How long does the review process take?
The review process can take up to a few weeks to complete. Financial Aid will first verify that you have submitted a FAFSA application and that you are eligible to receive a scholarship. At that point the RCBC Foundation Scholarship Committee will review each application to determine the recipients.
How will I be notified if I receive a scholarship?
You will first receive an email alerting you that you have received a scholarship. This email will go to the email you have submitted to receive Connect Ed messages. Following the email, a letter will be mailed to the address on the application, which will include specific details about your scholarship.
What happens if I receive a scholarship?
If you receive a scholarship, it will be posted to your account. You should check your WebAdvisor to see how it directly affects your bill. If you have received a book scholarship, this scholarship will only be redeemable in the book store with your student ID a week prior to the start of classes. You will also be asked to write a thank you letter, which will be shared with our generous donors, to express your gratitude for the scholarship. All letters should be mailed to:
The Enterprise Center
300 College Circle
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Please contact the Foundation Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 856-291-4246 with any questions or concerns.