Applications for the 2021-2022 scholarship cycle
will be accepted from February 1 – February 28, 2021.
The Foundation provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions.
Please review these FAQs before contacting the Foundation with additional questions.
Who can apply for a Hadden Scholarship?
High school seniors who are U.S. citizens planning to attend a four-year accredited college or university established in the United States. Each applicant must have a minimum 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and have SAT and/or ACT test scores to submit.
Is U.S. citizenship a prerequisite to applying for a Hadden Scholarship?
Yes. Native-born or naturalized U.S. citizens who meet the all other qualification standards may apply for a Hadden Scholarship. Permanent Resident status does not meet Hadden Scholarship qualifications.
When can I apply?
The online application is available from February 1, 2021 through February 28, 2021. Applicants should have all materials ready for submission when they apply. No applications or materials will be accepted after February 28, 2021.
Must Hadden Scholars attend a college or university in the United States?
Yes, the scholarship may only be used for colleges and universities established in the United States. However, Hadden funds may be used for a semester or year of study abroad done through the student’s home institution. Hadden Scholars are responsible for verifying their college’s policies for applying outside aid to study abroad tuition.
Is there a minimum GPA?
Yes. To qualify for a Hadden Scholarship, students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
What if my high school does not utilize a 4.0 grading scale?
Each applicant is responsible for converting their GPA to a 4.0 scale. Generally, this is identified as an unweighted GPA on school transcripts. Applicants are required to upload a PDF of their transcript with a full list of classes and grades as part of the application. Finalists will be required to have an official copy of their transcript sent directly from their school.
Are homeschooled students allowed to apply for a Hadden Scholarship?
Yes, as long as they have a GPA and transcript to submit with their application and otherwise meet the minimum requirements.
Are applicants required to submit ACT or SAT scores?
Yes. Applicants may submit either an ACT score, SAT score, or both. Youth Foundation does not super score. Applicants only need to submit their highest score, not their entire test score history.
Is there a minimum test score requirement?
No. However, applicants should keep in mind that the Hadden Scholarship is highly competitive. For 2019, the average Hadden Scholar winner ACT was 32 and the average SAT was 1480.
Are letters of recommendation required?
Yes, two letters of recommendation are required as part of the Hadden Scholarship application. Recommendations may be written by a teacher, administrator, coach, advisor, manager, supervisor, or other adult who has worked with the student in a position of authority and has witnessed first-hand the student’s character and leadership potential. To facilitate collecting the required letters, applicants will provide an email address for both of their intended recommenders. Youth Foundation will email a link to the recommenders so that they may easily submit their letters. Applicants will be notified when Youth Foundation has received their letters of recommendation. Applications will not be considered unless both recommendations have been submitted. Recommendations sent through the mail will not be accepted, the recommendations must be sent via the email links provided through the application process.
May applicants submit more than two letters of recommendation?
No. The recommendation requirement is a minimum and maximum of two letters.
May I mail in my high transcript or other parts of my application?
No. No applications, in whole or in part, will be accepted through the mail. However, finalists will be asked to have an official transcript sent directly from their school.
How will finalists and winners be notified?
All communication will be via the email used by the applicant when setting up the application account. NOTE: If an applicant uses a school-generated email account that will no longer be available after graduation, we will not be able to contact the applicant with award information should they be a winner. Applicants we are unable to contact via email will be disqualified.
What if I do not yet know which college I will be attending?
Youth Foundation understands that regular decision responses will be sent after our application deadline. Applicants who know where they will be attending college will provide that information; applicants who do not yet know will list the colleges to which they have applied. Before final award decisions are made applicants will be required to provide their college decision and a copy of their financial aid award letter.
What if I do not yet know my college major or minor?
Applicants who do not know their college major or minor may simply declare ‘undecided’ on their application. Youth Foundation also asks applicants to share their academic interests. Our checklist of Intended Areas of Study is based on a list provided by the College Board. Learn more»
Does Youth Foundation have a preference for particular majors or fields of study, such as STEM?
No. Each year Youth Foundation awards Hadden Scholarships to students attending a wide variety of colleges and universities and fields of study. We actively encourage applicants planning to major in Liberal Arts.
May I repurpose a previously written essay for my Hadden Scholarship application?
As long as the essay was written by the applicant, does not exceed 750 words, and addresses one of the four provided essay prompts, it may be submitted for the Hadden Scholarship application. Helpful hint: essays that do not address one of the provided prompts, or that are merely recitations of an applicant’s resume are not persuasive. Take advantage of the opportunity to give the reviewers a deeper understanding of your goals and motivations.
What type of financial information will I be required to submit?
Each applicant is required to submit IRS income tax forms for the most recent year available, 2018 for the current application cycle, for their parents and themselves, if applicable. They will be asked to estimate the income they will be reporting for their 2019 IRS income tax forms. Applicants must also submit a completed FAFSA Student Aid Report.
What financial information should I have readily accessible before I begin my application?
In addition to the required tax forms and the FAFSA Student Aid Report, each applicant will be asked for a total of cash, investments, brokerage and checking accounts, and savings, including 529 college saving plans, for themselves and their parents.
What if I do not have a FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)?
You must have the a FAFSA SAR to apply for a Hadden Scholarship.
Where can I learn more about FAFSA?
Visit the official Federal Student Aid website.
My parents are not married. How do I report their financial information?
Applicants whose parents are not married to each other will be asked to separately report financial information for each parent.
What if I do not live with my parents?
You are required to submit your parents’ financial information, even if you live with someone other than your parents.
What if I am unable to provide my financial information for one or both of my parents?
If, due to special and extraordinary circumstances (incarceration, for example), you are unable to provide financial information for either one or both of your parents, you will be provided an opportunity to explain the circumstance on the application.
What if I am legally emancipated from my parents, or otherwise considered an independent student for financial aid purposes?
You will be given an opportunity to indicate and explain on the application if you are considered an independent student.