The Hadden Scholarship application is open from
February 1, 2024 to March 22, 2024.
The Foundation provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions.
Please review these FAQs before contacting the Foundation with additional questions.
I have submitted my FAFSA application, but have been told it will not be processed until mid-March. What should I do?
The Hadden Scholarship application deadline has been moved to March 22, 2024, to accommodate delays caused by the new FAFSA. At this time, we still require the Submission Summary (formerly called Student Aid Report or SAR) and the Student Aid Index (SAI, formerly called the Expected Family Contribution or EFC) and we will not accept late submissions for any reason. If there are any changes or updates to our deadline or required materials, they will be posted on our website and in the application itself.
If you would like to proceed with your application, we recommend you fill out each section as you are able and make your requests for the required letters of recommendation. Only you can decide if it is worth it to you to invest time in starting an application that you may not be able to complete by the deadline.
I have completed all of my application and my recommendation letters have been submitted, but I do not have my SAI or Submission Summary. Should I calculate my own SAI estimate and upload a FAFSA confirmation email in place of the Submission Summary?
No. Do not upload anything other than the information and documents specifically requested. Uploads that are incorrect, out of focus, illegible, upside down or sideways, containing visible social security numbers, or anything other than the specific document requested will not be reviewed and those applications will be disqualified.
Youth Foundation understands the processing delays caused by the new FAFSA are frustrating. We are frustrated, too. We have pushed back our deadline to March 22, 2024, and we will continue to monitor the situation. Any changes or updates to our deadline or required materials will be posted on our website and in the application itself. Each applicant will have to decide for themselves if it is worth it to them to invest time in starting an application that they may not be able to complete by the deadline. We do not accept late submissions under any circumstances. We do not waive requirements based on individual circumstances. The posted deadlines, instructions, and requirements apply to all applicants.
Who is eligible to 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 all other qualification standards may apply for a Hadden Scholarship. Permanent Resident status does not meet Hadden Scholarship qualifications.
When may I apply?
Applications for 2023 are no longer being accepted. The 2024 online application will be available from February 1, 2024 through March 22, 2024. Applicants should have all materials ready for submission when they apply. No applications or materials will be accepted after 11:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time, March 22, 2024.
I live on the west coast, is the application deadline Pacific time?
No. All times referenced are Eastern Standard Time (EST).
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?
To qualify for a Hadden Scholarship, students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. This is an UNWEIGHTED grade point average of 3.50 or higher.
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.
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, test score submissions are REQUIRED. Applicants may submit either an ACT score, SAT score, or both. The composite score (overall score) will be entered and a copy of the score report will be uploaded. Youth Foundation does not super score–only enter the score and score report for the best overall test result. Applicants should only submit their highest score, not their entire test score history.
Does Youth Foundation super score test results?
No. Youth Foundation does not super score. Applicants submitting either an ACT score, SAT score, or both should enter the single best test score for each test (one score for ACT, one score for SAT if submitting for both), NOT a super-scored result. The composite score (overall score) will be entered and a copy of the score report will be uploaded. Applicants should only submit their highest score, not their entire test history.
Is there a minimum test score requirement?
Are letters of recommendation required?
Yes, two letters of recommendation (LOR) 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 their intended recommenders through the online application platform. A link will be emailed to the recommenders so that they may easily submit their letters. Applicants should monitor their application portals to see when their LOR have been submitted. Up to four LOR requests may be sent; applications may not be submitted and will not be considered until two recommendations have been posted. Recommendations sent through the mail will not be accepted, the recommendations must be sent via the email links provided through the application process.
I have completed my application but am unable to officially submit the application. Why?
It may be because you do not have two letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf. Check your application portal and follow up with your reviewers.
Any tips for ensuring my recommenders will submit their letters on time?
First, ask your recommenders if they will submit a letter on your behalf before you send the official request. Let them know to expect an email from Youth Foundation that will have a link for electronically submitting the recommendation. If your recommenders are not expecting an email from Youth Foundation, they may assume it is spam. Also, make sure the deadline is clear and provide a resume (or simple list of interests/achievements) or any other materials that may be helpful to your recommenders. Ask them if there is anything you may do to facilitate their submitting your recommendations on time.
May I mail in my high school transcript or other parts of my application?
No. No applications, in whole or in part, will be accepted through the mail.
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.
Does Youth Foundation have a preference for applicants attending particular colleges or universities, such as Ivy League institutions?
Absolutely not. Hadden scholars come from all over the United States and attend a wide variety of colleges and universities. Youth Foundation does require that the schools do not lower any gift aid (grants and scholarships) to the student as a result of the Hadden Scholarship. Check the school’s website or communicate with a financial aid officer at the school of your choice to confirm that they will not reduce gift aid as a result of outside scholarships.
I checked my college’s website and it says they reduce need-based grants by 50% of the amount of any outside scholarships. Do I still qualify for a Hadden Scholarship?
If you will be receiving need-based grants, then no, you will not qualify for a Hadden Scholarship. Reducing gift aid by ANY amount is not allowed by Youth Foundation rules. However, not every Hadden Scholar receives need-based aid from their school. Merit-based aid is not usually reduced as a result of outside scholarships. It is IMPERATIVE that each student fully understands the scope and limitations of their financial aid offers.
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, 2022 for the next application cycle, for their parents and themselves, if applicable. They will be asked to estimate the income they will be reporting for their 2023 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 FASFA 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. This is information required for the FAFSA, so it should already be readily available to applicants.
I do not qualify for a Pell Grant, could I still qualify for a Hadden Scholarship?
In evaluating financial need, a variety of factors are considered; there is no specific cut-off for income or Student Aid Index. There are Hadden Scholars who receive the full Pell grant amount and a have zero SAI, and scholars who do not qualify for any Pell grant and have a much higher SAI. The totality of the circumstances is weighed and applicants are given the opportunity to provide additional information that may not be reflected in a FAFSA or tax return.
Is there a Student Aid Index threshold to qualify for a Hadden Scholarship or family income amount that would automatically disqualify an applicant for a Hadden Scholarship?
In evaluating financial need, a variety of factors are considered; there is no specific cut-off for income or Student Aid Index. There are Hadden Scholars who receive the full Pell grant amount and a have zero SAI, and scholars who do not qualify for any Pell grant and have a much higher EFC. The totality of the circumstances is weighed and applicants are given the opportunity to provide additional information that may not be reflected in a FAFSA or tax return.
I received a financial aid letter from my chosen college and they have not awarded me any need-based aid. Does this mean I will not qualify for a Hadden Scholarship?
Not necessarily. Youth Foundation takes into consideration all of the financial information included in the application, as well as any other financial circumstances the applicant chooses to disclose. Current Hadden scholars have a wide variety of financial aid packages from their institutions. Finalists will be required to send a copy of their financial aid award letter to confirm they are able to receive outside aid.
I have received a “full ride” from my college. Am I eligible for a Hadden Scholarship?
It depends. If “full ride” means full tuition, but not room and board, you may be eligible to receive a Hadden Scholarship. You should check with the financial aid office of your school to confirm that you have expenses that are allowed to be covered by outside scholarships. If “full ride” means all expenses, including tuition, room, and board, are covered by the school, you probably do not have eligibility to receive outside aid without reducing the school’s award. Again, you MUST verify this with your institution. It is important for students to understand the full scope and limitations of the awards they receive from their colleges and universities.
Is the Hadden Scholarship a tuition-only scholarship?
No. Youth Foundation sends the funds for their Hadden Scholarship recipients directly to the colleges and universities the scholars are attending. These funds may be applied to tuition, room, board, technology, health insurance, or any fees, as allowed by the school’s rules and any applicable state or federal laws. As long as our rules are followed (student is enrolled as a full-time student, maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA, and the school does not decrease gift aid as a result of outside aid), we are flexible as to how the funds are applied by the schools.
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 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.
I have completed my application and my two letters of recommendation have been sent. Is that all I need to do?
No. You must hit the ‘Submit’ button to formally send your application. You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been submitted. An application that is complete, but not submitted, will not be judged.
Do you have any other advice or helpful hints?
Of course! Most importantly, check your work–proofread, proofread, proofread. Make sure uploaded documents are the correct documents for the question asked. For example, if a transcript is mistakenly uploaded where the FAFSA is requested, the application will show that step as complete when, in fact, the FAFSA is still missing. Applicants should check and re-check all uploaded documents to ensure they are clear, readable, and correct. Lastly, put yourself in the shoes of the reviewer. If you were evaluating many applications, would you want to see large blocks of text with no paragraph breaks, repeated typos and errors, or uploaded documents that are out of focus or oriented the wrong way? Submit the type of application you would want to review.
If I am awarded a Hadden Scholarship, what must I do to receive the scholarship?
All finalists will be contacted and are required to send an electronic copy of their financial aid award letter to verify they are eligible to receive outside aid. Winners must provide their student ID number, the address for outside scholarships for their college, and any other information required by their school for the processing of outside scholarships. Failure to provide the required information will result in the loss of the scholarship.
If I am a winner, how do I renew my Hadden Scholarship each year?
The award is renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. Students must be enrolled full-time, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and provide a transcript and current financial aid award letter for each academic year. Failure to comply with the renewal requirements will result in the loss of the Hadden Scholarship.