Frequently Asked Questions

The application for the 2021 scholarship cycle is closed and applications are no longer being accepted.
The next application cycle will begin February 1, 2022.

Please refer to Application Guidelines and Application Procedures for more details.

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The Foundation provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions.

Please review these FAQs before contacting the Foundation with additional questions.

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.*

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.

Applications for 2021 are no longer being accepted. The 2022 online application will be available from February 1, 2022 through February 28, 2022. 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, February 28, 2022.

No. All times referenced are Eastern Standard Time (EST). The application opens 12:01 AM EST, February 1, 2022 and closes 11:59 PM EST, February 28, 2022.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, as long as they have a GPA and transcript to submit with their application and otherwise meet the minimum requirements.

Applicants may submit either an ACT score, SAT score, or both. The composite score (overall score) and the composite score percentile will be entered and a copy of the score report will be uploaded. If an applicant has a 90% composite score, that means the applicant’s score is in the 90th percentile, so they would enter a 90 for score percentile. Youth Foundation does not super score–only enter the score, percentile, and score report for the best overall test result. Applicants only submit their highest score, not their entire test score history.

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) and the composite score percentile will be entered and a copy of the score report will be uploaded. Applicants only submit their highest score, not their entire test score history.

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.

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.

Unless you literally prefer to be called None or N/A, please put whichever name is your preference in that field. If it is a nickname, put your nickname. If it is your first name, put your first name. Our system will utilize the “Preferred Name or Nickname” field when sending email notices to applicants and reviewers. If an applicant enters None or N/A in that field, that is how they will be referred to in emails.

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.

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.

No. No applications, in whole or in part, will be accepted through the mail.

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.

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.

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»

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In evaluating financial need, a variety of factors are considered; there is no specific cut-off for income or Expected Family Contribution. There are Hadden Scholars who receive the full Pell grant amount and a have zero EFC, 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.

In evaluating financial need, a variety of factors are considered; there is no specific cut-off for income or Expected Family Contribution. There are Hadden Scholars who receive the full Pell grant amount and a have zero EFC, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Applicants whose parents are not married to each other will be asked to separately report financial information for each parent.

You are required to submit your parents’ financial information, even if you live with someone other than your 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.

You will be given an opportunity to indicate and explain on the application if you are considered an independent student.

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.

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 score report 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.

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.

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.