Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to re-apply if I received a Grand Haven Area Community Foundation Scholarship last year?

Yes, the majority of scholarships are one time awards. If you have received a renewable scholarship, you will be notified by the Foundation in December and instructed to re-apply using the online application process. 


Is an unofficial transcript of my grades okay?

For college students, an unofficial transcript or internet printout of your transcript is acceptable as long as it is a complete transcript of your college work to date, is clearly labeled with your name, current academic year, your cumulative grade point average, and the name of the college or university. For high school seniors, your complete transcript including your first semester senior-year grades, cumulative grade point average, ACT score and class rank is required.


Which scholarships are available to current college students?

The list of scholarship descriptions will be available in early January on the website and a the local high school counseling offices. 


How important are the essays?

If you are chosen to receive a scholarship, your essay will be shared with the donor or donor's family. Each essay is read and reviewed by the scholarship committee members as part of the selection process. It is important that the applicant address each point. Grammar and punctuation are factors considered in scoring. 


Why are most Grand Haven Area Community Foundation scholarships limited to Tri-Cities residents?

Donors select criteria that are important to them and supporting local students remains a top priority with many of our donors. If you reside in another area, you may want to check with your nearest community foundation.


When will I find out if I have been awarded a scholarship?

High school recipients are notified at the individual high school awards ceremonies in May and June. College students are notified by mail by the end of May. While we make every effort to get the scholarship gift to the College before tuition is due, keep in mind that in order to avoid late fees, it is your responsibility to pay for the tuition by the due date.


Are all Foundation scholarships need-based and why do I need to complete the FAFSA?

No, not all of our scholarships have a financial need component. However, we feel that FAFSA completion is an important part of the college application process. We do require that the FAFSA be completed and the SAR report submitted with your application before you will be considered for any of our scholarships. We have free resources that are available to you if you need help filling out this form - just call us for more information. If you have unusual circumstances that will make it impossible to complete your FAFSA, please call our office and ask for Kim McLaughlin.


If I am awarded a scholarship, how is it paid?

Checks are made payable to and mailed directly to the college after you have returned the signed scholarship award, thank you note and photo usually by early August.


How is financial need determined?

Students seeking financial assistance should begin the process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Through detailed information provided on the application, a Student Aid Report (SAR) is issued. Students must also mail the Financial Information Sheet to the college they intend to attend so the college has time to return it to the Foundation by early April.


May I receive scholarships from more than one fund?

Occasionally a student may be selected to receive a scholarship from more than one Foundation scholarship fund however; it is the exception rather than the rule.


Are these scholarships taxable?

These awards are to apply to direct college expenses at the institution, such as tuition, fees, and books. The recipients of scholarships are responsible for any tax liability incurred as a result of these awards. Recipients should consult a tax professional for additional reporting responsibilities.


If I receive an award, is it important to send the donor a thank you note?

Absolutely! These awards are generous gifts from donors and should be acknowledged as such. All thank you cards are gathered at the Foundation office and given to the individual donors who read and cherish them.

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Grand Haven Area Community Foundation

One South Harbor Drive
Grand Haven, Michigan 49417
Phone: 616-842-6378 | Fax: 616-842-9518


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