Help for New Applicants

Things to remember before and when working on the Phillips Scholarship Application:

The application can be completed on a computer, iPad or a tablet. It cannot be completed on a mobile device.  You may use any browser, but the application works far better in Firefox, Chrome or Safari than it does in Internet Explorer. If you must use Internet Explorer, be sure you have the most up to date version.

Uploaded items: All supporting documents will be uploaded directly to the application, not mailed to our office.

  • The Student Aid Report (SAR) from FAFSA, Financial Aid Award letter, formal essay, several short essays, resume, and transcripts from current college students should be saved and uploaded in one of the following file formats: pdf, doc, docx, jpg, jpeg, or png. WE PREFER PDF FILES OVER ALL OTHERS. (View a video to learn how to save your SAR as a PDF file.)
  • Page files, Google docs, and html (internet files) will not be accepted.
  • Documents that aren’t available electronically can be photographed with a smart phone, emailed to yourself and saved to your computer, then can be uploaded to your application. You can also take a screen shot of material that is available online, such as financial aid information, and upload that file.
  • Uploaded files cannot be viewed, nor can an uploaded file be deleted once an application page is saved. However, a file can be replaced before submitting the application.
  • For more information about acceptable file formats, how to take a screenshot and how to combine multiple pages into one document, please click here.

Recommendations. Contact your high school guidance counselor or college professor/advisor, and a second individual, several weeks in advance of the May 1st deadline (or April 3rd if you are a high school student applying for an early response) to be sure they are willing to provide recommendations. You will provide your recommenders’ email contact information in the application and they will be sent a link to your personal recommendation form by the Phillips Scholarship Fund .

  • Consider getting a third recommendation. Often times recommenders are unable to complete a recommendation for you. For this reason you should consider adding a third recommender to your application. Until your application is submitted you may add additional recommenders to the General Recommendation area of the application.
  • What if a recommender does not receive an email notification to complete a recommendation? Please have them check their spam/junk mail folders. If you have not yet submitted a complete application, be sure that you have entered the correct email address for your recommender(s). If the email address is incorrect, enter the correct email address and click “Save & Next.” Return to the Recommendations section of your application and check the “Send Reminder” box. Then check in with your recommender to be sure that they received the email. If you need to change an entire entry for a recommender or if you have submitted your application, please call our office (978-744-2111) or email us at staff@spscholars.org to help troubleshoot the issue.
  • What if a recommender is still having problems accessing the email notification? Recommenders are welcome to call our office (978-744-2111) or email us at staff@spscholars.org and we will provide them with a link to your individual recommendation form. As a last resort they can download the appropriate form from our Forms and Applications page, then email, fax or mail to us.
  • What if you need to add a recommender after submitting their application? Once your application is submitted, you will need to call or email our office to add any additional recommenders or to change their information.

Financial Information. Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st so that your Student Aid Report (SAR) for 2018-2019 is available. If you are a high school student, you need to have received your financial aid award for 2018-2019 from the college you plan to attend.  If you are a current college student you can use your financial aid award for 2017-2018 (or 2018-2019 if you have it.) If you are a current college student who is transferring to a new college for the fall, we will need your financial aid award for 2018-2019. This is a need-based award, so we must be able to determine your need after considering the aid provided by your college and other sources.

College Costs. When figuring out your college cost, use Room & Board (Meal Plan) costs for your college if you are living on-campus or off-campus in an apartment, but not at home. If you are living at home and commuting, do not use Room & Board costs; instead use $4,000 as a commuter allowance. Here is the link to the list of colleges for which we have costs: Cost of College List. If your college is not on this list you should calculate your own cost of college using the information about billed costs on your award letter or on your college’s website.

Deadline. Submit your application by 12 Noon on May 1st, 2018. However, submitting your application as soon as it is complete is advisable.

Email Confirmation. When you submit your application, you will receive confirmation that it is complete. If you have missed any required fields, they will be highlighted. You will need to complete these fields before your application will be accepted.

Award Decisions. All applicants will receive notification of our award decisions by mid-June.

Application Checklist / Required Materials

Complete application submitted by 12 noon, May 1st, 2018:

  • One formal essay
  • Several short essays
  • Resume
  • Official transcript for all academic work through fall 2017 (First year college students should submit their high school transcripts in addition to fall 2017 grades.)
  • Two recommendation forms (although more recommendation forms and/or letters of recommendation may be submitted):
    • High school applicants need a High School Guidance Counselor Form (and letter) and the General Recommendation Form
    • College applicants need the College Recommendation Form and the General Recommendation Form
  • 2018-2019 Student Aid Report (SAR) from the FAFSA
  • Financial Aid Award Letter
    • High school applicants need a Financial Aid Award letter for 2018-2019 from the college/university they will be attending in Fall 2017. The financial aid letter must clearly display the applicant’s name and the name of the college.
    • College applicants need Financial Aid Award information from this current year (2017-2018) from the college/university they are currently attending (or for 2018-2019, if available). If students are transferring to a new college, they must send award letters for 2018-2019 from the college to which they are transferring. The applicant’s name and the name of the college must be clearly displayed on the Financial Aid information.
  • Semi-finalists will be contacted and asked to supply the student’s 2016 IRS 1040 tax forms (or W2 if no taxes were filed), their parents’ 2016 IRS 1040 tax forms, and student’s 2017 W2 forms. (If applying for an early response, deadline of 12 noon on April 3rd, please send parents’ and student’s 2016 tax forms, and student’s 2017 W2 forms to the Phillips Office at: PO Box 870, Salem MA 01970.)

Helpful Sample Documents and Videos

Please click the links below for more information

Sample of Activities Outside the Classroom

Sample of Resume

Sample Student Aid Report

Video of how to Save your SAR as a PDF file

 

Questions?

Check out our FAQs for New Applicants.

Please email us at staff@spscholars.org  or call 978-744-2111 during business hours.