Scholarship Program Information - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Scholarship Program Information

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Overview

Enrollment for the 2014 scholarship program is open between October 1, 2013 and January 15, 2014, and applicants will receive notice in late April 2014. This scholarship is for first-time college students only. For more detailed information, please refer to the frequently asked questions and other scholarship resources below. See green box at right to apply.

Scholarship Application

Applications are accepted online only. After you register, you can return to this page to log in and out of your application anytime (up until you have submitted your application).

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For additional details about the program, see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently asked scholarship program questions:

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Can I apply again next year?

An individual may apply for the scholarship as long as he/she meets the basic eligibility criteria. If you applied previously for the scholarship and didn’t receive an award and subsequently attended postsecondary school, then you would not be eligible. If you received a National MS Society scholarship, you are not eligible to apply again.
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How and when will I be notified if I receive a scholarship?

When you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation acknowledging receipt of your application. Notification letters will be mailed to all recipients and non-recipients in mid-April. Communication with applicants is done both by paper mail and by email. Please be sure to check your email regularly. If you have any changes to your email or mailing address, please notify us at mssociety@scholarshipamerica.org.

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How much money is given overall?

The awards each year will depend on available funding. In 2013, over $1 million was awarded to 679 scholars.
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How much money is given to each individual?

The minimum scholarship award is $1,000 with a maximum award of $3,000, although a limited number of awards may exceed this amount.
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I have some questions about how to fill out the form – whom do I ask?

Customer support service is available to assist you Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., central time, either by email to mssociety@scholarshipamerica.org or calling 507-931-0471.
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I live outside the United States. Can I apply?

This scholarship is only for individuals who are United States citizens or legal residents living in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or any other U.S. territory. People who live outside the country who are or whose parents are in the U.S. military, government service or other U.S. corporate employees are eligible as long as they meet the basic eligibility requirements.
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I missed the deadline – can I still apply?

Unfortunately, late applications will not be accepted. Please plan to get your application in early to avoid unexpected delays. There will be no exceptions.
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I want to go to a technical school and not to college. Can I apply?

Any postsecondary, undergraduate school is fine as long as it meets national, state, or professional accreditation standards. You must plan to attend school at least part-time – six credit hours per school term. You can verify a school's accreditation status by accessing the U.S. Dept of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs at www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx.  
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If I don’t meet the criteria for the National MS Society Scholarship program, are there other resources available?

Yes there are. Although not an exhaustive list, below are resources that you may want to research.

Federal Assistance

  • studentaid.ed.gov
    • The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are the largest source of student aid in America.
  • Fafsa.ed.gov
    • Free application for federal student aid
  • Federal Student Aid Information Center
    • 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) 
    • This is a toll-free number.

Other Resources


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Is there an application fee?

No, we do not charge students to apply for this scholarship.

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Must I plan to be a full-time student?

We understand that full-time study is not possible for everyone due to health concerns or family care responsibilities. You must be enrolled for at least six credit hours per academic term to be eligible as a part-time student. The scholarship is intended for students who are pursuing a degree, license, or certificate and is not for those who want to take an occasional personal enrichment class.
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There have been a wide variety of donors to this fund and include people with MS and other individuals affected by MS, corporate donors, foundations, individual National MS Society chapters, and staff and volunteers of the National MS Society.

List the school that you plan to attend. If you are applying to more than one institution, indicate only your first choice. If chosen as a scholar, you will have the opportunity to change your school information on the scholarship acceptance form that you receive with your notification letter. If your school information changes after you have returned your acceptance form, it is your responsibility to notify us Scholarship Management Services in a timely manner. Otherwise, you may expect delays in receiving your check. To update your account, email mssociety@scholarshipamerica.org or call 507-931-0471.
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What are the criteria for selecting finalists?

All applicants must meet the basic eligibility criteria, fully complete the online application and mail supporting documents by the January 15, 2014 deadline. Scholarship finalists will be selected on the basis of demonstrated financial need, academic record, leadership and participation in school or community activities, work experience, an outside appraisal, goals and aspirations, special circumstances, and an essay (written by the applicant) regarding the impact of MS on their life. The selection process will not be influenced or affected by the actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation of any applicant.
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What will be required of me if I am selected to receive a scholarship?

You must complete and submit a signed Scholarship Acceptance Form before funds can be processed. You must notify your school about the award and deliver the scholarship checks to the school in a timely manner. You will be asked to mail a current photograph and write a thank you note to at least one donor. You are required to notify Scholarship Management Services of any change in address, school enrollment or other relevant information and to send a complete transcript when requested.
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What’s the deadline?

Your application must be submitted online by January 15, 2014, and your supporting documents mailed and postmarked no later than January 15, 2014 to the address listed on the application instructions.
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When will scholarship checks be mailed?

Checks will be mailed in mid-August  and mid-December to the recipient's home address and are made payable to the school for the student.  
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Where can I get an application?

The application will be available on this site (see box at the bottom of this page) on October 1st. It will remain posted until the January 15, 2014 closing date. Applications are accepted online only.
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Where does the money for scholarships come from?

There have been a wide variety of donors to this fund and include people with MS and other individuals affected by MS, corporate donors, foundations, individual National MS Society chapters, and staff and volunteers of the National MS Society.
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Who is eligible?

  • Current high school seniors or high school graduates (including students who have earned their GED certificate) of any age who live with MS or have a parent with MS and will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time having not attended a postsecondary school prior to January 1, 2014. (Following high school graduation, a student may not have attended college prior to January 1, 2014. High school seniors, high school graduates or GED students who participated in a postsecondary option while in high school are eligible to apply.)
  • Applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents living in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or any other U.S. territory and plan to enroll in an undergraduate course of study at an accredited two-or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school located in the U.S., PR, VI, Guam or any other U.S. territory.
  • Applicants must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester in course work leading to a degree, license, or certificate.
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Who selects the recipients?

Each chapter of the National MS Society carefully reviews its applicants and makes final award decisions. Also, some candidates are considered for additional funds and are reviewed by a nationwide panel  that consists of people with MS, home office volunteers and staff, and national board members.
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Why am I not able to send the application to my chapter?

All applications must be submitted online and cannot be sent to your chapter. The National MS Society has contracted with an outside vendor, Scholarship Management Services, to help manage the program and application process. All applications are submitted to the National MS Society for final review and final award decisions. Scholarship Management Services will handle the distribution of award checks and monitoring of student enrollment.
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Why don’t you expand the eligibility guidelines?

While we know that there are many qualified and worthy candidates for the scholarship, the expense of running an open-ended program is prohibitive. There are costs associated with collecting and reviewing each application. A larger number of applications mean larger administrative costs. By restricting the eligibility, we are able to contain the administrative costs and award more scholarships. A committee of volunteers and National MS Society staff determine the eligibility criteria.
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Will scholarships be given out every year?

Yes, this is an annual program. The 2014 program opens October 1, 2013 and closes January 15, 2014.

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