Scholarship FAQ’s

When is the best time to start looking for scholarships?

The sooner the better. Searching for scholarships does take time so it is a good idea to start early and search often. Our scholarships require that you be at least a graduating high school senior before applying. Eligibility requirements and deadline dates vary from year to year, so be sure to review the details carefully.

Do I need to wait until I am accepted for admission before I apply for scholarships?

No, you can apply for scholarships while making final decisions about your education. However, you will have to be admitted and enrolled to an accredited college or university before the Inland Empire Community Foundation can pay an award.

Do I need to submit a FAFSA to be eligible to apply for scholarship?
Not unless specifically requested, however, some scholarships are awarded based on financial need so it is helpful to have a FAFSA on file. You may increase your eligibility if that information is available to scholarship committees.
What scholarships do you offer?
The Inland Empire Community Foundation manages different scholarships with varied eligibility requirements. Visit Scholarships to review the details of each scholarship, including eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
Am I eligible for this scholarship?
If you have a question about your eligibility, please contact your school’s counselor office. Application forms for some funds are available to download from the scholarship’s profile on this site.
May I apply for more than one scholarship at a time?
Yes. You are encouraged to apply for all scholarships for which you meet eligibility requirements.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
In most cases you can download a copy of the application from our website or your school district website. Please be sure to carefully review eligibility requirements before you apply. Applications should be hand delivered or mailed, but not electronically submitted.
May I fax or email my application?
No. The Inland Empire Community Foundation does not accept applications by email or fax. There are no exceptions. Items, such as certified copies of transcripts, do not transmit readily and scanned documents are not accepted.
May I receive awards from more than one scholarship?
Yes it is possible, and acceptable for you to receive multiple awards.
Will I be notified when my application is received?
No, you will not be notified of receipt. However, you will be contacted if we have a specific question about your application or if you are selected to receive a scholarship.
What happens after my application is received?
Once a deadline has passed and all applications are processed, a committee will review the applications and make award recommendations. In some cases, you may be called for a personal interview. Award recommendations are based on scholarship criteria, the availability of funds and the competiveness of the applicant pool. The review process may take several weeks and you will be notified of the committee’s decision.
How will I be notified if I receive a scholarship? May I call and follow up?
If you are selected as a scholarship recipient, you will be notified by mail with details of your award and the process for payment. Because of the number of applications we receive, we ask that you not contact us to follow up, unless you have a change of address to be noted. Be assured that we will notify everyone as soon as possible after final decisions are made.
If I receive a scholarship, how do I claim it?
The award letter will give you specific instructions for claiming your award.
What are my chances for receiving a scholarship?
Scholarship awards are based on scholarship criteria, the availability of funds and the competiveness of the applicant pool. These factors change with every funding cycle and some years are more competitive than others. Please note that meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee funding and the reason for not receiving an award may be as simple as lack of funding.
Are the scholarships renewable?
Some are, but each scholarship is different. Please refer to any scholarship’s profile page for renewal requirements.
May I contact the donors who provided the funds for my scholarship?
We strongly encourage you to send a thank you note that we can share with the founder of the fund. This is the best way for the donor to understand how important the scholarship is to the recipient. Please send your thank you note(s) to the Inland Empire Community Foundation and we will send them on to the donors.
Do you have any tips for applying for scholarships?
  • Pay close attention to scholarship application deadlines. Applications submitted past the deadline are usually not considered.
  • Gather application materials early – give your self plenty of time to complete each step. Applications that have been rushed look sloppy and incomplete applications probably won’t be accepted.
  • Prepare your resume and keep it updated – this is a good way to outline your thoughts and show your activities and achievements.
  • In your essays, let your personality shine through. Present your ideas in a focused, thoughtful and meaningful manner. Write in a natural style and support your ideas with specific examples.
  • Proofread your essays and applications. Ask for feedback from friends, family and teachers.
  • Think carefully about who should write your letters of recommendation. Choose people who can be specific about your strengths as well as your ability to overcome your weaknesses.
  • Double check the list of required attachments and be sure you have included everything.
  • Keep a copy of everything you submit.
  • Don’t ignore small awards. Even these can add up.
  • If you notified that you have received a scholarship made possible by a specific donor, send a thank you note to the donor.
  • Also, if appropriate, keep the donor informed of your progress.
If I do not receive a scholarship, what are my other options?
Speak with your school’s financial aid department for other options available.

If you have any additional questions, please contact IECF at 951.241.7777 or email

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