Q: I know Imagine America limits the number of students each high school can recommend to three per year. What happens if I have more than three students apply? How do I determine which students to approve?

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How Do I Do That?

A: That’s an excellent question! For starters, let’s review what makes a student eligible for an Imagine America scholarship. To be eligible, the applicant must graduate from a high school in the U.S. or one of its territories within the program year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31) and enroll in a participating career college.

In the event that you have more than three eligible students apply in a year, here are some recommended guidelines you can follow to choose the best candidates:

  • First, consider whether or not a student demonstrates a likelihood of completing a postsecondary program of study. This may require knowing something about the student’s drive or level of interest in the program of study he or she is applying to.
  • Perhaps you don’t know all of the students well enough to determine that. In that case, consider whether or not any of the students have a greater financial need for the scholarship. Many students who enroll in career colleges come from lower-income families and may have fewer financial aid opportunities.
  • You can also take into consideration a student’s academic performance. Does the candidate’s GPA reflect his or her ability to succeed academically? (We think a GPA of 2.5 or above sufficiently reflects this.)
  • Suppose all of your candidates have a 3.0 GPA, are clearly passionate about the field of study they are pursuing and can demonstrate financial need. Are there any other factors you can consider? Sure. Just look for exceptional qualities some of your candidates possess that others do not. Have any been actively involved in their community this school year? Do any belong to student groups or organizations in which they demonstrate leadership skills?

Of course, you may simply choose to approve the first three to apply, but if you desire a more selective process, these tips should help you find ideal candidates. Remember: If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, you can always contact our scholarships services coordinator Danica Benson at 202.336.6724 or danicab@imagine-america.org.