NIAF

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

General Scholarship Questions Eligibility Questions Deadlines and Materials Submission Questions Financial Aid Questions Technical Questions

If you still have questions, please visit http://www.niaf.org/scholarships/feedback.asp and submit your question on-line.

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General Scholarship Questions

Q: I know that you have over 100 scholarships-- can I apply to just one of them?

A: NO; each applicant must apply through our general online application process. It is not possible to apply for a specific scholarship. By completing an online scholarship application, you are eligible to compete for ALL of our available scholarships.

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Q: I've seen other individual NIAF scholarships on a scholarship web site that aren't listed on your Scholarship Information web page. Are they still available?

A: Our scholarship program has changed in the last several years. Scholarships that are not listed explicitly on our website may still be available, but they are now offered in a different form. To apply for any of the scholarships offered by the NIAF, you are only required to fill out the NIAF General Application. All scholarships are awarded based on the eligibility requirements and application found on the general page.

Our web site is the authoritative source of information on the NIAF Scholarship Program and scholarships that may be available. Do not refer to other information on scholarship search engines, other web pages, or old scholarship reference books as their information might not be up-to-date. In the case of a conflict of information (e.g. deadlines, eligibility, GPA requirements, etc.), the information on the NIAF Scholarship site is the most current and takes precedence over any other information you may find.

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Q: What are my odds of getting a scholarship? How many people apply each year?

A: Our scholarship program is extremely competitive and all applications undergo a rigorous evaluation process. The odds of being awarded a scholarship depend heavily upon the number of applications received. The NIAF receives over 4,000 scholarship applications each year and depending on funds, awards between 70 and 100 scholarships.

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Q: I donít know/canít find my application ID. What should I do?

A: Your application ID is created from your last name and the last four digits of your social security number as entered on your application. For example, if your last name is Jackson and the last four digits of your social security number are 9999, your application ID would be Jackson9999.

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Q: Will I be notified if I do not receive a NIAF scholarship? How will I be notified of the results?

A: Applicants can check their status starting on May 16, 2014. To do so, visit niaf.org/scholarships, click on the link on the right hand side of the page under ďScholarship StatusĒ that reads ďCheck the status of your application here.Ē Applicants will need their application ID to check their status. We do not post an exhaustive list of scholarship recipients on our website.

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Q: I don't have an email address and/or Internet access, can you mail me a hard-copy application?

A: No, NIAF scholarship applications are only available online. We no longer offer paper applications. Additionally, an email address is required when completing a scholarship application.

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Q: I would like to attend a summer program, can scholarship monies be used toward this program?

A: No, NIAF scholarship awards can only be used for tuition during the academic year (fall and spring).

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Q: Can I use this scholarship for books or housing?

A: Each scholarship award can only cover tuition and university-provided room and board.

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Q: Can my high school guidance counselor fill out my teacher evaluation?

A: Yes.

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Eligibility Questions

Q: What type of students can apply for a NIAF Scholarship?

A: Any high school senior, undergraduate, graduate student or doctoral student may apply for a NIAF Scholarship. This includes students attending medical or law school. For any questions on the application that do not apply to you, please leave them blank unless stated as a required field. If you secure a NIAF Scholarship, you will be asked to show proof of enrollment for Fall 2014 in a US-based, accredited institution of higher education before the scholarship monies can be paid.

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Q: What qualifies an applicant as "Italian American"?

A: To be considered "Italian American" for the NIAF scholarship program, the student must have at least one ancestor who has emigrated from Italy (any region). We do not require any kind of verification of your Italian heritage.

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Q: I am a high school student, can I apply for a scholarship?

A: Only students entering or planning to enter a U.S. based accredited college or university in the Fall 2014 are eligible (usually high school seniors). Applicants must be enrolled in or have been accepted to a U.S.-based accredited college or university for Fall 2014.

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Q: What are the Other Scholarships for Italian Americans? If I apply to one of those, can I also apply for the General NIAF Scholarship Program?

A: These are scholarships administered by the NIAF that are separate from our general program, with different eligibility requirements and applications. While they are more narrowly focused, they are less competitive because fewer students apply.

With the exception of the John R. Mott Scholarship (whose application can be found at www.mottscholarship.com), any other scholarships associated with the NIAF Scholarship Program require you to fill out the NIAF General Application.

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Q: I am Italian American and I am majoring or minoring in Italian language, Italian studies, Italian American studies, or a related field. Which category should I apply to?

A: If you are eligible for both scholarship categories, you may select both on your application.

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Q: Must I be in a certain age range to be eligible for a scholarship?

A: There is no minimum or maximum age limit to be considered eligible for a NIAF scholarship. Birth date is not a consideration in evaluating applications, but students must be at least high school seniors to apply. Students that attend a university later than the traditional age are also eligible to apply.

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Q: Iím a student going back to school after an absence. Am I eligible for a scholarship from the NIAF?

A: Yes. The NIAF welcomes students of all types to apply for its scholarship funds. If you are attending school after a significant absence, please provide your most recent transcript (e.g. high school, undergraduate) even if a significant amount of time has passed. If you are unable to procure a transcript, please contact the NIAF at scholarships@niaf.org. You can also ask a coworker or supervisor to submit a recommendation in lieu of a teacher or professor.

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Q: I won a NIAF scholarship last year (or a previous year), can I apply again this year?

A: Yes; previous scholarship winners can and are encouraged to reapply. Previously awarded scholarship winners are not guaranteed an automatic scholarship renewal.

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Q: Iím a student studying abroad in Italy during the next school year. Am I eligible for a NIAF scholarship?

A: It depends. If you are studying during the academic year (i.e. not the summer) and with a U.S.-based, accredited institution (e.g. NYU, University of California Ė Berkeley), then you would be considered eligible for a scholarship from the NIAF. If, however, you are studying during the summer or through a non-U.S.-based, accredited institution (e.g. University of Bologna, University for Foreigners at Perugia), you will not be considered eligible for a scholarship from the NIAF.

As an example, if you attend Colgate University (a U.S.-based, accredited institution) and will be studying abroad in Venice during the fall semester and you will still be enrolled as a student at Colgate (but just studying abroad), then you would be considered eligible for a scholarship. If, however, you are taking an academic leave of absence from Colgate and enrolling at the University of Bologna, you would not be eligible.

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Q: I am not an American citizen, can I still apply for a scholarship?

A: To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be a citizen of the United States of America or a permanent resident alien. If you are a dual citizen of another country and the US, you are considered eligible.

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Q: My overall GPA is 3.1, but my Major GPA is 3.5. Am I eligible to apply?

A: Only one of your GPAs must be at least 3.5 to be considered eligible to apply. If you are applying based on your Major GPA, make sure that you include it on your application.

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Q: My GPA is a 3.48, but will be a 3.5 by the end of the year. Am I still eligible?

A: No. The NIAF evaluates applications based on your GPA as recorded on your official transcript. If your official GPA is less than a 3.5 at the time of application, you are considered ineligible.

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Q: Do I have to be a member of the NIAF to apply for a scholarship?

A: YES; either you, the applicant, or your parent or guardian must be a member of NIAF to submit your application. You can get a student membership ($25/year) at https://www.niaf.org/membership/donorinfo.asp.

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Deadlines and Materials Submissions Questions

Q: Where do I send my FAFSA and my Official Transcripts?

A: To ensure that the NIAF receives your official transcript and FAFSA, please follow the instructions below. Please do not send your transcript and SAR report in the same envelope.

Transcript Ė

NIAF Scholarships
T Ė (insert your application ID here)
PO Box 53357
Washington, DC 20009

FAFSA Ė

NIAF Scholarships
F Ė (insert your application ID here)
PO Box 53346
Washington, DC 20009

Instructions specific to your application concerning mailing your FAFSA Financial Aid Form and your Official Transcripts can also be found on your Student Status Page. While on your Status Page, click on the corresponding button to view mailing instructions.

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Q: The website says that the deadline is March 1, 2014. Does that mean midnight on March 1 or 5:00 p.m.?

A: The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (the NIAF national headquarters is located in Washington, DC) on Friday, March 1, 2014.

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Q: Does my transcript/SAR report have to arrive at the NIAF on or before the March 1, 2014 deadline?

A: No, your transcript must be postmarked by the March 1, 2014 deadline. However, to avoid potentially missing the deadline because of issues with postage or lost mail, we encourage you to submit your materials well before the deadline.

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Q: I checked my application status and my transcript/SAR report shows as received AFTER the March 1, 2014, deadline. Am I still eligible?

A: As long as your materials were postmarked by the March 1, 2014 deadline, you are considered eligible. The received date on your status page only indicates the date that your materials were uploaded by NIAF staff and has no bearing on your eligibility or application.

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Q: My transcript and/or SAR was returned due to insufficient postage. What should I do?

A: You can resend your transcript and/or SAR in a new envelope, including the old envelope with the original postmark. You do not need to email the NIAF to indicate that you are resending your materials.

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Q: Can I get a sealed transcript from my registrarís office and mail it myself?

A: Yes. As long as the transcript remains sealed, it can be sent inside another envelope addressed to the NIAF and it will be accepted as an official transcript from your registrarís office.

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Q: My school sent my transcript, but it was never received or received after the deadline. What should I do?

A: It is your responsibility to ensure that your school sends your transcript and that it is postmarked by the March 1, 2014, deadline. We will also accept sealed transcripts from the registrar that are mailed by the student (i.e. you can go to the registrar, get a sealed transcript, and mail it yourself). If your transcript is not postmarked by March 1, you will not be considered eligible for a NIAF scholarship. We recommend giving your registrarís office as much time as possible to send your transcript.

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Q: My teacher never submitted a recommendation. What should I do?

A: Like the transcripts and SARs, it is your responsibility to ensure that your teacher has submitted your recommendation by the March 15, 2014, deadline. The NIAF recommends that you provide your teacher with as much time as possible to complete the application. As the deadline approaches, please contact your teacher to remind them of the upcoming deadline. The NIAF does not make exceptions for teacher recommendations submitted after the deadline. If your teacher recommendation is not submitted by the deadline, your application will not be considered complete and you will not be eligible for a NIAF scholarship.

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Q: I checked my application and discovered that one or both of my essays didnít go through. What should I do?

A: It is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete by the March 1, 2014 deadline. If you discover after that date that your application is incomplete, your application will not be considered complete and you will not be eligible for a scholarship from the NIAF. The NIAF recommends that you allow yourself enough time to ensure that your application is complete well before the deadline in case any technical issues arise.

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Q: Iím applying for a scholarship for graduate, medical, or other post-graduate studies. Do you need my SAT scores from high school?

A: Your SAT scores are not required as a part of your graduate, medical, or other post-graduate application. If you know them and wish to provide them, you may. You will not be penalized for not providing them.

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Q: I am a non-traditional student who has been out of school for many years. I have no ties to any of my previous teachers/professors. Can I have a professional fill out my on-line Teacher Evaluation Form?

A: We would like you to use a teacher as your evaluator if possible. However, if you feel that your recommendation would be better served by another person because you have been out of school for some time or for another reason, you may have a professional (e.g. a coworker or superior) fill out your form.

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Q: I am a college freshman and I donít know any of my professors well enough to ask for a recommendation. Can I have a high school teacher or coach fill it out?

A: Having a current professor or coach fill out the recommendation would be preferable, as that person would have the best knowledge of your current performance as a student. However, if you feel that a current professor would not be able to provide you a recommendation that accurately reflects your qualifications for this scholarship, we will accept a former teacher or coach's recommendation.

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Q: Iíve missed the application deadline for this year. Are there any other scholarships available from the NIAF? When can I apply for the next NIAF scholarship?

A: If the deadline has passed, you will not be eligible for a NIAF scholarship this year. The next application will open in November and close the following March. If you have missed the deadline and are looking for other scholarships, the NIAF recommends www.fastweb.com to help students in the scholarship search process.

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Financial Need Questions

Q: What does claiming financial need on my application entail? Will claiming financial need exclude me from being considered for scholarships based on academic merit?

A: A small percentage of the total number of scholarships the NIAF grants each year take the financial need of an applicant into account along with academic merit as criteria for selection.

The NIAF makes its determination of financial need based on the submission of your Student Aid Report (SAR) which is created after completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Information on completing a FAFSA form through the federal government can be found on their website www.fafsa.ed.gov

If you are claiming financial need on your NIAF Scholarship Application, the NIAF requires that you submit a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) to the NIAF by mail postmarked by March 1, 2014. Directions concerning mailing this document to the NIAF can be found on your Student Status Page after you log into your on-line application.

Financial need will be determined by comparing your FAFSA information with other applicants who claim and submit their FAFSA information.

If you claim financial need, you will still be considered for all scholarships you are eligible, whether or not they take financial need into consideration. For those scholarships based on academic merit, your financial need will have no bearing on your evaluation.

The NIAF is not responsible for technical issues with your SAR report. To troubleshoot your FAFSA or SAR report, please contact FAFSA through their website www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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Q: I wish to claim financial need, but don't have a FAFSA Financial Aid Form. What is the FAFSA Financial Aid Form and how do I go about getting one?

A: The FAFSA Financial Aid Form is the Free Federal Application for Student Aid sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The NIAF uses this information to make its determinations about the applicantsí financial need relative to other students who are applying. If you do not have a FAFSA Financial Aid Form registered with the Dept. of Education, visit their website: www.fafsa.ed.gov for more information on how to submit a FAFSA.

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Q: My family hasnít done its tax return for this year, so we canít prepare our FAFSA. What should I do?

A: You can prepare a FAFSA, which will generate your SAR, based on your previous yearís tax return. If your financial situation has changed dramatically, please note that in your application, Step 16.

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Q: What do I do if I have an electronic FAFSA and no paper copy?

A: Please go to the FAFSA website (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and print a Student Aid Report (SAR). You may submit that to the directions listed after you open a scholarship file and submit Section A of the application.

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Q: I completed my FAFSA, but have not received my SAR and will not have it postmarked before the deadline. Am I still eligible?

A: Your SAR is not a required part of your application, so not submitting your SAR does not preclude you from winning a scholarship. The majority of our scholarships do not consider financial need as a part of the evaluation. Therefore, without an SAR, even if you indicated you have financial need, you will still be considered eligible for a scholarship from the NIAF without your SAR. However, if you indicated that you have a financial need and have not sent your SAR, you will not be considered for any scholarship that has a requirement of financial need.

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Technical Questions

If you are having technical difficulties in submitting an on-line NIAF Scholarship Application, please read the following before contacting the NIAF.

We suggest using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your internet browser when accessing the NIAF Scholarship Pages. While we strive to make our website so that it can be viewed and used by a variety of browsers, instances do occur where certain browsers will not view our pages properly. In order to use Microsoft Internet Explorer and you are working on a PC, log onto your local internet provider (such as AOL, MSN, etc.), minimize the screens for that provider, and on your desktop locate the Microsoft Internet Explorer Icon (usually shown as a blue E). Double click on the icon to open the browser. When browser is open, type the NIAF Scholarship web address: www/niaf.org/scholarships into the address line.

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Q: I have already created a Scholarship Application File and have received an Application File ID. I am having problems accessing my application. What am I doing wrong?

A: First, please check that you are using the correct Application File ID in order to log in. Your Application File ID should consist of your last name and a sequence of numbers. Check the Application File ID that was sent to you via e-mail and attempt to log into your application again.

If you are still experiencing difficulties, please contact us using the feedback form listed below. Make sure to include your Application File ID in the message.

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Q: I am not seeing the transcript, evaluation form, or FAFSA information when I click on the buttons on the status page.

A: First, please verify that you have no other web browser windows open. Close all of the other windows and then try clicking the button again. Also, verify that you do not have a POP-UP ad/banner killer running. Close any pop-up blocking applications on your computer, then try clicking the button again.

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Q: How do I "submit" my application?

A: You, in essence "submit" Sections A and B of your application every time you press the [Save Changes] button on each section. Pressing this button updates your changes in our database. You may go back to update and make changes on both Sections A and B up until the March 1, 2014 deadline. Whatever has last been saved in your application by that deadline will be considered for evaluation. THERE IS NO NEED TO PRINT OUT A COPY OF YOUR APPLICATION AND MAIL IT TO THE NIAF. We receive both your Sections A and B electronically.

We urge you to take advantage of the Audit Function located on your Student Status Page - this will electronically check if you have missed any fields on either Sections A or B.

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Q: I printed my application, but my essays are printed with incorrect or no formatting. Is that how it looks on my application that the NIAF reads?

A: No. The printed application does not include the HTML formatting that exists as a part of the online application. The NIAF committee members will view your application online, so they will read the application as you have entered it on the online form.

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If you are still have questions about the on-line application, please contact Gabriella Mileti at gmileti@niaf.org or call (202) 939-3118.




Scholarship Status

Create a new Scholarship application here.

Check the status of your application here.

Not a member? CLICK HERE to join today!

Important Dates

Application available: November 1, 2013

Applications due: March 1, 2014

Teacher recommendations due: March 15, 2014

Winners announced: May 16, 2014

Contact Us

For questions regarding scholarships, please view our FAQ section. If you are unable to find the answer to your question there, please contact
Gabriella Mileti at gmileti@niaf.org
or call (202) 939-3116