Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions
General Scholarship Questions:
Q: What is the minimum GPA required to apply?
A: Undergrads: a cumulative GPA of 2.5 out of a 4.0 scale, including UG Military Service
Graduates: a cumulative undergraudate GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 scale, including graduate Military Service
Q: Can I still apply if I graduate in December?
A: Yes, you may still apply.
Q: Do I have to upload an original of my transcript or is a copy okay?
A: A legible copy of your most recent transcript is fine. Please make sure that your name and respective school name are clearly visible on the copy. Do not include a link to view your transcript instead of the transcript itself. Links typically expire and reviewers are then unable to view the transcript and they will not hesitate to lower the overall grade of an application if a transcript is missing or the link has expired.
Q: Do I have to provide letters of recommendation?
A: Undergrads: two letters of recommendation are required if an undergrad would like to be considered for one of the Foundation’s seven Founders’ scholarships - minimum award amount of $5,000. One letter of recommendation is required for all other general undergraduate, Bell Chapter, and donor-scholar awards.
Graduates: two letters of recommendation are still required for all graduate awards.
Military Service: two letters of recommendation are still required for all Military Service awards. At least one letter must be from a commanding officer or other member of applicant's unit.
Chapter Sweethearts: letters of recommendation are not required
Q: Who should I ask to write a letter of recommendation and what should they write about?
A: Letters of recommendation should come from someone who knows your character, skills and abilities and should provide examples of how the applicant is an outstanding values-based leader and/or student, along with the recommender’s academic, personal, or professional experience with the applicant.
Undergrads: Professors/instructors are excellent choices for letters of recommendation, along with counselors, coaches, employers, and Sigma Chi alumni advisors. Family members and undergraduate peers are not acceptable choices.
Graduates: Professors/instructors are excellent choices for letters of recommendation, along with counselors, coaches, employers, colleagues, and Sigma Chi alumni advisors. Family members are not acceptable choices.
Q: Can I use a letter of recommendation that I used for a job application or another type of application?
A: Yes, provided the letter was written during the current academic year and speaks to the general criteria listed above.
Q: Can I make any changes to my application once it has been submitted?
A: Yes, but those changes have to go through scholarship administrator, Heidi Holley. This includes uploading a more current copy of your transcript or updating your responses to questions on the application.
Q: Can I apply if I’m a past Foundation scholarship recipient?
A: Yes, if you are still an undergrad or graduate brother in good standing with Sigma Chi, you may apply.
Q: I’m going to school abroad next fall, can I still apply?
A: Undergrads: Yes, provided you will be enrolled at a school with an active Sigma Chi chapter and taking part in a semester/study abroad type program.
Graduates: Yes, provided it is a degree seeking program.
Q: Do I need to attend a school with an active Sigma Chi chapter or associate chapter to be eligible for a scholarship?
A: Undergrads: Yes, you do. Members from suspended Sigma Chi chapters are not eligible.
Graduates: No, you don't.
Q: Can I submit more than one application for the same award?
A: No, you may not. While this scholarship program does allow for multiple submissions, that is only intended if you are applying for different types of scholarships, e.g. Military Service and Graduate or Military Service and Undergraduate. If you submit more than one application for the same award, we will randomly select and delete the additional applications.
Q: When do I find out if I won a scholarship?
A: There is no set date but it’s usually mid- to late August. Notification is provided via e-mail to all applicants with a submitted application providing status of their application.
Q: When are the scholarship checks sent out?
A: Scholarship checks are sent after the recipient has completed the required confirmation process.
Q: If I win a scholarship, why do I need to agree to the Release and Waiver and provide a testimonial and picture of myself before receiving my scholarship?
A: This allows the Foundation to use the names and photos of our scholarship recipients on our website, in the Foundation's annual report and in our fundraising efforts to raise funds so we may continue to award scholarships. Donors to the Foundation appreciate seeing who is receiving the awards to which they are contributing and the testimonials are particularly impactful.
Undergraduate Scholarship FAQs:
Q: As an undergrad can I apply for any other Sigma Chi scholarships?
A: Yes, provided you qualify, you may also apply for the Military Service and/or Brothers Helping Brothers scholarships. Qualified applicants who are selected as recipients may only receive one Foundation scholarship per academic year.
Q: Do I need to complete a separate application for a Bell Chapter and/or donor-scholar scholarship?
A: No, separate applications are not required. By completing a general undergraduate application, your application is automatically considered for applicable Founders', Bell Chapter, and donor-scholar awards. Qualified applicants selected as recipients may only receive one Foundation scholarship per academic year.
Q: Can pledges apply? What about associate chapter members?
A: Pledges: Yes, as long as your chapter has submitted your pledge form through the pledge education system. Check with your chapter’s consul to make sure this has been completed or with Director of Chapter Support, Dan Mathewson, email@example.com, (847) 425-4440.
Associate Chapters: Yes, associate chapters/colony pledges/members must be entered manually at HQ through Director of Expansion, Des Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org, (847) 425-4423.
Q: Can I still apply if my chapter is suspended? What if it is suspended after I submit my application?
A: No, members from suspended chapters may not apply for any undergraduate scholarships even if the applicant is in good standing with the Fraternity. Your undergraduate application will be withdrawn if your chapter is suspended or if your status with Sigma Chi changes from active to inactive.
Please note that the Foundation reserves the right to revoke a scholarship after the initial notification if the recipient is deemed ineligible and/or if their respective chapter has been suspended.
Q: Can I use this money for my chapter dues?
A: No, the Foundation is a 501(c)3 and recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service, that means all Foundation scholarships must be used for educational purposes: tuition, books, student fees, and class/lab fees. The IRS does not consider fraternity dues an educational expense.
All Foundation scholarship checks are issued in university name only for deposit with the school’s Bursar/Financial Aid office.
Graduate Scholarship FAQs:
Q: I graduated more than 10 years ago and am now going to grad school. Can I still apply for a graduate scholarship?
A: Yes, it doesn’t matter if you’re graduating as an undergraduate this academic year or if you graduated 25 years ago, as long as you’re an active Sigma Chi brother in good standing with the Fraternity, you are eligible.
Q: As a graduate applicant, can I apply for more than one scholarship?
A: Yes, as a matter of fact we encourage graduate applicants to apply to one or more of our graduate scholarships, provided it is within your field of study, even if you’re unsure of whether you will attend or have yet to apply to graduate school. If you decide not to attend, you may withdraw your application at any time.
Q: Can I apply if I’m attending continuing education classes as a graduate?
A: Yes, but only if these classes are part of a degree seeking program.
Q: Will I have to attend graduate school as a full-time student to be eligible for a graduate scholarship?
A: No, you are not required to be a full-time graduate student to be eligible for any of our graduate level scholarships.
Q: What if I don't know what school I am going to attend? Am I still eligible?
A: Yes, you are eligible to apply and should enter TBD for the school name. You will need to provide the name of the school to our scholarship administrator, Heidi Holley, once that's been decided.
Q: Can I apply if I am thinking about attending grad school?
A: Yes, you should still apply. If you decide not to attend or aren't accepted, we can always delete your application.