SCHOLARSHIPS: HOW TO APPLY
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation makes it easy for you to apply for a scholarship online. Please read the instructions below before beginning an application.
Step 1: Complete the FAFSA & Obtain aN SAR
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Air (FAFSA) is the first step toward getting federal aid for college, career school, or graduate school.
- After you submit your FAFSA you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that summarizes the information you provided.
- Save your SAR to your hard drive; you will need it for your scholarship application.
- File as early as possible and keep copies of all the forms you submit.
Please note: If you are applying to the Margaret Derwin "Blue Sky" Scholarship Fund, you do not need a Student Aid Report and you do not need to fill out the FAFSA. The applications does require a 2014 or 2015 copy of your parents' tax return.
Step 2: Search for Scholarships
- Visit the Search & Apply for Scholarships page, or, to search for scholarships by a particular school district, visit the Scholarships by School District page.
- Carefully read each scholarship's eligibility criteria and application requirements and make note of application deadlines. Generally online scholarship applications are available three to four months before their application deadlines.
Step 3: Create an Account
Please note: We updated our system in 2017. Existing users entering the updated system for the first time must create a new account. You may use your logon credentials from the old system, but the credentials will not be accepted unless you register as a new user.
- Recommended browsers: Our application system works with all major Internet browsers, though we recommend using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
- Click on "Create New Account," and select one login email address and password to be used for all your submissions. Berkshire Taconic will communicate all pertinent information to this email address.
- For additional assistance, watch this tutorial to learn how to set up your account or contact Brandon Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413.229.0370 x 115.
Step 4: Complete YOUR Application(S)
SENIORS - For high school seniors, as well as non-traditional (e.g., part-time, older, etc.) applicants.
RENEWAL - For college students who received a prior award from a scholarship that can be renewed.
- Once you have logged in, select the "Applicant Menu" at the top of the page and then select "Apply."
- To view a list of scholarships for which you may be eligible please enter one of the following categories in the "Enter Access Code" box at the upper right corner of the screen:
UGFIRST - For college undergraduates applying for the first time.
A list of scholarships in your category will be displayed. Click on “Apply” to begin an application. For additional assistance, watch this tutorial to walk through how to apply for a scholarship.
Please note: Scholarships available to individuals who are not students will automatically appear below the student information.
- If you are applying for more than one scholarship, use the “Copy Previous Answers” button at the top right of any completed application to copy your responses to identical questions that appear on multiple applications (see Step 5 for additional instructions).
- You do not have to finish your application(s) all at once, but be sure to click on "Save Your Work" often and before exiting. After 90 minutes of inactivity, you will automatically be logged out to keep your information secure.
- To continue to work on your application another time, log in again and then click "Edit."
- Upload any requested documents in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
- If your scholarship(s) takes financial need into consideration, you must complete the corresponding financial application for the scholarship you are applying for. This will be where you upload you Student Aid Report (SAR).
- Once you have completed the application and reviewed your answers, click "Submit." After submitting, you will no longer be able to change or update your answers.
Transcript: You will need to provide contact information of your guidance counselor (or guidance department), who will be submitting a transcript on your behalf. We will reach out to them on your behalf for a copy of your transcript. If you are applying for a scholarship renewal, or are a first-time undergraduate applicant, you will also be prompted to upload a copy of your college transcript. This does not have to be a “certified” or official copy.
Letters of recommendation: You will be asked to provide the email addresses and contact information for individuals (typically two) who will be submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf. As detailed in each application, these letters should be submitted directly to Berkshire Taconic by the recommenders via email to email@example.com. Letters must be received by April 1 for the application to be considered complete.
STEP 5: COPYING PREVIOUS ANSWERS
Once you have completed your initial scholarship application, you can easily copy your answers to additional applications.
To use the “Copy Previous Answers” feature when applying for multiple scholarships:
- Complete and save at least one scholarship application before using the “Copy Previous Answers” feature.
- From the list of scholarships, click the “Apply” button of the next application you wish to complete.
- At the top right of the application, click the blue “Copy Previous Answers” button.
- From the table, select the application from which you would like to copy answers. The table will show how many completed questions are shared by both applications.
- Click “Copy Answers” to automatically save the new application in “Draft” status.
- Complete any remaining questions on the application. Note that some scholarship applications have additional or different questions to answer. All required questions must be completed before you can submit the application.
- Be sure to save your application (click on the “Save Application” button at the bottom of the application). You may save and go back to your application to make changes, but remember to submit the final version before April 1, 2017.
- Review your applications before submitting to ensure your responses are correct. To view all of your responses in a PDF document, click on the “Application Packet” button at the top right of each application.
- Once you click "Submit Application," you will not be able to review or change your application.
For additional assistance, watch this tutorial to walk through how to copy your answers from one application to another.
Step 6: BTCF Will Review Your Scholarship Application
Your scholarship application is reviewed by the fund advisory committee. The committee’s recommendations for funding are reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s board of directors. During this process, our staff may contact you for more information.
Step 7: Final Scholarship Decisions are Made
You will be notified by email if you have received a scholarship. Decisions are generally made within 8 to 12 weeks of the application deadline. If awarded a scholarship, you are encouraged to send a note of appreciation to the scholarship fund's chair person c/o BTCF.
Step 8: Scholarship Checks are Mailed Directly to the Educational Institution Within TWO Weeks of Receiving Your Bill
The majority of our scholarships can be used for your second (spring) semester. Once you have received your spring semester bill (usually in December) please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 413.229.0329.