Scholarship FAQs


Scholarship FAQs

We are pleased to be offering scholarships to select First Generation and Native American students who are Vermont residents that will be or are currently pursuing a STEM major at a Vermont college. Each scholarship will be a single payment of $5,000 to be used for tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic standing, letters of recommendation, and an essay detailing career goals.


Do I qualify? To apply for a VT EPSCoR CWDD Student Scholarship, an applicant should be:

  • Vermont resident and United States citizen,
  • Attending or planning to attend a Vermont college in the next academic year,
  • Enrolled (with a GPA of 3.0 or higher) or planning to enroll in a STEM major,
  • Either of Native American ancestry OR a first generation college student.

If any of the above are not true for you, you do not qualify.


How do I apply? Complete the online application by 4pm on Monday April 3, 2017. All questions must be answered or your application will not be accepted. Applications submitted after this date will not be eligible.


How do I add my essay and resume? You will see the link to upload these documents as you complete the online application. You can submit them in .docx, .doc, or .pdf format.


Help! The online application isn’t working! Please let us know that you’re having technical difficulties via email (cwdd@smcvt.edu) or by phone (802-654-3270) and we will assist you.


What qualifies as a STEM major? STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM majors or fields include but are not limited to:
- Astronomy
- Behavioral Sciences
- Chemistry
- Computer Sciences
- Engineering
- Geosciences
- Information Technology Science
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Natural Sciences
- Physics
- Social Sciences
- STEM Education (i.e., Math Teacher, Biology Teacher)

STEM majors do NOT include clinical fields like Nursing, non-STEM related education majors, art fields like Graphic Design, or business fields like Accounting. Please visit this website to determine if your major qualifies as a STEM major.

If you are still unsure if your major qualifies as a STEM major, please email us at cwdd@smcvt.edu to confirm before submitting an application.


I’m not sure what my major will be. Do I still qualify? No. You must be planning to enroll or be currently enrolled in a STEM major.


Do I have to be attending Vermont school next year? Yes, you are not eligible to receive this scholarship if you are not attending a Vermont school. If you are unsure if you will be attending a Vermont school, you may still submit an application. If you choose to attend a school outside of Vermont, you will not be eligible to receive the scholarship.


If selected, will this scholarship impact my current financial aid? Please contact your college’s student financial aid services to learn more about how this award may impact other awards or financial packages.


What if I don’t live in Vermont now, but will be attending a Vermont college next year? You are not eligible for this scholarship as you must be a Vermont resident to qualify.


What if one or both of my parents have completed a 2 year degree? You are still eligible for the First Generation Scholarship as long as neither of your parents completed a 4 year degree.


What if one or both of my parents have completed a 4 year degree? You are still eligible for the Native American scholarship even if your parents have completed a 2 or 4 year degree, assuming you meet all other requirements. You are not eligible for the First Generation Scholarship.


I’m Native American, but I don’t have a tribal enrollment card or CDIB. Can I still receive the Native American scholarship? No. You must provide proof of Native American ancestry to be eligible.


Who can I use as my references? Anyone who can attest to your academic progress, goals, or character is welcome to write a letter of reference. One letter must come from a teacher/professor (someone who knows you from an educational classroom), and one letter must come from a community member/employer (someone who knows you outside of the classroom).


Do I have to have 2 letters of recommendation? Yes. If you do not have 2 letters of recommendation, your application will not be considered complete and you will be ineligible.


When are my reference letters due? Reference letters must be submitted by 4pm on April 6, 2018. It is recommended you check with your references a few days before the deadline to make sure that your letters are submitted prior to this deadline.


How should my references submit my letters of recommendation? Letters must be uploaded to our site by your reference (not you). When completing the application, you will be asked to provide the email addresses of your two references. They will then be able to upload the letter using the link that is automatically emailed to them when you submit your application. We do not accept letters emailed from you or paper copies in the mail unless previous arrangements were made.


My reference doesn’t have an email address. What do I do? If your reference does not have access to email, please email us at cwdd@smcvt.edu or call us at 802-654-3270 to arrange an alternative way to submit the reference letter.


Do my transcripts need to be official? No. You can submit unofficial transcripts.


I’m a senior in high school. Do I need to submit my transcripts? No. We only need transcripts from those applicants already enrolled in college.


If selected, can I use my scholarship to pay previous student loans, help with living expenses, or pay for school-related supplies? No. Scholarship funds must be deposited through your school’s financial aid (or equivalent) office and applied towards tuition and fees for the coming academic year.


Can I have my school mail my transcripts instead of uploading them with the application? Yes, you can have transcripts mailed. However, they must be postmarked by April 1, 2018. You must make note of this in the online application by stating that you will mail your transcripts where the application asks for you to upload them. Transcripts should be mailed to:
VT EPSCoR CWDD
1 Winooski Place, Box 137
Colchester, VT 05439


If you have any other questions, please email them to cwdd@smcvt.edu or call 802-654-3270.