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The Application Process

Q. How do I get started?
Before you can apply for a TCC scholarship, you need to apply to TCC and be assigned a TCC student ID. You will also need to fill out the FAFSA form and submit this to the financial aid office. For more information, visit the financial aid pages of this website.

Q. How do I apply?
There is one application. All applications must be completed online through Academic Works, except for Art Scholarships. Contact the Art Dept. for Art Scholarship applications. Your completed application will be considered for all Foundation scholarships for which you qualify and apply for. You must complete each required line on the application. Incomplete or inaccurate applications will not be considered.

Tip: Start early!  Give yourself plenty of time (and save yourself undue stress!)

Q. If I am an international or undocumented student who doesn't have a social security number to fill out the FAFSA, can I apply for Foundation scholarships?
Most TCC Foundation scholarship require completing a FAFSA or WAFSA. Undocumented students may complete the WAFSA by clickling this link:

Q. Do I have to be a full-time student to apply for Foundation scholarships?
No, there are scholarships available for both full- and part-time students.

Q. Do I need to have chosen a specific field of study to qualify?
A. Some scholarships are specifically awarded to students in certain programs. All students who apply are encouraged to know their field of study.

Q. Do I need anything besides an application?
Yes, your most recent unofficial transcript (college or high school) and at least one email address to be used as a reference. References are sent from your Academic Works profile and asked to electronically complete a letter of recommedation. Applications without the required documents will not be considered. Some scholarships require additional materials. These materials must be uploaded to your application.

Q. Who can/should I ask for a letter of recommendation?
Ask someone who knows you and your goals well. Avoid procrastinators and people who have difficulty writing. Applicants are responsible for making sure that the application is completed by the deadline. You can ask faculty or staff (instructors, advisors, coaches, etc.) at your current or past institution of learning. Ask someone in the community like an employer, volunteer coordinator or clergy member (priest, pastor, etc…) as long as they have a position in the community that adds credibility to your cause.

Q. How are applications reviewed?
A task force of TCC Foundation Board members, staff, faculty and other community members reviews all completed applications.

Essay Questions

Q. What essay questions do I need to answer?
The following were the 2014-2015 general essay questions. Applicants were required to answer each one:

Essay/Personal Statement #1: In a minimum of 300 words and no more than 400 words, please tell us 1) why you chose your program, or if you're undecided, what program are you most interested in and why, 2) tell us about your aspirations after graduation and the steps you are taking now to make those dreams a reality.

Essay/Personal Statement #2: In a minimum of 300 words and no more than 400 words, please describe what the word "scholarship" means to you. How would a scholarship award benefit your educational outcomes? Be specific please.

Note:  Some scholarships may have additional essay questions.

Q. How do I start writing an essay
Start by writing a list of your accomplishments – this will help you identify your strengths for your essays.  What are considered accomplishments?  Here’s a list to jump-start your brainstorming:

  • Community service
  • Volunteer work
  • Projects for which you received special recognition
  • Military service
  • Awards
  • Activities
  • Athletics
  • Clubs
  • Peace Corp/Americorps
  • Work recognition/balancing work and school
  • Etc., etc.

Ask others to tell you what your strengths and accomplishments are – sometimes they are your best advocates!

Q. How long should an essay be?
A. Your answers MUST be between 300 and 400 words max. Generally, an essay is a beginning paragraph, middle paragraph, and closing paragraph. Pay attention to your content. It is not necessarily how much you write but the quality of what is written. Other tips: Do your writing in Word, edit it there and then copy it into Academic Works. Check your spelling and grammar. Even better, ask someone to proof-read your application.

The Notification and Award Process

Q. What happens if I am awarded?
An email will be sent to your TCC email letting you know if you were awarded. Complete the agreement and thank you letter in Academic Works. You must also attend the Scholarship Recognition event that is held in the fall.

Q. Once I get my award letter, can I register for school?
Once you submit the agreement and thank you letter, you can register when your registration date is available.

Q. What happens if my email or mailing address changes after I apply?
Please contact Asha Bhaga at 253.566.5003 immediately so you can receive all required documents in a timely fashion.

Q. If I am awarded, how do I get the funds?
First, you must submit a thank you note and the scholarship agreement. Once submitted and reviewed by the TCC Foundation, funds will be forwarded to the TCC Financial Aid office. All scholarships are given through Financial Aid. No checks are ever given directly to the students from the Foundation.

Q. How can I use the scholarship funds?
This may depend on the scholarship you receive; however, typically, funds are available for tuition and fees only.

Q. How long do I have to use the funds?
A. Funds will be available for one academic year, fall, winter, spring quarters only. Scholarship combined awards over $750 will be equally distributed over three quarters. 

Other Questions & Contact Information

Q. What is the difference between the TCC Financial Aid Office and the TCC Foundation?
The Financial Aid office handles federal financial aid. The Foundation handles private donations that are awarded separately. Most students are eligible for funding from both departments.

Q. Can I apply if I am military or a dependent?
Yes. Please clarify your residency status with Enrollment Services.

Q. How much money is usually awarded?
Awards vary by student, scholarship and year. However, scholarship awards usually range from $450 to $5,500.

Q. If I decide not to go to Tacoma Community College this year, can I save the scholarship for the following year?
No, scholarships are awarded for one academic year. Any unused funds at the end of the academic year are returned to the Foundation.

Q. Can I use a TCC Foundation scholarship at another school?
No, TCC Foundation scholarships can only be used at TCC.

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