Carson Scholars Fund Essay Contest

2018 Application Process

Nomination Form Available – October 16, 2017

An email with a link to the online nomination form will be sent to educators on October 16, 2017. Unless otherwise stated by a Carson Scholars Fund staff member, your school can only nominate one student. We believe that schools know their students best. For this reason, we do not mandate a specific nomination process. We encourage schools to consider all possible candidates before making a nomination decision.

  • Students must be enrolled in grades 4-11 at an accredited school in the United States.
  • Only one student from each school can be nominated.
  • Students must exemplify academic excellence (minimum 3.75 GPA on 4.0 scale for current year report card). Please review our GPA Calculations Rules and Policies to learn more about how we calculate GPA.
  • Scholarships are awarded solely on the basis of academic achievement and humanitarian qualities – without regard to financial need or ethnicity.
  • Students must display strong humanitarian qualities. We are looking for students who participate in community service above and beyond what is required in school.
  • Students must not be a previous Carson Scholar award recipient.

For more information, review our Nomination Rules and Policies and Nomination Tips and Essay Questions.

This video helps to explain the nomination process:

Nomination Deadline – Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Online Application Deadline – Monday, January 8, 2018 by 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

  • Within 48 hours of nomination, the nominated student will receive an email with a link to the online application.
  • Applications must be submitted by 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, January 8, 2018.
  • The application includes essay, description of community service activities, submission of report card, teacher recommendation and biographical information. Applications include submission of a teacher recommendation, essay, and report card.

Principal Verification Deadline – January 12, 2018

  • On or around January 10, 2018, principals will receive an email with a link to verify the student’s application.
  • Principals will have until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, January 12, 2018 to verify applications.
  • Applications are not considered complete until the principal has verified the application.

To continue to make the online application a smooth process, we have put together a guide for the application. Please review the Overall Process.

If you do not feel the online application is right for your school/nominee there will be a limited number of hard copy applications available. To request a hard copy, please email

Getting ready to set off for college? Make sure you understand our scholarship payout process.

Scholarship monies are paid directly to the college or university at which you will be a student.   Payouts can only be done after verifying that you have been accepted and will be enrolled full-time at an accredited institution within the United States for the upcoming semester.  Students must be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree-track (four-year) program to receive their payout.  Scholarship monies can be used towards academic expenses including tuition, room and board, or books.

Your scholarship is a one-time scholarship. We offer the option to request a full or partial payout.  Students who have other scholarships that cover much of their academic expenses often request a partial payout and use our scholarship money towards books.  We also offer students the option to defer their scholarship payout.  Payouts may be deferred for up to three years after high school graduation.

The Carson Scholars Fund will only make payouts twice a year – for the fall and spring semesters.  We cannot accommodate payout requests for summer or winter classes.

Balance statements and Payout Request Forms for the spring 2018 semester will be made available to all eligible scholars in October.  The Payout Request Form must be completed and submitted back to the CSF office by Monday, November 20, 2017.  Checks will be mailed to colleges on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 for the spring semester. All Payout Request Forms received after November 20, 2017 will be held for payout for the fall 2018 semester.

If any of your contact information (mailing address, email address or phone number) has changed since we last heard from you, please contact us!  We can only send Payout Request Forms to contact information that we have in our database.  To update your information, call 410-828-1005 or send an email to

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