NESA SCHOLARSHIP FAQ
Special Notes for 2016 Applicants
2016 Scholarship Dates
The 2016/2017 scholarship cycle opens on August 1, 2016, with a deadline of October 31, 2016. Recipients will be notified by mail on July 15, 2017.
*UPDATE* - The reference letter requirement has been removed from the General Application
In an attempt to simplify the application process, the NESA Committee has voted to remove the general reference letter from the requirements effective Aug. 8, 2016. General reference letters that have been received will be kept on file. All other applicants do not need to provide a reference name and email address with the application. General reference providers who have pending reference requests my disregard them.
STEM applicants are still required to request a reference letter from a high school teacher in your chosen STEM field.
Academic scholarship applicants must apply during their senior year in high school unless the Eagle Scout board of review was held after October 31, 2016. In those cases, the applicant must apply during the August 1 - October 31, 2017 scholarship cycle even if he is already attending college.
Eagle Scouts may apply for the NESA merit scholarships beginning in their senior year of high school and may continue applying every year up till their junior year in college.
Applicants may win a NESA scholarship one time only.
Scholarships available to trade schools
Effective immediately, NESA scholarships are payable to Scouts attending vocational trade schools and approved programs. In the past, NESA scholarships were available to four-year universities only. NESA scholarships are not payable to any of the U.S. military academies.
Scholarship amounts increased
All Hall/McElwain merit scholarships have been increased to $5,000.
NESA has a very limited amount of scholarships available
Over 54,000 Scouts earned the Eagle rank in 2015. Despite rumors, NESA does not have the funds available to grant scholarships to every Eagle Scout who applies. Depending on the scholarship fund’s performance in 2016, we might have the monies available to award 150 scholarships in 2017. Receipt of a NESA scholarship is not guaranteed.
When will recipients be notified?
Recipients will be notified by mail by July 15, 2017. Those who were not selected will be notified by email. The full list of winners will be posted on NESA.org during the first week of August.
Do I need to be a NESA member to apply?
You must be a NESA member to receive a scholarship. However, you can apply for a NESA scholarship before you apply for a NESA membership. The system will not prevent you from creating an account if your membership has not been submitted or processed yet. NESA staffers will manually verify your NESA status before we offer an award. Scholarship applicants should apply for NESA membership by October 31.
Do I need a membership number to apply?
No. All you need is an email address. The system does not require special verification proving you are an Eagle Scout or NESA member. NESA staffers will manually verify your Eagle/NESA status before we offer an award. Finalists who are not NESA members will be disqualified and the scholarship will be given to an alternate winner.
I haven’t passed my board of review yet, but I plan to have it before October 31. Can I apply now?
Yes. You can create an account and fill out the application ahead of time if you plan to conduct the board of review by October 31. You will not be penalized for submitting an application if you don’t pass the board by October 31 as expected. If the board occurs after October 31, you can simply apply during the next scholarship cycle on August 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017 even though you are already attending college.
Do I need to be a registered Scouter to apply?
Why aren’t NESA scholarships payable to the U.S. military academies?
Attendance at U.S. military academies is paid by the U.S. Government. These scholarships are typically worth $400,000 each. Additionally, attendees receive a monthly stipend from the U.S. Government. These students have secured an education. Other Scouts might not be able to attend college at all without receiving a NESA scholarship. Our goal is to help as many Eagle Scouts as possible to attend college.
I can’t log into the community to apply. Can someone fix my account so I can apply?
The NESA scholarship application is separate from the Alumni Network. You do not need to log in to the community to access the application. The application is viewable to the public and does not require a special member number or access to the Alumni Network to apply.
Common login problems:
Make sure you’re logging in at the correct site - https://nesa.academicworks.com/
- If you’ve lost your password, click the “Sign In” button, click “Trouble signing in”, then click the “Recover Password” button. If you have an account it will send a reset password link to your email address. Be sure to check your junk folder.
- You may have started the application using another email address. Check all email addresses.
- You never created an account. Click the gray “Sign Up” button and try to create a new account. The system will alert you if the account already exists.
- You’re trying to use the login from the Alumni Network. The scholarship site and Alumni Network are two separate sites. You need to create a separate login for the scholarship site.
Are paper applications available?
No. This is an electronic submission process only. Paper copies from previous years are out of date and will not be accepted. If you find an application online, or are given a paper application by your troop or council, please discard it and let your troop or council know that NESA scholarship applications must be received online only. Troops and councils who continue to distribute outdated scholarship applications are jeopardizing their Scouts’ chances at receiving one of these awards.
Who will see your application and how much can they see?
NESA staffers will be able to view your entire application. This is necessary so that we can contact the recipients and make an offer.
NESA does not select the scholarship recipients. This is done by volunteer committees based in the region in which you earned the Eagle rank. These committees will not have access to your personal information so that judging will be fair and based solely on your accomplishments. The system masks all personal information from the judges, including name, address, telephone and email address, troop number, and other information that would identify the individual or his location.
Can I update my application once it’s been submitted?
Yes, as long as the application is updated before the October 31, 2016 deadline. Simply log in at https://nesa.academicworks.com using your email and password and update your application. Applicants can return to the application and add additional information up till October 31, 2016.
How can I know whether my references have responded?
The References tab will indicate whether your reference request is still pending (Requested) or has been completed (Submitted) by the individual whose name and address you provided on the STEM Application.
If the individual has not replied, you may resend an invitation (using the References tab at the top of the page) to the individual or add additional references on the STEM application. You only need one reference letter to apply, but it is acceptable to contact multiple references to ensure that at least one responds before the deadline.
If you contact multiple recipients you MUST select the preferred reference provider in the dropdown box under the reference question. Be sure to select a reference letter with “Submitted” status. The system will automatically default to the last provider you contacted. If that reference provider did not respond, then the system will default to a reference request that is still pending. This is a tool that allows students to select the ONE reference letter they wish to submit, and by submitting multiple requests it will assume you do not want to submit the letters you have already received.
What does the reference provider receive when I submit their name and email as a reference?
The reference provider will be sent a system-generated email with a link to a special page on the NESA AcademicWorks website. The system will send this automatically once you enter the reference provider’s name and email address and click “Save and Continue Editing” at the bottom of the form.
My reference provider didn’t receive a reference provider’s request.
We recommend that you notify your reference provider before submitting their name and email address as a provider. This allows them to contact you in the case that the invitation was not received. You can go to the References tab at the top of the application and click “Resend” to send another invitation.
Ask your reference provider to check their junk folder if they do not receive it immediately. If resending the invitation doesn’t work, you may ask the provider for a second email address. Some email providers are friendlier to requests from the AcademicWorks system than others.
What if I don’t receive a response to my reference request before the deadline?
Because the majority of applicants wait till the deadline to apply, when reference providers have no time to respond by October 31, reference providers will be granted additional time to respond. Reference providers must reply by November 15, 2016. This gives reference providers two additional weeks to respond. NESA must receive the application and reference letter by November 15, 2016, in order to forward the applications to the regional selection committees. Therefore, it is imperative that the Scout contact reference providers early in the application process to ensure that they have enough time to respond.
NESA does not grant submission extensions for any reason.
Do I need to submit proof that I’m a NESA member to apply?
No. NESA staffers will verify that each recipient is a NESA member when the winners are selected next July. Scholarship applicants should apply for NESA on or before October 31, but there is no need to pay the $40 rush fee to receive your NESA membership by October 31. NESA memberships can be purchased online at http://www.nesa.org/membership.html.
You do not need a NESA number to create a scholarship account. All you need is an email address.
Am I disqualified if I am deferring my enrollment to college to participate in an LDS mission experience or some other similar activity?
Winners may defer payment till they return from their mission. Additionally, NESA can defer scholarships for other reasons if requested. Winners should contact NESA to schedule a deferred payment date.
A NOTE TO REFERENCE PROVIDERS
The applicant will never have access to your reference letter because we need your honest evaluation of this Scout. However, the Scout can monitor your progress and can tell whether you have responded to the reference request. This is important because the Scout must have a reference letter to apply for a scholarship and he may need time to contact another reference provider if you are unable to reply by November 15, 2016.
A FINAL NOTE ON THE DEADLINE
NESA must set a submission deadline each year, and that deadline is 11:59:59pm, October 31, 2016. At midnight, November 1, 2016, the system will be locked. There is no way to update an existing form OR create a new application after that deadline. NESA does not grant extensions for any reason. Therefore, we ask that you please begin the application process as soon as possible.
NESA office hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm (CST) during weekdays. We are closed on the weekends and holidays. NESA staffers are glad to answer your questions, but it may be physically impossible to answer every question we receive if too many applicants wait till the very last minute to contact us.
Last year we received over 5,200 applications. That is why we stress that every applicant should read through the entire application, contact NESA with any questions, and begin assembling the needed information well before the deadline.
Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best wishes, Eagle Scouts!