Selection Process

Scholarship Essay Answers

The first step to receiving a Foundation scholarship is to focus on writing an excellent answer to the application essay questions. Every year the Foundation’s application will contain 2-3 essay questions that each applicant must answer. Every application is scored by a committee comprised of faculty and staff at Gulf Coast State College. Selection for our scholarship recipients is derived from the score associated with their application. Essay answers contribute 65-75% of the total score. Failure by an applicant to acknowledge the importance of the essays will most certainly lower the chances of receiving a Foundation scholarship. For more information, we encourage you to go to our Writing Lab page.

Commodore Conversations

Listen to scoring team members discuss the importance of having a good essay answer on a scholarship application

Scholarship Recipient Selection

The scholarship selection process takes approximately four to eight weeks after a scholarship application deadline. The Foundation’s goal is to find and provide one “general” scholarship to every deserving student who has been selected by the Gulf Coast State College’s scholarship scoring committee. This is because we have more demand for our scholarships than are available.

A scholarship application review and scoring committee consisting of GCSC faculty and staff will review over 800 scholarship applications. The committee will assign a score and rank each application. Once the rankings are complete, the Foundation staff will begin the task of finding scholarships that best suit both the donor’s intent, as well as, the student’s needs.


  1. General application is completed, signed and submitted by the application deadline.
  2. The application is reviewed and scored by a committee.
  3. If selected, the Foundation will issue a “scholarship offer” to the applicant. The offer is sent via GCSC email.
  4. The scholarship nominee must decide either to “accept” or “decline” the scholarship offer.
  5. If a scholarship offer is accept, a required “post acceptance” questionnaire must be completed.
  6. Once the scholarship is accepted and the post acceptance questionnaire is completed, the Foundation will send the College the scholarship award information. Please note – dates and times may vary.
  7. Award letters that acknowledge the scholarship will be sent to the recipient as soon as the award has been processed to the College. Please note – dates and times may vary.

Please note: All applicants who are not selected will be put on a waiting list for future consideration. Not all scholarship opportunities have the same selection process or criteria. Some changes in the procedures may occur.

REMEMBER a scholarship award is not FINAL until two things happen 1) an award amount has been established for that scholarship and 2) an award “offer” notification has been sent to and “accepted” by the recipient.


Scholarship offer notifications will be sent to the recipient through his/her Gulf Coast State College email account. Offer notifications are also posted inside the recipient’s scholarship application file. No offers will be sent to a recipient’s personal email account (gmail, yahoo, icloud, etc.).

Please be patient through the process. It is up to the applicant to regularly check for updates by logging in to his/her scholarship application file or by staying connected to his/her Gulf Coast State College email.