Enrollment for the 2013 Scholarship Program is closed, and recipients have been selected. Notification letters were mailed to all applicants in April. Please check back in October to apply for the 2014 program. This scholarship is for first-time college students only. For more detailed information, please refer to the frequently asked questions and other scholarship resources below. See green box at right to apply.
- Will scholarships be given out every year?
- Is there an application fee?
- Who is eligible?
- Why don’t you expand the eligibility guidelines?
- I live outside the United States. Can I apply?
- Where can I get an application?
- What’s the deadline?
- I missed the deadline – can I still apply?
- Can I apply again next year?
- I have some questions about how to fill out the form – whom do I ask?
- How much money is given to each individual?
- How much money is given overall?
- What are the criteria for selecting finalists?
- Why am I not able to send the application to my chapter?
- Who selects the recipients?
- Must I plan to be a full-time student?
- What will be required of me if I am selected to receive a scholarship?
- Where does the money for scholarships come from?
- What if I don’t know where I will attend school?
- I want to go to a technical school and not to college. Can I apply?
- How and when will I be notified if I receive a scholarship?
- When will scholarship checks be mailed?
- If I don’t meet the criteria for the National MS Society Scholarship program, are there other resources available?
Yes, this is an annual program. The 2014 program opens October 1, 2013 and closes January 15, 2014.
No, we do not charge students to apply for this scholarship.
- High school seniors who have a parent with MS who will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.
- High school seniors who have MS and will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.
- High School (or GED) graduates of any age who have MS and who will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.
- High School (or GED) graduates of any age who have a parent with MS and who will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for the first time.
- Applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents living in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or any other U.S. territory and plan to enroll in an undergraduate course of study at an accredited two-or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school located in the U.S., PR, VI, Guam or any other U.S. territory.
- Applicants must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester in course work leading to a degree, license, or certificate.
While we know that there are many qualified and worthy candidates for the scholarship, the expense of running an open-ended program is prohibitive. There are costs associated with collecting and reviewing each application. A larger number of applications mean larger administrative costs. By restricting the eligibility, we are able to contain the administrative costs and award more scholarships. A committee of volunteers and National MS Society staff determine the eligibility criteria.
This scholarship is only for individuals who are United States citizens or legal residents living in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or any other U.S. territory. People who live outside the country who are or whose parents are in the U.S. military, government service or other U.S. corporate employees are eligible as long as they meet the basic eligibility requirements.
The application will be available on this site (see green box above) on October 1st. It will remain posted until the January 15, 2014 closing date. Applications are accepted online only.
Your application must be submitted online by January 15, 2014, and your supporting documents mailed and postmarked no later than January 15, 2014 to the address listed on the application instructions.
Unfortunately, late applications will not be accepted. Please plan to get your application in early to avoid unexpected delays. There will be no exceptions.
An individual may apply for the scholarship as long as he/she meets the basic eligibility criteria. If you applied previously for the scholarship and didn’t receive an award and subsequently attended postsecondary school, then you would not be eligible. If you received a National MS Society scholarship, you are not eligible to apply again.
Customer support service is available to assist you Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., central time, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 507-931-0471.
The minimum scholarship award is $1,000 with a maximum award of $3,000, although a limited number of awards may exceed this amount.
The awards each year will depend on available funding. In 2013, over $1 million was awarded to 679 scholars.
All applicants must meet the basic eligibility criteria, fully complete the online application and mail supporting documents by the January 15, 2014 deadline. Scholarship finalists will be selected on the basis of demonstrated financial need, academic record, leadership and participation in school or community activities, work experience, an outside appraisal, goals and aspirations, special circumstances, and an essay (written by the applicant) regarding the impact of MS on their life. The selection process will not be influenced or affected by the actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation of any applicant.
All applications must be submitted online and cannot be sent to your chapter. The top candidates (based on the criteria above) are submitted to the National MS Society for final review and final award decisions. The National MS Society has contracted with an outside vendor that will handle the distribution of award checks and monitoring of student enrollment.
The National MS Society convenes a special panel that consists of people with MS, chapter and home office volunteers and staff, and national board members. This panel reviews applications and makes final scholarship decisions.
We understand that full-time study is not possible for everyone due to health concerns or family care responsibilities. You must be enrolled for at least six credit hours per academic term to be eligible as a part-time student. The scholarship is intended for students who are pursuing a degree, license, or certificate and is not for those who want to take an occasional personal enrichment class.
You must complete and submit a signed Scholarship Acceptance Form before funds can be processed. You must notify your school about the award and deliver the scholarship checks to the school in a timely manner. You will be asked to mail a current photograph and write a thank you note to at least one donor. You are required to notify Scholarship Management Services of any change in address, school enrollment or other relevant information and to send a complete transcript when requested.
There have been a wide variety of donors to this fund and include people with MS and other individuals affected by MS, corporate donors, foundations, individual National MS Society chapters, and staff and volunteers of the National MS Society.
List the school that you plan to attend. If you are applying to more than one institution, indicate only your first choice. If chosen as a scholar, you will have the opportunity to change your school information on the scholarship acceptance form that you receive with your notification letter. If your school information changes after you have returned your acceptance form, it is your responsibility to notify us in a timely manner. Otherwise, you may expect delays in receiving your check.
Any postsecondary, undergraduate school is fine as long as it meets national, state, or professional accreditation standards. You must plan to attend school at least part-time – six credit hours per school term. You can verify a school's accreditation status by accessing the U.S. Dept of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs at www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx.
When you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation acknowledging receipt of your application. Notification letters will be mailed to all recipients and non-recipients in mid-April. Communication with applicants is done both by paper mail and by email. Please be sure to check your email regularly. If you have any changes to your email or mailing address, please notify us at email@example.com.
Checks will be mailed in mid-August and mid-December to the recipient's home address and are made payable to the school for the student.
If I don’t meet the criteria for the National MS Society Scholarship program, are there other resources available?
Yes there are. Although not an exhaustive list, below are resources that you may want to research.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are the largest source of student aid in America.
Free application for federal student aid
Federal Student Aid Information Center
This is a toll-free number.
- www.lookingglass.org/services/national-services/scholarships - Scholarships specifically for high school seniors and college students who have parents with disabilities.
- http://www.sfa.osu.edu/scholarships/ - Two special scholarships are available at Ohio State University specifically for students who have MS or have a parent with MS. They are: The Gail A. and John A. Simonetti Endowed Scholarship, and the Walter F. Gnezda Memorial Scholarship Fund. Search keyword "ms" or call the university for assistance.
- Disability.gov resources - Connecting the disability community with scholarship opportunities.
- www.disaboom.com - Search tool for disability-related scholarships.
- www.aahd.us - American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) Scholarship Program provides scholarships for people with disabilities. (November 15, 2012 application deadline.)
- www.heath.gwu.edu - George Washington Heath Resource Center. Online clearinghouse and postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities.
- www.matchcollege.com - Free college search and information site, providing information on admissions, financial aid, tuition and more on over 6,000 colleges and universities nationwide.
- www.advocacy-net.com/scholarmks.htm - More than 1,500 scholarships on the Internet.
- www.salliemae.com - SallieMae, the nation’s leading provider of student loans.
- www.elks.org/enf/scholars/ourscholarships.cfm - High school seniors are eligible to apply. Applicants need not be related to a member of the Elks.
- www.fastweb.com - Each day, more than 20,000 people access this free scholarship search database containing 400,000 scholarships.
- www.careerinfonet.org/scholarshipsearch - Search more than 7,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other financial aid opportunities.
- www.ronbrown.org - Ron Brown Scholar Program (major scholarships).
- www.truman.gov - The Harry S. Truman scholarship site.
- www.jackierobinson.org - The Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarships.
- www.marine-scholars.org - Marine Corps scholarships.
- www.uncf.org/forstudents/scholarship.asp - United Negro College Fund Merck Science Initiative.
- www.collegeanswer.com - College planning assistance.
- www.scholarships.com - Free service... database of more than 2.7 millions scholarships and grants worth over $19 billion.
- www.collegenet.com - Offers 10,000 scholarships for applying for college on-line.
- www.internationalscholarships.com - Searchable database of scholarships all around the world.
- www.collegeboard.com - The College Board’s free scholarship search program.
- www.freschinfo.com - A frequently updated database of scholarships which currently lists 500 scholarship sources offering 450,000 awards.
- www.petersons.com - Very respected name in college search information.
- www.gocollege.com - Resources to guide students on how to finance and succeed in college.
- www.scholarshipamerica.org - The nation’s largest nonprofit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization.