Application Rules and Policies

for the 2024 scholarship cycle

Our biggest piece of advice is to start your application as soon as you possibly can. This way you will have time to contact us and ask questions as needed. If you wait until the last week, we might not be able to answer your questions in time for the deadline.

Application Rules and Policies

  1. Only students in grades 4-11 are eligible. Students must be nominated by their school. All accredited K-12 schools in the United States are able to nominate a student.
  2. If you have previously been awarded a Carson Scholarship, you cannot apply for another scholarship. Instead, you can apply to our Scholar Recognition Program. If you are a previous scholar, email to find out about the recognition application.
  3. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of an award.
  4. All applications must be submitted by 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, January 12, 2024. To submit your online application, all sections must be complete. A complete application includes submission of a report card and teacher recommendation.
    *Note: we will accept recommendation letters until 8:00 pm ET on January 12, 2024.  However, you must request a recommendation prior to submitting the application.
  5. Carson Scholars Fund employees, board of directors, and immediate family members are not eligible to apply.
  6. Scholarship awards are held in trust until recipients attend a four-year (bachelor’s-degree-track program), accredited college/university in the United States. Recipients must be enrolled full-time and have a valid social security number to receive their scholarship payouts.
  7. Please make sure you fully understand our GPA calculation policies. To read them, click here.

GPA Calculation Rules and Policies

Determine Eligibility

Here are some specific details about the different sections of the application:

Report Cards: It’s likely that the only report card available by the deadline is the first quarter; this is completely acceptable. If second quarter report cards are available they are acceptable as well, but one quarter is sufficient. If a report card is not available, a progress report or grade report will be acceptable. Applicants may not submit prior year report cards or transcripts. Report cards must be uploaded through the application submission portal.

Essay: Applicants should choose one (1) essay question to answer. We recommend that you write and edit your essay in Microsoft Word or another word processing program first, then cut and paste it into the online application. To see this year’s essay questions, click here.

Community Service: The goal of this section is for us to get a thorough understanding of the types of community service activities you are involved with and how these activities benefit your community. There is no minimum number of hours or activities we are looking for – we just want to fully understand the activities in which you do participate and the impact you have. Current year (2023-2024) community service is required in order to be eligible.

Letter of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation by a teacher is used to gain additional insight into the applicant. The teacher’s writing ability is not judged; the content, and what it reveals about the student, is what matters. The recommendation can be written by one educator or by a team of educators. In the online application, you will be asked to enter your recommender’s name and email address. He/she will then receive an email with instructions on how to complete the recommendation.

Photograph: The application includes a section to upload a photograph. Recent headshots are preferred over any other type. It is not required to upload a photograph. If you don’t have one your application can still be submitted. We use photographs in the program books and/or PowerPoint presentations at our awards banquets. If you win and we are missing your photograph, we will contact you to work something out.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 410-828-1005 or


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