Nomination Rules and Policies

Please read all of this information carefully!

Here are important dates to keep in mind:

Friday, December 17, 2021 – Nomination deadline
This deadline is to ensure that all students are nominated prior to the start of winter break. We encourage you to nominate your student as soon as possible to give him/her the time necessary to complete the application.

Friday, January 14, 2022 – Application (including report card) deadline
Students must submit their applications by 8:00 p.m. Eastern time (ET).  A completed application includes completion of a teacher recommendation and submission of report card.

Friday, January 21, 2022 – Principal verification and teacher recommendation deadline
Because of covid-19 and unique school environments this year, we want to provide educators with adequate time to fulfill their requirements for the application.
Principal verification is done on a rolling basis.  Once a student submits the application, the principal will receive an email with instructions to review and verify that the application is accurate.  We ask that principals verify the application by 8:00 pm ET on this date.
Requests for recommendation letters are student-driven and must be sent prior to the student submitting the application on January 15th.  However, we will accept recommendation letters until 8:00 pm ET on this date.

Recognized Scholar Principal Verification: Please note that one or more previous Carson Scholar winners might attend your school. All previous scholars are invited to apply to our Scholar Recognition Program. While this is completely separate from the school nomination process, we will still ask for a principal verification.

School Eligibility: The Carson Scholars Fund scholarship program is open to all accredited K-12 schools in the United States. At this time, we cannot accept applications from students who are enrolled in non-traditional schools as we haven’t come across a situation that still met the goals of our program.

Nomination Rules

All schools in the United States are invited to nominate a student for the Carson Scholars Fund scholarship program. Unless you have been notified otherwise by a Carson Scholars Fund staff member, your school can only nominate one student.

Schools use a variety of methods to choose their nominee. You might form a committee of educators/counselors to select a qualified candidate, or you might hold an informal essay contest among possible candidates to help narrow the selection field. For more information about how schools nominate students, view our Nomination Tips and Essay Questions. Please make sure that participants and their parents/guardians understand that they are not Carson Scholar Award recipients during any school-sponsored applicant selection process prior to submission of the full application. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of an award.

When choosing your nominee, please be aware of the following rules and policies:

  • Only students in grades 4-11 in the United States are eligible.
  • Only school officials (teachers, counselors, administrators) can submit a nomination.
  • Unless your school has been informed otherwise by a staff member of the Carson Scholars Fund, your school can only nominate one student.
  • All nominees must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 or above on a 4.0 scale in the combined academic subjects. For complete details, view our GPA Calculation Rules and Policies.
  • All nominees must demonstrate humanitarian qualities in their schools and communities through volunteer work and/or community service above and beyond what is required.
  • A student can only be nominated if she/he has not previously been awarded a Carson Scholars Fund Award. Previous scholars are eligible to apply for our Carson Scholar Recognition Program. They will receive information about this application via email.

If any of these nomination rules are not followed, we reserve the right to disqualify all nominees/applicants from your school.

Rules for Receiving a Scholarship Payout

Carson Scholars receive a scholarship award of $1,000 held in trust until the student attends college. Scholarship awards will earn interest every year until the student graduates from high school. (Interest rates will vary from year to year depending on economic conditions. Students receive a statement every summer updating them on their current balance.) In order to receive their scholarship payouts, scholarship recipients must be aware of the following rules:

  • While a social security number is not required to apply for a Carson Scholars Fund Award, one will be required when a scholar is ready to attend college and receive his/her scholarship payout. We cannot payout scholarship funds for a student without a social security number.
  • Scholarship awards can only be paid out when a student has enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university in the United States in a four-year (bachelor’s-degree-track) program.
  • Students can defer receiving their scholarship award for up to three years after graduating from high school. (For example, if a student attends community college first, the scholarship award can be deferred until he/she enrolls in a four-year program.)

If you have further questions, please call 410.828.1005 or email


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