Scholarships Applicant

Can I use a transcript delivery service?

No, we do not accept transcript delivery services like Parchment or College Board. You may, however, have those services send you the document to subsequently upload to your application.

How can I delete a row or entry from my application?

Currently, there is no way to remove a row once it is created. However, you can remove a row from consideration by changing the first question in the row to "NA". This will cause this row to not be reviewed during the selections process.

Can I get financial aid?

ISTS administers programs for many different clients.

In order to get you to the correct application or give you a Program Key, we would need the name of the scholarship or sponsor. Or if this in regards to a tuition assistance program, the name of your company.

If you are asking about scholarships or financial aid in general, we are not the correct source.

While we are unable to provide a list of our clients or the programs we manage, there are thousands of scholarships and educational grants available with a variety of eligibility requirements. We recommend the following free websites to enhance your scholarship search:

ISTS is not associated with these sites; however, some of our clients utilize these outlets to promote their programs. Your local community foundation is another great resource for financial aid. Many community foundations administer scholarship programs and memorial funds targeting specific high schools, communities and fields of study.

Why was I not selected as a recipient?

We understand that you put a lot of effort into both your academics and your scholarship application. However, direct feedback on your application is not possible. ISTS takes care to review all completed eligible applications. To maintain the integrity of this process and our judges, ISTS will not change decisions. You can search for more scholarship opportunities at websites like  

Can my scholarship be made out to me?

To maintain tax free status of funds, ISTS cannot pay funds to you directly. In general, schools apply scholarship funds tax free to tuition, academic fees, books, and equipment a course requires.

What if my scholarship reduces other aid from my school?

It is common in the current academic world for schools to issue need-based financial aid. However, when you receive a new scholarship or grant, it may prompt your school to change your need-based award. If this happens to you, you will need to either negotiate with your school or contact ISTS to defer the scholarship to another year. 

Are scholarships taxable?

Tax laws vary by country, but in the United States, scholarship funds are not taxable if used exclusively for the payment of tuition or textbooks. The scholarship recipient is responsible for taxes that are applied to his or her scholarship award. We recommend you consult your tax adviser for more guidance. You may also consult IRS Publication 970 for further information.

What should I avoid when uploading documents?

Here are some things to avoid when uploading your documents.

  • Don't upload a Microsoft Word™ document (.doc, .docx) or any other format we don’t accept.
  • Don't upload more than the requested documentation.
  • Don't assume your documents are correct and accepted once you have uploaded them.
  • Don't upload a document stating you are mailing your documents.
  • Don't assume the required document does not pertain to you. If the application states the document is required, your application will remain incomplete if you do not provide that document.
  • Don't upload any file that has a viewing expiration date.
  • Don't password protect your uploaded documents. Password protected documents will be rejected.

What should I put on the resume page?

The Resume page of your application is an opportunity to set yourself apart from your GPA. We recommend entering recent events and awards or activities that you have participated in for a long time as these are stronger and give your scholarship application a robust concise view of what is most important to you. 

How do I save my application/recommendation to come back later?

You can click the tab at the top of your screen to trigger the save function. Additionally, any time you click Submit the form saves. You can still come back and keep editing it until the form deadline. Clicking submit multiple time only saves the new version of the form. This will not duplicate your form. 

What do I put on the eligibility page?

ISTS uses the eligibility page to verify applicant eligibility for an award. The employee may either be the applicant or the applicant's parent/guardian or other family member. When you fill out this page, make sure this is information that the relevant employer can check. Contact and address information should refer to business locations rather than personal. Employees should feel free to reach out to their employer to clarify what information is best to use.

I have multiple college transcripts. Which one should I provide to the application?

Unless otherwise stated, you should provide your most recently updated transcript to the application process. This may be from a degree you have just completed or have just started. If you feel it necessary to provide multiple college transcripts, place acceptable files into a .zip file and upload it to the application for review.

What if I won't have my transcript in time for renewal?

Scholarship renewals often only come once a season. Depending on your scholarship sponsor, their renewal timeline may not line up with your school's academic calendar. With more than 5,000 schools across the United States alone and even more students studying abroad, this is inevitable. If you find that your school falls outside your renewal timeline, don't panic. First, file the online form for your renewal to the best of your knowledge. All information should pertain to the upcoming semester. With the form submitted, reach out to our Program Support team with when you expect to have your transcript. We will do all we can to help you out.

How do I create a second supplement request?

Recommendations can be the icing on the cake that is your stunning scholarship application. It is important that you read the recommendation instructions on your form so you make sure you plan accordingly. First, confirm you have made your minimum number of requests. Some scholarships only require one of each, while others may require multiple copies of the same recommendation from different sources. Once you have made those requests, it will be up to the form to determine if you can make requests beyond that number. If allowed, the "Create Request" link will remain in the supplement section. Click this again to make another request.

What school do I list in the college/university section?

The institution you list in this section should be the institution you plan to use the scholarship/award at if you are awarded. It's okay if you haven't made your final choice. Enter your first choice. If you are awarded, you can update this information on your ISTS Profile Page. 

What GPA do I list in the College/University section?

If you have indicated you will be a sophomore or higher in the coming fall term, you will be prompted for a college/university GPA. List your most recent cumulative GPA in this section. If you will be moving to a post-graduate program in the fall and do not yet have a GPA for that program, please list your undergraduate GPA in this section.

How do I list my high school if I attended outside the US?

For international high schools, choose an “Armed Forces” option from the High School State dropdown menu. Select the option that best fits the area of the world where your high school is located. You will then be able to select “Not in list” for your city and school name, and enter them manually.

What special courses do I list?

The application provides you a section to indicate the total number of higher level courses you have taken throughout your high school career. This includes any higher level course taken from start of Freshman year to the end of Senior year. Please only list classes that apply. Please enter the number of courses that you have taken. Do not list the actual course names.  

Why do I have to provide my high school transcript?

Only applicants enrolling as either freshman or sophomore students in the upcoming fall must provide high school transcripts for merit- based scholarships. Providing your high school transcript displays more academic information for the selections committee to review. 

ACT/SAT exams were not required

If you were not required to take ACT/SAT examinations, please upload a letter explaining the reason for not taking the examination in place of the test scores document. Please ensure that the document is in the acceptable file format-  .pdf, .tif, .png, .gif, .jpeg, .bmp or .xps.

I want to provide both my SAT and ACT scores to the application. How do I do that?

Only one standardized test is required for most scholarship applications. If you would like both to be reviewed, place both score documents in a .zip file. Upload this .zip file to your application. Please ensure the documents in the .zip file are in acceptable file formats.

The form only allows one test date. How do I submit my superscore to you?

ISTS programs do not review superscores at this time. Please list the single test date where you received the highest scores for your standardized test.

I cannot add any more rows on the Resume page. What do I do?

The resume page can limit the number of items you enter in a certain list. Please make sure that you enter the items you feel are most valuable to the application you are filing. You can click the Edit button next to the row to update its contents.

How do I indicate row order in my table?

There is not an easy way to move table rows at this time. If you need items considered in a specific order, please number the items by placing the number in the first table column for each row so that it appears similar to the following: "2 - Event A" "1 - Event B" "3 - Event C" etc.

My document says Processing but the deadline is tomorrow. Will I be Ok?

If you see “Processing” on your homepage, this means that the attachment has been received and in line to go through the verification process where it will be reviewed.

 Please allow at least 1-3 business days.

 As long as your documents are uploaded by the deadline, they will still be reviewed. Don't panic if your application still has an Orange "Started" status after the deadline.

Can I defer my scholarship?

Please email us at requesting the deferral including the reason, the length of your deferral and any supporting documentation. The appropriate team will review your request and respond to you promptly. 

I am trying to create an account, but my date of birth is not being accepted. What’s wrong?

Many times we find that users are entering the wrong format when entering their date of birth. It should be month, day, then year (mm/dd/yyyy).

 Also, please ensure that you are inserting the slashes (/).

In creating a password, I am asked to use a “Special Character”. What is that?

A special character is a non-alphabetic or non-numeric character, such as @, #, $, %, &, * and +.

Do I need a supplement code or a program key?

Applicants or students wanting to apply for a scholarship would need a program key, while recommenders, nominators and the like would need a supplement code. Our clients provide program keys for their programs on their website. Applicants generate supplement codes from their applications when applying. If you do not have a Program Key, please send an email to with the name of the scholarship to which you want to apply. Our team will get you the key you need! 

Why does it say I'm ineligible?

Some applications verify your eligibility immediately after using the Program Key.  You will not be able to proceed to the application unless all responses provided meet the application criteria. If you believe you reached this notification in error, please double check the eligibility criteria for your program and try to apply again.

What are the password requirements?

Your ISTS account password must meet the following requirements to be considered secure enough for use:

  • Passwords must be at least 8 characters long
  • Passwords must contain at least 1 upper case letter
  • Passwords must contain at least 1 lower case letter
  • Passwords must contain at least 1 number
  • Passwords must contain at least 1 special character
An example password would be Password1#

How do I change my account email address or password?

Changing either of these items is simple. Click the My Profile link on your home page. You will then have the option to Change Password or Change Email Address. Changing your email address will change the email used to log in and the email address that ISTS will use to contact you.

How do I get a reissue of my check?

If your scholarship check is lost, stolen, or has expired, ISTS can help you by issuing a new one. Just do the following to file that request:

  1. Write a short note explaining the circumstances.
  2. Verify your home address and school in this note.
  3. Include a personal check or money order for $35.00 USD made payable to ISTS.
  4. Mail the check, note, and reissue fee to:      

(Program Name) c/o ISTS

40 Burton Hills Blvd

Suite 170

Nashville, TN 37215

Once ISTS receives your note and reissue fee, we will reissue your check within seven (7) business days and mail it to your home address. Also, please ensure your school and/or address is updated on the "My Profile" section of your ISTS Home Page. We advise sending your materials via a shipping method that has tracking so you can receive confirmation of receipt.

What is a program key?

A program key is a string of letters (it is not case-sensitive & may contain numbers) that allows access to an ISTS-managed scholarship program on our website. If you reached our website through your scholarship provider, your key was automatically entered after you created your account. Don't have the program key?

Please note that a request for a list of keys or all scholarships cannot be provided.

What does my Supplement Status mean?

This status means the person you requested to fill out your supplement has not started that form yet. If there is no name or email address next to this on your status page, go back to your application and click Create Request on the Supplement or Recommendation page right away. If there is the name and email address you sent the request to, they may not have seen the request yet. You should feel empowered to reach out to them; after all, it is a requirement for your scholarship to be considered.
This status means the person you requested to fill out your supplement has used the Supplement Code the system sent them with your request to open the application. However, at this point they have not finished all the questions. If the deadline is approaching, it may be best to reach out to them to confirm that their part still needs to be finished so you can be considered. Keep in mind that most recommendation forms and some other supplements will allow another week after your deadline before the supplement is due.
This status means the person you requested to fill out your supplement has done everything they need to help you with your application. If your application requires multiple supplements, you will need as many in COMPLETE status as is required on your form.

When will my check arrive? 

ISTS typically disburses checks in July/August, depending on the program policy. Please refer to the FAQ page on your application under the Program Timeline section, for more details.

What is a renewable award?

When you are awarded a scholarship or grant program, you are typically granted one academic year of funding. If the award is renewable, you can continue to receive yearly funding if you meet certain criteria established by your award provider. For many scholarships, you are expected to maintain full-time enrollment, avoid academic probation for poor grades, and complete a short online renewal application in the spring or summer of your academic year. We will send you an email notification to your account address when renewals open for you.

How do I know my renewal criteria?

Your renewable award will impose some requirements before they allow you to continue to receive funds. To check those out, look in your Award Details or the program FAQ.

If my application has multiple supplements, how do I make sure the right one goes to the right person?

If your application requires several different types of supplements that go to different individuals, each type will be listed on the supplement page and will have a separate Create Request link for each form. Make sure to read your supplement instructions carefully to know which form goes to whom. The image below shows you how multiple items will appear on your application.

What if my recommender didn't get my request?

If you have spoken with your recommender and they have not received the system-generated supplement instructions, return to your application and click the envelope icon to resend the instructions via email. If this does not appear, there was no email address entered when you created your request and you will have to do so again. You may also click the printer icon to print the instructions and provide them by hand if you prefer.

How do I delete a supplement request?

If you have sent a request to the wrong individual, or need to change the email address, you can click the trash can icon next to the request to delete it. This will cause the system-generated supplement code to be invalid; therefore, please contact the individual it was initially sent to informing them of this change. If there is no trash can icon available, this means the code has been used. If you need the request removed, contact our Program Support Agent team about your request and the individual informing them that you no longer need their assistance.

How do I create a supplement request?

If a supplement is required for your application, a section of your application will describe how to request your recommendation or other supplement form. This involves clicking Create Request on the application and entering the name and email address (please ensure correct spelling) of the person you want to file the supplement for you. The system subsequently emails the person with instructions on how to submit their form. Once generated, the request will show you a status which could be the following:

  • Emailed - An email has been sent to the email address provided on the request with instructions.
  • Requested - The request has been generated and is awaiting action from the provider you sent it to.
  • Started - The supplement form has been accessed by your supplement provider but is not yet complete.
  • Submitted - The provider has successfully completed the form, meeting that requirement for your application.

Why does my check expire?

AA 90-day valid check period is a standard banking practice observed by many companies in order to maintain proper accounting of funds. This also helps ensure that your scholarship check is applied to the appropriate academic term as required by your scholarship provider. If your check has passed the expiration date, you can request a reissue of those funds through our Program Support team. 

Why do I need to give my date of birth to create an account?

The Child Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) of 1998 requires operators of websites to verify the age of individuals creating accounts so that proper precautions can be made for users under the age of 13. ISTS will never use this information for a purpose other than compliance with COPPA or to confirm your identity over a live contact medium.

The page just refreshes but my document isn't uploaded. What do I do?

This happens when you are trying to upload a document with the same file name as one already queued to process on your account. To fix this, just update the file name of the document on your computer.

  • Using Microsoft: Right-click your file and click Rename
  • Using Apple: Right click on the file, select Get Info. Click on the arrow next to Name and Extension and change the name.

How can I use my funds?

The use of scholarships and grants is restricted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States. Your scholarship may impose more stringent regulations than those listed below. Make sure to check your scholarship FAQ or Award Details for specific information about your award and for documentation you can provide to your school. Scholarships may be applied to the following expenses at an accredited two or four-year institution in the US:

  • Tuition
  • Academic Fees required of all students
  • Books required for specific course load by syllabus
  • Equipment required for specific course load by syllabus
You can review the full text of the IRS policy here.

How do I upload multiple pages to one requirement?

When you are retrieving a transcript or other required document for your application, you may have it broken up into multiple pages or need to take multiple screen shots to get all the information. That's fine! You can submit those several pages as a .zip file. To create a .zip file, you can do the following.

When do I hear about Results?

The timeline regarding selection results is specific to each program. Please refer to the FAQ page on your application under the Program Timeline section, for more details. 

What does my Document Status mean?

The document has not successfully been uploaded into the ISTS system. Please return to the Supporting Documents section of your application and upload this document using the stated instructions.
The document has successfully been uploaded into the ISTS system and is in queue to be reviewed.
The document was received and reviewed by the ISTS Processing Team; however, it was rejected.
The document was successfully received and reviewed by the ISTS Processing Team and met all requirements for that document on the application. If you need to replace this document during the application period, please contact our Program Support team and request which specific document be removed. If you do, you will need to upload its replacement before the application deadline

What does my Home Page Application Status mean?

You have begun filling out this application but you have not clicked the "Submit" button yet. Make sure all required items, marked with an asterisk (*), have been filled out and you have accepted the application terms and conditions.
You have finished filling out all required fields on your online application, accepted the terms and conditions, and successfully clicked "Submit". Other requirements for the application have either not been received or not yet been processed. Check the other statuses below this one on your screen to see what is missing.
You have successfully filled out the online application and any other requirements for this application process. You will just need to wait for results.

What does my Home Page status mean?

This status marker is pretty straight-forward. At this point you have started an application but you have not yet submitted it. If this is what you are seeing, make sure to click this gray marker and take a closer look. Use the GO TO FORM link to reenter and finish your application.
This status marker shows that your application is somewhere in-between. You have submitted the online form at this point but some other items may be missing or just processing. Make sure to click this status marker to see what may be missing or processing with ISTS.
This is the ultimate status marker! This is the end goal. Once you have provided everything required of you for the form in question, it will become complete. Once you hit this you will be awaiting a notification from ISTS on results. Make sure to check your applications FAQ for a timeline.
This marker will only show up for forms other than your initial application to a program. This means that your Semi-Finalist, Acceptance, or Renewal form is ready and waiting for you to get started on it. Click the name of the form next to this status to start working. If you do not start this form before its set deadline, it will update to Closed and you will not be able to move forward with your scholarship.

How strict is the deadline?

Applications to scholarship programs must have a closing point so that all applicants can be considered by the selections committee and awards can be determined. Most ISTS programs close at 11:59 PM Pacific time on the posted deadline day. Check your application Welcome page to be certain of your deadline. Once a deadline has passed, your online form will close, resulting in a Read Only status. 

Can only one student in my family apply?

No. If your household has multiple eligible applicants, each is welcome to apply using his or her own ISTS account which requires a separate account email address. It is impossible to file an application for multiple students under a single account. Additionally, applications are reviewed name-blind.

Can I just upload one file that has all my required documents in it?

Unfortunately, no. You should upload an individual file for each requirement on your application.

For example, if your transcript from your school also has your SAT scores, you will have to upload your document to both the High School Transcript and SAT/ACT Score slot on your application for it to be properly processed.

Make sure to change your document's name to match the slot it's going into for easy reference.

How do I know if my renewal was approved?

After the renewal period has closed, you will need to wait for ISTS to check your renewal eligibility. You will receive an email response letting you know if your renewal was approved or not and when to expect the funds. Renewal notifications go out during the summer, typically before August.

When and how do I file a renewal application?

Renewals tend to open in the spring and summer months. When your renewal period opens, ISTS will notify you via email regarding your application procedure and deadline for renewal.

What does "Read Only" mean?

A form in Read-Only mode has been closed. Typically, this is because the application deadline has passed or the application is otherwise not being offered any more. Once a form is in Read-Only mode, you will not be able to make any changes, but if your application was completed, you will move forward into award selections.

What happens if I'm a semi-finalist?

If you are selected as a semi-finalist, you will be notified via email to your account email address with instructions on how to proceed with the next part of the application. Instead of using a program key, which starts a new application, a semi-finalist application link will appear below your initial application on your ISTS home page. 

How do I reset my password?

If you cannot remember your password or it's not working, you can always click "I forgot my password" on the login page. Enter your account email address and an email will be sent to you from Carefully enter this password into the login page of the website and you can reset your password to one of your choosing and log in.

What kind of Documents can I upload?

In order to maintain the integrity of your documents for your application, ISTS must assure that your documents meet certain requirements so that we can accept them.  The only acceptable file types are .pdf, .tif, .png, .gif, .jpg/.jpeg, .bmp, and .xps. Each of these file types are not editable to prevent any chance of data tampering. 

How do recommendations and supplements work?

In order to offer a secure application environment, most recommendations, or other supplement forms required from a third-party, must be filled via that third party's own account in the ISTS system. In order for you to provide a recommendation/nomination/verification for an applicant, the student must have generated a request via his online application. Then you would have received a system-generated email asking you for your assistance which would include a supplement code.

How do award renewals work?

Many scholarships offer awards that can be renewed from year to year provided certain criteria are met, allowing students to continue to receive their scholarship through their degree program. You should always check your scholarship FAQ or Award Details information for specifics, but here are a few questions you may have about renewals:

What's my status?

Please return to your ISTS Home Page to know the status of your Application