Student Guide to Scholarships

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What is St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars?

St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars® is a locally run, non-profit, organization promoting post-secondary education by providing local scholarships to graduating seniors from St. Peter and Kasota, Minnesota. Established in 1977, St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars has awarded more than 2,280 scholarships. We are part of a network of almost 500 affiliates of the Scholarship America Dollars for Scholars program.

The St. Peter-Kasota chapter of Dollars for Scholars expands the opportunities of St. Peter-Kasota high school graduates by working in partnership with organizations, businesses, and individuals to raise funds for graduates seeking scholarships. Scholarships are awarded in a fair and objective manner to deserving students.

Who qualifies for a scholarship?

All of our scholarships are for Seniors who attend school in the St. Peter School District. Note that at this time, we do not have scholarships for homeschooled students in the school district. Each of our scholarships are competitive and have various criteria according to the donor's wishes. There are a range of scholarships for students with all levels of academic accomplishment. Each scholarship targets what is important to the donor. For example, we have scholarships for athletic interests, music, church membership, major or career interests, volunteer accomplishments, and scholarships for students attending particular colleges. Every year there were over 40 different scholarship opportunities through St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

  • First, create your student profile. The best news is you have just one profile to fill out and you can start as early as 9th grade. Your profile is filled out using Scholarship America's online tool, ChapterNet. Please note that your personal data is highly secure and only a small number of St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars Board Members will have access to your data for the purposes of scoring and awarding scholarships.
  • Second, complete your student profile. Update your information throughout your high school years, saving you time as a senior. We have scholarships for students with a variety of experiences. Include ALL of your athletic, church, volunteer, music, theater and arts activities, clubs and organizations, awards, and employment. When you are a senior, you will also submit your essay(s). We rely on YOU to enter information accurately so we may award each scholarship to a qualified recipient.
  • Finally, search for and apply for scholarships after they open for the scholarship season on February 15.  Once your profile is complete, you can simply log into your profile after February 15 and search for scholarships to see if you have matched to any of the scholarships. Based on information from your profile, the computer automatically matches you to any of the scholarships you qualify for. Then, you can then decide which of the scholarships you want to apply for and simply click a button to apply for each one. Tip: apply for any or all of the scholarships you are matched to maximize your chances of getting a scholarship. Depending on the scholarship, you may be asked additional questions when you apply to make sure you qualify for the scholarship. All profiles must be applied to scholarships by March 31 at 11:59 pm Central time zone.

Step 1. Create your Student Profile account

  1. Go to http://stpeter-kasota.dollarsforscholars.org
    • Click on the grey "Student & Parents" tab near the top right hand corner.
    • Click the light blue button that says "Click to Login"
  2. To create a new account, click "Don't have an account yet? Create one here."  
    • The first box will ask for your high school.
      • Enter "Saint Peter Senior High" in the High School Name box and you will see the high school name appear below. Click "Choose This School".
    • Complete Step 2: Fill Out Your Basic Information. Anything with a double asterisk (**) is required to complete the profile. 
      • Hint: for city, spell out "Saint Peter"
      • Hint: For School District enter "St. Peter Public School District" When the district shows up, click inside the circle to select it.
    • Make sure you use a valid email account that you CHECK OFTEN.
      • DO NOT USE YOUR ST. PETER HIGH SCHOOL EMAIL ADDRESS; YOU CANNOT RECEIVE OUTSIDE EMAIL AT THIS ADDRESS. You can set up a free email through vendors such as gmail or yahoo mail.
      • We highly recommend adjusting your spam/junk mail account to accept emails from our email account: dollarsforscholars@scholarshipamerica.org .
      • All important reminders, deadlines, and announcement emails will be sent from this email address. Note that the name of the person sending the email may be from anyone on our Dollars for Scholars Board.
      • If we see a problem with your application, we will use this email to communicate with you between February 15 and March 31.
  3. SENIORS: Make sure your Current Grade Level is "Senior in High School" and Year Expected Graduation from High School is "2021"
  4. Make sure to check the box authorizing your understanding of how your data will be used.
  5. Click Submit. 
  6. IMPORTANT: You will then be sent a message to your email inbox with your temporary password.
    • If you don't see the email, check your spam or junk mail folder.
    • If you don't receive the temporary password email, click the gray support tab in the bottom left hand corner of the login screen OR call 877-900-8201 for assistance.
  7. Next, go to public.dollarsforscholars.org and log on with your email address and your temporary password.
    • You will then be asked to set your password to something you will remember for future reference. Keep this in a handy place. You will need to log back into your account several times during the application process.
    • If you ever forget which email you used, do NOT create another account, click the gray support tab for assistance. Forget your password? There is a link for that too!

Step 2. Completing your Student Profile

After you log on with your email and new password, you will see the Dashboard page. The Dashboard is your summary of the information you have entered. This is your home page. Your next task is to work on completing your student profile. 

  • Under the My Information bar: you will see a "Work on Profile" button to work on your profile. Click this button to begin. 

Anything with a double asterisk (**) is required to apply for scholarships by the ChapterNet System. Some of the other fields are required by our local scholarships as well. Please read through these instructions for what is required. There are several sections to the profile. "Save and continue" will bring you to the next section OR you can click to the left side menu to skip ahead to the parts of the profile.

St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars specific instructions:

  • When your application is scored, it is based on information YOU entered on the profile.
  • Dollars for Scholars scholarships ARE COMPETITIVE. To give yourself the best possible chance to receive a scholarship, it is in your best interest to be as specific and accurate as possible and you must complete your entire online profile.
  • All fields should be filled out before you search and apply for scholarships (step 3).
  • Each number corresponds to the left hand menu on the student dashboard.
  • REMEMBER TO CLICK "SAVE AND CONTINUE" AS YOU MOVE THROUGH THE PROFILE TO SAVE YOUR INFORMATION.

My Information

  1. Basic Info: any field that has a **
  2. Additional Info: any field that has a **
  3. Schools: any field that has a **
    • College Information:  At a minimum, you must complete the following fields marked with *:
      • Intended College 1; Intended College App Status 1; What type of post-secondary institution (if any) are you attending/plan to attend?; Intended/Current College Major 1; Student will be enrolled
  4. GPA: any field that has a **. 
    • For GPA information available, choose either I have high school GPA information or I have high school and College GPA information if you have taken college courses during high school.
    • Check the box that says "My school uses weighted GPAs."
    • Enter your grade 12 Cumulative Weighted GPA after the first semester of your Senior Year as well as your cumulative GPA; For GPA scale, enter 4.  Enter Cumulative College Grade and scale, if applicable.
  5. Class Rank: answer "yes" to "does your high school rank students?".  Answer "other" for "what system does your school use?"  If you know it, enter your class rank and class size
  6. Test Scores: if you have taken the ACT or SAT, click the green plus (+) sign to add in your test scores
  7. Activities: When you get to the Activities section, it is very important you be as specific as you are able.
    • Include all school AND non-school related extracurricular activities such as athletics, clubs and organizations, volunteer, church/religious, and music/theater/arts activities in this section.    
    • Each activity should be entered separately.
    • For number of years, count 9-12th grades only. 
    • Click the green plus (+) sign at the top to add each activity.

Here are some tips:

  • For Athletic Level of Involvement, enter the level at which you played your sport. If you have played at multiple levels since 9th grade, each activity should be entered separately. You will indicate the number of years you played at this level in the next field.
    Example: community basketball in 9-10 grades is one entry for 2 years; playing high school basketball in 9-12 grades would be a second entry of High School Varsity for 4 years
  • For Awards, Honors, Offices include things such as section or state qualifier honors, special awards or recognitions, captain, offices such as President, Treasurer, held etc. Keep clicking green plus to add in Awards, Honors or Offices. 
    Example: if you were a section qualifier in swimming from 9-12 grade, you would have four entries under awards, honors, activities within the Activity of swimming.
  • Once you have entered an activity, click Save and Add Another activity until you have completed all your activities. When completely done with all activities, click Save.
  • It is worth the time and investment to enter as many of these as you are able and to be specific. Many of our local scholarships have a specific activity as a requirement, such as baseball, or vocal music, or community service, and more!
  1. Awards: this section records all financial and academic/merit awards NOT tied to a specific activity that were received from 9th grade or later. Click green plus (+) sign to enter awards.
                  Example: making the Dean's list/Honor Roll, winning other financial scholarships
                  Hint: If you are a member of National Honor Society this counts as an activity and should be entered in the Activity section.
  2. Employment: this section records any employment you held from 9th grade or later that you received payment for. Click green plus (+) sign to enter employment.
  3. Documents:  you do not have to upload any documents.
  4. Parent/Guardian Info: If you are under the age of 16, you will be REQUIRED to enter your parent's information. If you are 16 or older, you may enter parent info if you wish to have them receive info.
  5. Financial Info: St.Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars does not require financial information. If you are applying for Scholarship America scholarships using this ChapterNet account, you will likely have to provide this information.
  6. Goals Essay: This is REQUIRED for our scholarships.
    • "Please describe your plans as they relate to your educational and career objectives and future goals."
    • Your essay should answer this prompt, give specific examples, and be well written (100-200 words max).
    • We recommend you type your essay in a document then paste it here when complete.
  7. Unusual Circumstances Essay is not required and should only be filled out if you have a unique or unusual circumstance that you want the awards committee to know about. For example: a health issue, an extreme family situation (job loss, homeless, death in family, etc).
    • You will be asked to "describe how and when any unusual family or personal circumstances have affected your achievement in school, work experience, or your participation in school and community activities."
    • We recommend you type your essay in a document then paste it here when complete. (100-200 words max)
  8. Transcripts: This is REQUIRED and must be done accurately!
    • Note that Ms. Sykora will not complete this until after the first semester of your Senior year.
    • Click green plus (+) sign that says "add School Official Information". If you will be graduating from St. Peter High School, enter (or copy & paste) the following information, EXACTLY:
      • School Official First Name:  Jana
      • School Official Last Name: Sykora
      • School Official Email:  jsykora@stpeterschools.org
      • School Official Phone: 507-934-4212
        • If not done CORRECTLY, Ms. Sykora will NOT receive your request, will be unable to enter the information, and your application will NOT be eligible to receive ANY scholarships - it's the way the system works.
  9. References: This is not required by St. Peter-Kasota Dollars for Scholars.

 

Step 3: Search and Apply for Scholarships - Final Steps

Applications for our scholarships will open on February 15. You will not match to any scholarships before that date. After February 15, log on to your student profile - SEARCH and APPLY.

SEARCH:
On your dashboard page, look under the Yellow bar: My Scholarships. 
After February 15, click the button "Search for Scholarships". 

APPLY: 
If you matched to any Dollars for Scholars Scholarships, they will appear under the red banner "Scholarhip Applications Ready to Complete". Depending on the scholarship, you may be asked for additional information to determine further eligibility or if there is a question that is unique to only that scholarship. Click on the red "Questions" button to answer questions which will make the "Apply" button turn red. 
You will need to click "Apply" for EACH of the scholarships listed and this will submit your information. You should only click Apply when all of Step 2 above is finished and you completed your profile.

 

ALL PROFILES MUST BE SUBMITTED TO SCHOLARSHIPS BY MARCH 31 AT 11:59 PM.
The system will not allow you to apply after this time, so plan accordingly.


Frequently Asked Questions

What if I forgot my username and password?

The fastest way to get help is to click the grey "Support" tab on any page you are working on.

How do I get help if I am having trouble?

The fastest way to get help is to click the grey "Support" tab (bottom left corner of any page) on any page you are working on.

How do I contact the local Dollars for Scholars chapter?

If you have any questions about applying for scholarships, you can contact Ms. Sykora who can reach the Dollars for Scholars group, or email stpeter-kasota@dollarsforscholars.org.

What if my email address changes?

Once you log into your profile, near the top of the "Basic Info" page, you will see a grey button that says "Click Here" to change your email address.

What happens if I miss the application deadline of March 31 at 11:59pm?

Then you will not be eligible for our scholarships. Best advice is to start early to make sure you have plenty of time to complete the steps.

If I apply, will I automatically get a scholarship?

No. Dollars for Scholars awards are competitive. With that said, we do have a full range of scholarships for all kinds of abilities and interests and we typically give out 40-50 scholarships a year. Incomplete applications/profiles will not be eligible for an award:

You will NOT be eligible for an award if you are missing one or more of the 3 required sections:
     1. parental consent - if under age 16
     2. goals essay
     3. (correctly sent) transcript request to Ms. Sykora

You will NOT receive an award if you do not SEARCH for scholarships AND APPLY for each scholarship you are eligible for.

What if my parent doesn't give consent?

Unfortunately, this is a legal requirement for students under the age of 16. If your parent/guardian does not have access to a computer or email, or there is an unusual circumstance that prevents a parent/guardian from providing consent, arrangements can be made to get consent another way. Contact Ms. Sykora for options.

How does scoring work?

Except for your essays, all parts of your profile are scored automatically by the computer using a widely accepted rubric and following guidelines set by Scholarship America. Parts of your profile may be weighed differently depending on what the scholarship donor has set. For example, leadership or participation in a particular type of activity may carry more weight. Point values are assigned to sections of your profile which is why it is very important to be as specific as possible.  Essay scoring is done by trained members of the Dollars for Scholars chapter using a specific scoring rubric.

Who has access to my information?

The information you provide on the student profile is NOT public. Only certain members of the Dollars for Scholars chapter will see your information for the purposes of checking eligibility, scoring and awarding scholarships. The national office of Scholarship America Dollars for Scholars can also view your information. When you start the student profile, the permissions the students agree to with the online profile prohibit anyone but Scholarship America or its affiliates from having access to the information.

  • Specifically, the student agrees to the following: "I understand that my online profile contains confidential personal data. I hereby authorize Dollars for Scholars to review the information in my profile for the purpose of determining my eligibility for scholarships. I also understand and agree that Dollars for Scholars may transfer, store and process my profile data in any of its offices in conjunction with the selection process for a scholarship. I verify that I have read, understand, and agree to the guidelines for this program. By registering for an account, I consent to the statement above and to the guidelines for the Dollars for Scholars program, and I consent to receive relevant electronic communications from Scholarship America."