How to Apply

The Arizona Community Foundation offers more than 125 scholarships that students can apply for online through one general application.

Two diverse students working on their college coursework.

One application, hundreds of scholarships

High school seniors, current college students, graduate students, or adult re-entry students attending accredited schools anywhere in the U.S. may apply. Scholarships are available for two-year and four-year accredited colleges and universities, as well as technical and vocational schools.

The general application process begins in January each year and students are advised to apply early to qualify for the most awards. Deadlines vary for every scholarship, with many deadlines falling between March 1 and May 1.

125 Scholarships are available through our general application.

Prepare

Scholarships are often a necessary part of being able to pay for college tuition. Because of that, it's important to know how to set yourself up for success.

Step 1

Prepare

  • Consider taking a personality or career assessment to discover what you might be interested in.
  • Develop your personal stand-out story so you can adapt for required essay questions.
  • Ask your parents or guardians to help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

* We highly recommend that you complete your FAFSA before completing the ACF General Application. The application will ask you to upload your Student Aid Report (SAR) and provide your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) if you are eligible to complete a FAFSA. For more information, please visit studentaid.gov/fafsa.

  • Consider taking a personality or career assessment to discover what you might be interested in.
  • Develop your personal stand-out story so you can adapt for required essay questions.
  • Ask your parents or guardians to help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

* We highly recommend that you complete your FAFSA before completing the ACF General Application. The application will ask you to upload your Student Aid Report (SAR) and provide your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) if you are eligible to complete a FAFSA. For more information, please visit studentaid.gov/fafsa.

Step 2

Research

  • See what scholarships are out there that fit your interests or personal background. Maybe there are opportunities through your job, your parents' place of employment, any nonprofit or professional organizations you may have ties with, or a religious institution.
  • Make sure to note scholarship deadlines so you can prepare your application well in advance.
  • Find out if recommendation letters are required for any of the scholarships you are interested in.
  • See what scholarships are out there that fit your interests or personal background. Maybe there are opportunities through your job, your parents' place of employment, any nonprofit or professional organizations you may have ties with, or a religious institution.
  • Make sure to note scholarship deadlines so you can prepare your application well in advance.
  • Find out if recommendation letters are required for any of the scholarships you are interested in.

Step 3

Organize

  • Create a professional email address and use it for all applications. This should be some version of your name/initials, without any frills.
  • Save your transcripts and test scores as PDF files.
  • Write variations of your personal essays and save them in a convenient place.
  • Carefully consider who you want to ask for recommendation letters, and give them a heads up!
  • Create a professional email address and use it for all applications. This should be some version of your name/initials, without any frills.
  • Save your transcripts and test scores as PDF files.
  • Write variations of your personal essays and save them in a convenient place.
  • Carefully consider who you want to ask for recommendation letters, and give them a heads up!

Step 4

Apply

  • Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to apply for scholarships.
  • Seek help from teachers, counselors, family, or friends whom you trust.
  • Create calendar reminders for all important deadlines.
  • Set achievement milestones to make sure you're keeping on track.
  • Take the time to celebrate each submission in a way that feels good to you.
  • Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to apply for scholarships.
  • Seek help from teachers, counselors, family, or friends whom you trust.
  • Create calendar reminders for all important deadlines.
  • Set achievement milestones to make sure you're keeping on track.
  • Take the time to celebrate each submission in a way that feels good to you.
Scholarship recipient Joyce
Non-traditional student Joyce Driscoll hopes to become a trauma counselor after attending Grand Canyon University with help from the Pat Carmody Love of Education Scholarship through ACF of Yavapai County.

Create a Login

This section details the steps necessary to apply for ACF scholarships. While some requirements differ by scholarship, taking these steps will help you identify all the scholarships in our system for which you may qualify.

Step 1

Create a Login

  1. Go to https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=azcfscholar
  2. Click Create New Account or Log On to your existing account if you have applied previously.
  3. You may want to bookmark this page for easy access.
  1. Go to https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=azcfscholar
  2. Click Create New Account or Log On to your existing account if you have applied previously.
  3. You may want to bookmark this page for easy access.

Step 2

Fill Out the Application

You are able to save your progress and return at any time. Just make sure you keep the ACF Scholarship Application link handy, along with your login information.

  1. Provide your demographic data.
  2. Provide information about your current school. You will need to upload your high school transcript here.
  3. Provide information about your extracurricular activities and organizations you or your parents/guardians may be part of. Make sure you read through all of the options just in case one aligns with your background. If nothing is applicable, please select 'None of the Above.'
  4. Provide information about the college or technical school you will be attending in the upcoming school year.
  5. Fill out the required essay questions. More information about current year essay questions appears in Step 3 below.
  6. Provide details about your financial need. ACF requires all U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents to provide FAFSA information.

You are able to save your progress and return at any time. Just make sure you keep the ACF Scholarship Application link handy, along with your login information.

  1. Provide your demographic data.
  2. Provide information about your current school. You will need to upload your high school transcript here.
  3. Provide information about your extracurricular activities and organizations you or your parents/guardians may be part of. Make sure you read through all of the options just in case one aligns with your background. If nothing is applicable, please select 'None of the Above.'
  4. Provide information about the college or technical school you will be attending in the upcoming school year.
  5. Fill out the required essay questions. More information about current year essay questions appears in Step 3 below.
  6. Provide details about your financial need. ACF requires all U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents to provide FAFSA information.

Step 3

Answer the Essay Questions

Applicants will choose a question in each section and provide a response in no more than 250 words.

Essay question #1 | resilience & persistence
Choose one of the prompts below:

  • How have you overcome or persisted after a failure? What did you learn from it?
  • Explain how your personal views and/or values have changed over time.
  • Describe a time when you stepped outside your comfort zone. Explain how this impacted you and how it helped you mature.

Essay question #2 | future forward & changing the world
Choose one of the prompts below:

  • Describe a time when you put someone or something before your own needs. How did that change you?
  • If you could give your younger self a piece of advice about your education or future, what would it be and why?
  • Describe one need in your community. How have you or what could you do to address this need?

Essay question #3 | creativity & personality
Choose one of the prompts below:

  • Tell us the top 5 attributes that people would use to describe you. Explain why people would choose those attributes.
  • Describe the person who influenced you the most. How have they shaped you into the person you are today?
  • If you had to choose one object, book, and/or movie that reflects your learning philosophy, what would it be and why?

Applicants will choose a question in each section and provide a response in no more than 250 words.

Essay question #1 | resilience & persistence
Choose one of the prompts below:

  • How have you overcome or persisted after a failure? What did you learn from it?
  • Explain how your personal views and/or values have changed over time.
  • Describe a time when you stepped outside your comfort zone. Explain how this impacted you and how it helped you mature.

Essay question #2 | future forward & changing the world
Choose one of the prompts below:

  • Describe a time when you put someone or something before your own needs. How did that change you?
  • If you could give your younger self a piece of advice about your education or future, what would it be and why?
  • Describe one need in your community. How have you or what could you do to address this need?

Essay question #3 | creativity & personality
Choose one of the prompts below:

  • Tell us the top 5 attributes that people would use to describe you. Explain why people would choose those attributes.
  • Describe the person who influenced you the most. How have they shaped you into the person you are today?
  • If you had to choose one object, book, and/or movie that reflects your learning philosophy, what would it be and why?

Step 4

Submit Your Application

Click the submit button once you've filled out all required fields.

Click the submit button once you've filled out all required fields.

Step 5

Provide Additional Information

  • Once your application has been submitted, you will be redirected to a dashboard. Here you will see all scholarships that you have been matched with, and the status of each.
  • Any scholarship that shows a 'View Application' link is considered complete and your information will be seen by our reviewers.
  • Any scholarship that shows 'Edit Application' requires additional details from you before you can be considered. Please click on these links and provide any necessary supplemental information. This may include: additional essay questions, reference letters, or other questions specific to that scholarship.
  • The ACF General Application does not require a Letter of Recommendation. However, some scholarship opportunities do require a recommendation as part of their supplemental questions. If the scholarship requires it, you will be asked to provide an email address of your recommender, and then an email to the recommender will be generated asking them to click on a link and answer 3 questions on a recommendation form. Recommendation letters cannot be uploaded or emailed.
  • Once your application has been submitted, you will be redirected to a dashboard. Here you will see all scholarships that you have been matched with, and the status of each.
  • Any scholarship that shows a 'View Application' link is considered complete and your information will be seen by our reviewers.
  • Any scholarship that shows 'Edit Application' requires additional details from you before you can be considered. Please click on these links and provide any necessary supplemental information. This may include: additional essay questions, reference letters, or other questions specific to that scholarship.
  • The ACF General Application does not require a Letter of Recommendation. However, some scholarship opportunities do require a recommendation as part of their supplemental questions. If the scholarship requires it, you will be asked to provide an email address of your recommender, and then an email to the recommender will be generated asking them to click on a link and answer 3 questions on a recommendation form. Recommendation letters cannot be uploaded or emailed.
Questions?

Call our main line to be directed to one of our scholarship team members or reach out via email.

Call our main line to be directed to one of our scholarship team members or reach out via email.

Scholarship FAQs

Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions

Q: Who can apply for scholarships via ACF?

A: Our scholarships are available to any individual who will be attending a postsecondary institution in the upcoming school year. This includes two-year and four-year colleges, or trade and vocational schools.


Q: Are students outside of Arizona eligible?

A: Yes. While many of our awards are designated for Arizona residents, several are open to students from across the United States and around the world.


Q: Am I eligible to apply?

A: The Arizona Community Foundation manages more than 125 scholarship funds. Each scholarship has individual eligibility criteria and you will be matched with them based on your General Application. Visit the scholarship opportunities page to read about open scholarship opportunities and their criteria.


Q: Can I use my scholarship to pay for previous education expenses or a loan?

A: No. Our scholarships can only be applied to expenses billed for future school years.


Q: May parents submit applications or call on behalf of their student?

A: No. While we encourage parental participation in the process, the application questions need to be answered by the student. Our scholarship applicants' personal information and scholarship records are confidential. Students will need to call ACF directly to receive any information on their application or scholarship award.