Ability Is Nothing without Opportunity

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to apply?

  1. Must be entering their senior year of high school in the fall of 2016.
  2. Must be a resident or attend high school in any one of the following areas:
    1. Chicago, Illinois or the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will, Illinois
    2. Las Vegas, Nevada and suburbs of the area
    3. Fairfield, Greens Farms, Redding or Westport, Connecticut.
  3. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the high school you are currently attending, or the equivalent thereof in cases where the applicable high school does not employ a traditional 4.0 system.
  4. Must have taken either the ACT or SAT test and achieved a minimum ACT score of 22 OR a minimum SAT score of 1100.
  5. Plan on attending an accredited college or university for a Bachelor’s degree or four year program in the United States.

My high school does not provide official transcripts. What can I upload instead?

If your high school will not provide you with an official transcript, you can upload an unofficial transcript, or copies of your grade reports/report cards. A report must be uploaded into the application in order to proceed through the screens.

I have not yet taken the ACT and/or SAT test. Can I send my results after the application deadline?

You must have taken either the ACT or SAT test prior to submitting your application. The minimum score requirements to be eligible to apply are 22 for the ACT or 1,100 for the SAT.

My school does not utilize a "Class Rank" system. What should I put in that field on the application?

Please enter a zero (0) in the class rank field if that information is not available to you.

When is the deadline?

October 15, 2016 11:59PM CST

*Note: Once an application has been submitted, the applicant will not be able to make any changes.


What are the details of the award?

  • The scholarships are awarded in various amounts, up to a "full ride". The scholarship can be used for up to 8 semesters for undergraduate education. Funding can be used to pay for tuition, room and board, books, supplies and equipment that are required based on your course syllabus.
  • Students may transfer from one institution to another and retain the award.

What are the selection criteria?

An independent selection committee will evaluate the applications and select the winners. Decisions of the selection committees are final and are not subject to appeal. No application feedback will be given.

The committee will consider:

  • Essay content
  • Academic achievements and records
  • Personal interviews

I have several potential school choices. Which one should I list on the application?

You should list your first choice on the application. If you are chosen to receive an award, it will be your responsibility to make certain we are aware of your final school choice so that your check can be issued accordingly.


How and when will I receive notification?

  • Email notifications will be sent on or before February 15, 2017, to those that are selected to be semi-finalists.
  • Semifinalists will be required to attend a personal interview in their home city.
  • Email notifications will be send on or before March 15, 2017 to those that are selected to be Finalists.
  • Finalists will be required to attend a personal interview at a location to be determined. All travel arrangements will be provided for Finalists and one parent or guardian.
  • Finalists that have been selected to receive a scholarship will be notified on or before April 30, 2017.
  • Add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your email address book or "safe senders list" so these important emails are not sent to your junk mail folder.
  • Do not 'opt out' of any email sent from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. you may not receive vital information regarding your scholarship applications.
  • Note: Your email address will only be used to communicate with you about your scholarship applications. We will not provide your email address to any third-parties.

What are my responsibilities if I am chosen as a recipient?

  • You must enroll as a full time undergraduate in the fall of the year in which you graduate from high school.
  • You must continue in school the entire academic year without interruption unless approved by scholarship sponsor.
  • While attending college, you must provide a report to the Board of Directors every 3 months on your progress, which can include, but not limited to: academic or personal successes or goals, requests for academic assistance, offers for assistance to other scholars.
  • You must be willing to act as a mentor to future Bruce Fishkin Scholarship recipients and be an active member of the community of Bruce Fishkin Scholars.
  • You must continue to pursue additional financial assistance including federal or state financial aid, school scholarships or other private scholarships.
  • Upon request, you must be able to submit transcripts, class schedules, and receipts of necessary educational expenses.

How and when are checks issued?

The fund will make scholarship arrangements with each scholarship recipient as to how funds will be received, on a case by case basis.


Are scholarships taxable?

Tax laws vary by country. In the United States, scholarship funds used exclusively for the payment of tuition or textbooks are normally not taxable. The scholarship recipient is responsible for taxes, if any, that may be assessed against your scholarship award. We recommend consulting your tax advisor for more guidance.

Pencils of PromiseThe Bruce Fishkin Scholarship Fund is proud to additionally support international education in partnership with Pencils of Promise.

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