FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Tillman Scholar Application FAQs

Do I need to be a full-time student?

Yes, applicants must plan on being enrolled full time in their degree program during the award year(s) in order to be eligible. The definition of full-time status varies by degree program and can be verified with your Registrar’s office. Executive MBA (EMBA) students are eligible as long as your institution declares your program a full-time program.

What if I am taking my classes online?

Distance learners are eligible to apply provided they are full-time students.

Are students attending 2-year community or technical colleges or trade certification programs able to apply?

No, only those pursuing an undergraduate (bachelor’s degree), graduate or professional degree are eligible to apply.

I am working to obtain a certification in a particular academic field. Am I eligible to apply?

No, only those pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree are eligible to apply.

Does it matter where my school is located?

Yes, only those attending an American institution (with the main campus being located in the U.S.) may apply to become a Tillman Scholar.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement in order to be considered?

No, there is no minimum GPA requirement to apply. However, in order to be considered for scholarship renewability for subsequent years, a minimum 3.0 GPA must be earned and maintained.

I am the child of a veteran or service member. Am I eligible to apply?

No, children are not eligible to apply for the Tillman Scholars program. Scholarships are available to military children through our partners at Fisher House Foundation, No Greater Sacrifice, ThanksUSA, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, among others.

I am a service member/veteran and my spouse is also a service member/veteran. Should I apply as a spouse or a service member?

You should apply as a service member if you have served or are currently serving in the military.

My spouse was discharged from the military. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, spouses of active military or veteran service members, including surviving spouses, are eligible to apply. Applicants must provide proof of their spouse’s military service as part of the application process.

What is a University Partner? How do I know if my school is a University Partner?

Pat Tillman Foundation University Partner schools are listed on the Scholarships homepage. Our University Partners help facilitate the selection process.

Candidates may not matriculate at a non-University Partner institution after submitting an application at a University Partner institution and still remain eligible as an applicant. Acceptance as a Tillman Scholar at a University Partner is contingent upon matriculating at the University Partner institution.

For additional academic information please watch this short video.

What if I have not yet enrolled in a particular school? Can I still apply?

If you have not been accepted to an institution by the time you have submitted your application, you may still apply to become a Tillman Scholar. However, you must be accepted to at least one institution by April 1. If your acceptance status changes, please email [email protected] with your acceptance information. If you are not accepted by April 1, selection will no longer be able to consider your application for this application cycle. Candidates are eligible to reapply in subsequent years. If you have applied to a University Partner institution but have not yet been accepted, becoming a Tillman Scholar is contingent upon being accepted to that particular institution. (See the University Partner question for more details and check out this video.)

I see there is a background check requirement. I am concerned about an event in the past. What’s your policy?

Although all applicants  complete the information needed for a background check, background checks are not completed unless your application has advanced to the interview stage. At that time, a detailed background check is conducted. For further details please contact [email protected].

A question on the application is asking me to enter a date. What if I am unsure of the exact date?

If you do not know the exact date, please enter your best estimate.

I’m having trouble uploading documents in the application portal. What can I do?

Try using a different browser, computer or internet network. Ensure the naming convention and file format meet the requirements outlined on the application instructions. If the problem persists, please email [email protected] with the issue and attach the document you are trying to upload.

Are essays required for this application?

Yes, there are two (2) required 400-word essays exploring the following areas: your motivation for military and public service and experiences; and your academic, career and future service ambitions. See our tips on writing essays here.

Are letters of recommendation required for this application?

Each applicant will be required to provide one point of contact who will submit a character recommendation. That person will receive a unique log-in from the Pat Tillman Foundation and will be required to answer three standardized questions pertaining to your character (each question has a maximum word count of 100-200 words). Their recommendation will be confidential and the applicant will not be able to see it. The applicant will receive a notification from the system when their recommendation has been completed. An application is not considered eligible for submission until this recommendation has been completed. The recommender will not need to write a separate letter of recommendation. Please Note: the applicant must log into the application after the character recommendation is complete and submit their application in order for it to be considered by the Pat Tillman Foundation.

What if my recommender has not submitted their recommendation and the deadline is coming up?

We highly suggest that you contact your recommender at the start of the application process to maximize the time they will have to submit their character reference. In the event that the deadline is approaching and your recommender has not yet submitted your character reference, we suggest that you request a character recommendation from another individual. To do this, you must first delete the current request for a recommendation in your application, and then you will be able to submit a new request. Please note, the recommendation is required and you will not be able to submit the application unless a recommendation has been provided. Recommenders who have not yet submitted their recommendation will receive email reminders from the system. See a video on recommendations here.

What documents are acceptable to confirm my/my spouses military service?

A DD214 or valid personal service record, i.e. Officer Record Brief (ORB), Enlistment Record Brief (ERB), Basic Individual Record (BIR), Personal Data Record (PDR), Performance Summary Record (PSR) or Report on Individual Personnel (RIP) will be accepted as proof of military service.

What if I cannot obtain one of the listed military service documents?

We may accept other forms that verify military service. If you have several forms that collectively document the following four items of information, we will gladly accept them. If this is the case, scan all forms as a single .pdf file into the application:

  1.  A date of entry into active duty;
  2. A date of separation or release from active duty;
  3. Verification of awards or decorations mentioned elsewhere in this application; and
  4. The character of the discharge (proof of honorable discharge or separation).

*Please black out your social security number on all forms before uploading. If you progress through the selection process, we may reach out with questions or require you to provide additional documentation.

I do not have a digital version of my military service document. Can I fax or mail in a hard copy?

No, only documents uploaded to the online application will be accepted. Please scan and upload your hard copy document to convert it to a digital copy for submission.

What if there is sensitive information (e.g. Social Security Number) included in my military service document and I do not want to transmit this over the internet?

Please be sure to black out your social security number before uploading the document.

I am hesitant about the security of the overall process and the online application. What measures do you take to protect my information?

The Tillman Scholars selection process is directly supervised by a team of three employees at the Pat Tillman Foundation: the Director of Programs & Scholarships, the Scholarships Manager and the Programs Manager. Pat Tillman Foundation staff members are the only individuals with access to full applications. After applications are complete, they are presented in a review process to trained committee members. Your demographic information (including ethnicity and gender) and financial information will not be visible to the committee members. All committee members, as well as participating PTF staff members, are required to sign confidentiality agreements, which strictly prohibit use of applicant information for any purpose except for evaluation of the application. Throughout the process, all sensitive information is recognized and handled appropriately. The application is hosted on a secure site and you can read Fluid Review’s privacy policy here.

Is a transcript or academic record required for this application?

No, a previous transcript is not required as part of the Tillman Scholar application process.

What information do you require to substantiate my financial need?

As part of the application, you will be required to estimate financial information for the upcoming fall/spring academic year including:

  1. Academic expenses (e.g., tuition, books, fees)
  2. Living and personal expenses (e.g., insurance, childcare, rent, meals, transportation)
  3. Sources of income (e.g., salary, GI Bill and other federal benefits, other scholarships)

Please be sure to follow the prompts for joint (if married) and individual financial information.

The dollar amounts on the financial page do not fully represent my true need. How can I explain my financial circumstances further?

Use the response box on the financial page to explain your numbers, or provide any further information that may help us better understand your situation or any anticipated changed more comprehensively.

How much is the award amount if I am chosen as a Tillman Scholar?

Selection as a Tillman Scholar is merit-based. Tillman Scholars can anticipate an average scholarship of $10,000 per academic year.

I applied for this program last year and was not accepted. Can I apply again this year?

Yes, you may apply again. Many current Tillman Scholars applied in the past and were accepted on subsequent attempts.

I used my scholarship funding as a Tillman Scholar to fund a previous degree. Can I apply again for another degree?

No, scholarship funding can only be used toward a single degree per Tillman Scholar.

What types of expenses can I use my scholarship funds for, should I be selected?

Scholarship funds may be used to cover either academic or living expenses and exclude the following: investments, vacation travel, business expenses or personal entertainment.

If I am selected as a Tillman Scholar, when will the award funds be available?

Funding will be sent to your institution no later than July 31.

What should I do if I have completed my application, but the website will not allow me to submit the completed application?

Ensure all tasks in your application portal show a green check mark. If any show a grey circle or a half full green circle, you will need to complete the task and/or mark the task complete. You should then be able to submit your application. If you are still experiencing issues, please contact Survey Monkey Apply Customer Support.

When is the application due?

The last day of Febuary each year by 11:59 PM PT. There are no exceptions to this deadline.

Can I start the application, save my inputs, and return later to complete it?

Yes, you can save and exit at any time and return to saved work. Please note that you must hit “save and continue editing this page” in order to save the work on that page if the entire page is not completed.

When can I expect to hear about the status of my application?

All candidates will receive notification of their acceptance by June 1st. Class announcements are published by mid June each year. 

Do I need to attend one of the partnered universities to be eligible to apply?

No, you do not need to attend a University Partnered institution. You do need to be attending an accrediated U.S. based institution as a full-time student enrolled in a bachelor’s degree or above during the upcoming academic year.

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