SoA Scholarship FAQs

When can I apply for a scholarship? Freshmen must log into the Niner Scholars portal after submitting the UNC Charlotte application. You do not need to wait for an admissions decision to apply for scholarships. The Niner Scholars portal begins accepting applications in mid-September of each year. Most applications are due by March 15th, though this may vary depending on the scholarship.

Why are some scholarships described on the website that aren’t on the online application for this year? Each year the SoA evaluates the amount of funds in each of its scholarship accounts and decides how many scholarships can be awarded. This means some years certain funds cannot support an award.

What should I write in my essay? The essay - really just a paragraph or two at 200-words – is a chance to tell us why you deserve a scholarship. We have the numbers – your GPA, your unmet financial need, etc., but this is your opportunity to make it a little more individual or personal. Read the criteria carefully for the scholarships you have applied for and make your comments address those criteria. For example, if a criteria is "innovation and design excellence" maybe talk how one of your projects reflects this, if a criteria is more generic about "academic excellence" talk about your general strengths. Probably you are applying for more than one scholarship, so you will want to briefly address anything relevant.

Does it hurt my chances of getting one scholarship if I apply for more than one? No, it will not hurt your application for any individual scholarship if you have also applied for others. In fact, please check the box for every scholarship for which you are eligible so that if we are unable to give you one, we can consider you for another.

How can I be considered for a need-based scholarship? Decisions about student need are made based on the unmet need reporting from your FAFSA. We can pull that information from your student records and there is no need to supply us with any financial information. If you have not filled out a FAFSA, we will not have access to financial information about you and you will only be considered for need-based scholarships if no candidates with unmet need are deemed eligible. We are well aware that the unmet need section of the FAFSA is an imperfect system for determining real need as that information is often from the previous year; however, it is the only objective, numerical system that we have for making comparisons.

How can I be considered for a scholarship earmarked for minority students? Answering the question about ethnicity is not required; however, if you want to be considered for a scholarship for which preference is given to a minority, please provide the requested information about ethnicity.

Why does the application form ask for my AIA North Carolina Region and how do I know what region I am from? Some of the AIA North Carolina scholarships are set aside for students from specific geographic regions of the state. If you want to be considered for one of these scholarships, you have to indicate that you are from that region. If you aren’t sure what region your home town is in, check the the AIA North Carolina website.

How are decisions about who gets scholarships made? Each scholarship has different requirements outlined by the donors. Please read the submission requirements and criteria carefully for each scholarship. Some are merit-based, some are need-based, some are both, some prefer minority candidates, some are for grads, some are for undergrads, and so on.

Who decides which students receive scholarships? A committee of faculty members meet and discuss students, their academic performance, and their essays. The committee makes decisions about who is most deserving of each scholarship. The faculty submits recommendations to the SoA Director who makes the final decisions.

When will notifications be made about scholarships? Scholarship recipients will be notified through the university portal, and will have the opportunity to accept or deny the offer. Award announcements are made during the Spring semester or Summer I session, but should not be more than 90 days after the application deadline.

When and how will I receive my scholarship funds? For most scholarships, the amount of the award will be credited to your tuition and fees invoice the Fall semester after the awards are announced. If the amount of your scholarship exceeds your semester bill, the overage will be refunded to you from the financial aid office through the normal refund procedures. If you have not received the credit for your award, please contact the School of Architecture office at 704-687-0101