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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a postmark deadline?
It means that the mark that the post office puts on it must read March 31st or earlier. It doesn't have to reach our offices by the 31st.
Can I drop off my scholarship application package at your office?
Yes, we are located inside L&F Distributors - Budweiser building at 3900 N McColl in McAllen, Texas (Nolana& McColl) (
). We provide a drop box at the entrance facing McColl Rd. during the scholarship cycle. There is no need to ask for a Stars representative and we highly recommend you drop your packet in the box provided and do not hand the package to an individual.
What happens if I have not decided what college or university I am going to attend in the coming academic year?
Applicants must fill out the application to the best of their knowledge. As soon as you determine where you will be attending and it is different than what you put on your application, you should submit an Applicant Update Request Form as soon as possible so that we can update your records.
How will I know if you received all my documents by the deadline?
We will process documents as they arrive. If you applied online, you can log in to your Stars account, where you will see the documents checked off on the status page. If you sent in a hard copy application, we will need to enter it into our system first then you will be prompted to access your Stars account, from that point you can follow the status of your application. Please see our
for a detailed description.
What happens if I sent a document incorrectly?
You will be notified if you sent an incorrect document at the time we review your file and will have an opportunity to resubmit your document to us. We will NOT allow applicants to submit missing documents after the deadline. We must see that an effort was made to complete the application prior to the deadline. Please see our
for a detailed description.
You ask for an "institution"cumulative GPA, what does this mean?
This means we will be looking at the cumulative GPA from your institution. Your school transcript will not calculate your grades from other institutions in the GPA provided and neither will Stars.We will use your GPA as it is reflected on the transcript from your school. If you are currently at one school, but will not be in that school for the fall, we will use the institution GPA from the most recent school you have attended (the transcript you send us).
If I applied last year, can I apply again?
Yes, all students that meet requirements are encouraged to apply. Scholarships are awarded annually and selected on a competitive basis.
How will I find out if I received a Stars award?
Award notifications will be posted to your Stars account if you were selected as recipients. Stars will also email recipients to inform them that there has been an update to their account. Stars will provide detailed information on applicant's Stars account. You should check your Stars account often for updates. If you do not receive any communication from Stars by end of August, you were not selected as a recipient.
What do I need to do to get a Stars Account to see my status?
If you applied online, you can log on to your account via our home page using the same credentials you used when you applied.
If you applied with a hard copy application,you will receive a notification via email once your application has been entered into our system, at that point you will be asked to set up credentials for a Stars account. You will be able to follow your application process from that point forward.
Why don't you notify applicants that they did not get the scholarship?
We used to send regret letters, however as the volume of applicants increased, it no longer became feasible to do this. As a non-profit, Stars does not have the resources to contact every applicant, it is more efficient to only notify recipients.
How do I find out why I did not get the scholarship?
Stars will not inform any applicant of why they were not awarded. As a non-profit, Stars does not have the resources to speak to every applicant about their application. It is important applicants understand and accept this, which is why all applicants are required to sign a Certification and Release Form when applying...on that form:
I understand that my application will be reviewed in an objective and unbiased manner based on information provided in my application and I understand that ALL Stars decisions for recipient selections are non-negotiable and final.
I understand that Stars has limited funds and cannot or will not award every applicant that applies. Furthermore, I understand Stars will not send regret notifications and is not obligated to share the reasons I was not selected with me.
How does Stars review applications and select recipients?
Stars reviews every application and the accompanied documents diligently. All applicant information is entered into our system and assigned a score, based on quantitative information included in your application such as GPA and earned hours, along with financial need based on your EFC score you're your Student Aid Report. Stars then establishes a preliminary list of recipients and consults with the applicant's school to confirm academic progress and financial need, prior to offering the award to the recipient. The process is designed to be fair to all that apply and for us to help as many students as possible.
Please see our
for a detailed description.
How many scholarships does Stars award?
Our organization is a non-profit organization and the funds we have available for scholarships is directly related to the funds donated to us, therefore the quantity of students we can award each year fluctuates based on the funds we have. Typically Stars receives over 6,000 applications and has funds to ward 1,000 to 1,400 scholarships.
How much is the scholarship award?
Our scholarship awards vary and range from$350 to $10,000. Award amounts are based on the college/university you will be attending.
What is a matching school?
Stars partners with 21 colleges and universities throughout the state of Texas (
see complete list
). These 21 schools commit to match dollar for dollar of the scholarship awards Stars provides. For example, if we offer a $2,000 award, Stars funds $1,000 of the scholarship and the matching partner funds $1,000 of the scholarship. These partnerships enable Stars to maximize available funds. This partnership also means that each partner is consulted when selecting recipients and when making decisions regarding recipients.
What happens if I do not attend a matching school?
Stars recipients can attend any accredited college or university in the United States. It is not required that applicants attend one of our matching schools. Students that do not attend a matching school are awarded under our General Program, meaning that Stars funds 100% of the scholarship and does not consult with the school on any decisions regarding recipients.
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“The Stars program has literally been a ‘life-changer’ for so many Pan American students. These scholarships have transformed their lives, and they are now transforming the Valley.”
-Robert S. Nelsen
The University of Texas - Pan American