FAQ Span Plan Grants & Scholarships
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What is the difference between a grant and a scholarship?
Span Plan Grants
- The selection criterion for Span Plan grants is based 100% on financial need; those with the highest financial need are awarded the grant.
- Span Plan grants are available for part time students only (3-7 credits in fall or spring; 3-5 credits in summer).
- Span Plan grants are administered and awarded every semester.
- Grant awards can be applied to tuition and fees only.
- Awards are based on a combination of academic success, leadership, letters of recommendation, financial need and personal essays
- The credit hour requirement varies from scholarship to scholarship.
- Scholarships applications are reviewed early in the spring semester and the awards are applied the following fall and spring semesters.
- There are no restrictions on how you spend scholarship awards.
Are there grants available for full time adult non-traditional students?
The Span Plan Grant is limited to part-time students due to the requirements set by the endowment that funds the grants. Contact the Division of Financial Aid regarding other grant opportunities that may be open to full time students. Depending on your academic record, you may qualify for Span Plan sponsored scholarships (please see next Q&A).
How can I tell if I qualify for a Span Plan sponsored scholarship?
The application criteria for Span Plan sponsored scholarships vary. You can review them two different ways.
- Go to the Span Plan website, click on the name of the scholarship and all the criteria are listed.
- Open the online application; select “fall” as the academic period when you begin your application.
- Enter your PUID, name, and date of birth. Scroll down the application and click on “undergraduate” and your residency status. The application will then allow you to click on applications of interest to you. The application criteria will open. Click on each criterion that applies to you. If you meet and click on ALL the criteria, you are eligible to apply for that scholarship. More instructions will open for you to follow, including how to write and attach your essay and procuring references. If you do NOT meet ALL the application criteria for the scholarship, you are not eligible to apply for that scholarship. The application instructions will not open for you.
How do I know if I qualify for the Span Plan grant?
In order to apply for a Span Plan Grant, you must meet ALL of the eligibility criteria and be an adult nontraditional student as defined by at least one of the following four criteria:
- Experienced a two year break from school
- Be married or in a domestic partnership
- Be a parent
- Be a veteran
- Be a part-time student (registered for three to seven credit hours in fall/spring; registered for three to five credits summer).
- Be a student at Purdue, West Lafayette Campus or Purdue College of Technology Statewide, Lafayette.
- Be in good academic standing (not on academic probation or drop status when applying for the grant).
- Have received fewer than four previous Span Plan grants.
- Demonstrated financial need.
Are International students eligible to apply for Span Plan Grants and Scholarships?
Yes, international student may apply for Span Plan funding opportunities. Please be mindful that international students will document financial need differently than domestic students. Please see the next Q&A.
How do I demonstrate financial need?
Need is determined by the Division of Financial Aid via FAFSA OR Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), depending on your residence status.
- Must have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at least six weeks prior to the semester deadline. The grant application deadlines are: Summer, April 15; fall, July 15; spring, December 1.
- Go to Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) to get a calculation of your EFC. If you have questions about using the EFC calculator, please contact DFA at 765-494-5050.
- Save the information with all your answers, as well as the calculated EFC in a Word document.
- Attach the Word document to the application.
What is important to keep in mind as I apply for a Span Plan grant?
All applications are thoroughly reviewed to verify eligibility requirements. The final selection criterion is need. Your application will not enter the final selection process if the applicant:
- Is registered for fewer or more hours than allowed by the grant
- Has not completed a FAFSA or if the FAFSA is incomplete
- Is on academic probation
- Had four previous Span Plan grants
- Is a student at Purdue campus other than West Lafayette and College of Technology, Lafayette.
Once all the above criteria are verified, those applicants with the highest financial need are awarded the grant.
Why do I have to file a FAFSA six weeks prior to the grant application deadline?
The Division of Financial Aid set this deadline, reporting it takes six weeks after your FAFSA is completely filed for DFA to have access to your information.
If I work at Purdue, am I still eligible for a Span Plan grant?
Yes, Purdue employees are eligible to apply for Span Plan grants. If you are a Purdue employee or dependent of a Purdue employee, you must also complete a Form 15 and submit it to the Bursar’s Office in Hovde Hall.
How many times can I apply for the Span Plan grant?
There is no limit to the number of times an individual can apply for a Span Plan grant.
If I received a Span Plan grant in the past, will this prevent me from receiving a future grant?
Individuals can be awarded the Span Plan grant up to four times.
Can this grant be used for Ivy Tech coursework?
No, it can only be used for Purdue, West Lafayette and Purdue College of Technology, Lafayette courses.
Where is the grant application information published?
Grant information can be found in Purdue Today, the Span Plan website, PurduE-board, Get Involved website and the email announcements sent to all registered adult nontraditional undergraduate students.
When will a letter be sent to the applicants to state whether they were chosen for a Span Plan grant or not?
Letters are mailed to all applicants in 4-6 weeks after the application deadline of each semester.
Are students still eligible for the grant if they choose to attend another university?
The Span Plan grant is only available to Purdue, West Lafayette and Purdue Statewide Technology, Lafayette students.
When can applicants apply for the Span Plan grant?
The applications are processed once each semester. The application is available online 24/7and must be completed before the deadline. The semester deadlines are:
- June 1st for fall
- December 1st for spring
- April 1st for summer
When does the grant award get applied?
Aid is applied at the start of the semester designated on the application.
How is grant award applied?
Aid is processed by the Bursars Office. The grant is only applied to tuition. All other fees must be paid by the student.
If I want to take classes in the spring, but not in the fall, can I still apply for the grant?
Yes, each semester is separate application process. Grants are offered each semester during the academic year.
How do I apply?
Applications are available online only, and must be submitted electronically.
How many grants are awarded each semester?
The number of grants awarded varies with the number of applicants and the amount budgeted for grants. Those with the highest financial need are awarded the grants.
How many scholarships are awarded each year?
The number of scholarships awarded annually varies depending on the number of applicants and the amount budgeted for each year.
What do I need to submit with my application for a Span Plan grant?
Since the Span Plan grant is 100% need based, you are required to file a FAFSA about 6 weeks prior to the grant deadline. If you are a Purdue employee or dependent of a Purdue employee you must also complete a Form 15 and submit it to the Bursar’s Office.
How many credit hours is a student required to take in order to qualify for grant eligibility?
For the Span Plan grant, a student must be registered for not less than three and not more than seven credit hours in the fall and spring semesters. A student must be registered for not less than three and not more than five credit hours during summer school.
Am I required to submit my FAFSA with the grant application?
A FAFSA must be submitted to the university, but does not need to accompany your application. If you are an international student, please follow the instructions on the application for completing the Estimated Family Contribution.
Can a student attend graduate school and still apply for the grant?
The student must be an undergraduate, taking undergraduate courses to be eligible for the Span Plan grant.
What grade point average is required to apply for the Span Plan grant?
Students cannot be on academic probation at the time of application submission.
What happens in the event that a recipient fails to register for classes, drops out of school or changes from part-time to a full-time student?
The award is forfeited by the recipient if the student's registration status changes.
What factors are considered when selecting Span Plan grant recipients?
Once applicants meet all the selection criteria: A part-time adult nontraditional student at the West Lafayette or Lafayette Statewide Technology campus, in good academic standing (not on academic probation), with a FAFSA filed at least six weeks prior to the application deadline. Financial need is the final selection criterion used to determine Span Plan grant recipients. Those with the highest financial need are selected to receive the grant.
Can I apply for a Span Plan grant and a Span Plan scholarship during the same semester?
You can apply for a Span Plan grant and scholarships for the fall academic period. Please be mindful to check off each of the criteria to be sure you qualify to apply for each scholarship.
I don’t have time to finish the application right now, can I finish it later?
You can continue to update your application until the application deadline. Once the deadline passes, the portion of the application affected by the deadline will no longer be available for updates.
I want to apply for a scholarship, but the application won’t let me.
In order for the scholarship applications to open, you must select fall as the academic period at the beginning of the application, and select “undergraduate student” since all scholarships are for undergraduates only.
I want to apply for the Zissis grant, but the application won’t let me.
The Zissis grant is for graduate students only. You much select the ‘fall’ as the academic period and select ‘graduate student’ since the Zissis grant is only open to graduate students.
I missed the deadline; can I still apply for a grant or scholarship?
Once the deadline has passed, it is impossible to submit or update an application.
Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
Possible sources for letters of recommendation are: professors, instructors, teaching assistants, pastor, volunteer coordinator, and current or former employer.
Can I email you my essay?
All grant and scholarship essays must be written using Microsoft Word and be attached to the application by the applicant.
Can I print and mail you my essay?
All grant and scholarship essays must be written using Microsoft Word and be attached to the application.
Can letter of recommendation be mailed to your office?
Letters of recommendation should be created as a Microsoft Word document and emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by the author. Please have the author write the name of each individual scholarship in the subject line of each separate email (each letter should be sent separately if you are applying for more than one scholarship). Letters must be received by the application deadline. Below is a sample email:
Subject: Peg Sullivan Achievement Award
I am a student at Purdue University applying for the Peg Sullivan Achievement Award, and I was asked to provide a letter of recommendation. In order to submit a letter of recommendation on my behalf, please create it as a Microsoft Word document (please do NOT send a PDF, the software for the website does not accept PDF documents), and attach it in an email to email@example.com with the subject Peg Sullivan Achievement Award. Thank you.
Can I apply for all scholarships?
As long as you qualify for the scholarship, you may apply for it.
If I am awarded one scholarship, will I automatically be denied the others?
Each application is reviewed be a different committee. Your history of other scholarship awards is not a factor in selecting recipients.
Can my references use the same letter for each scholarship?
It is NOT recommended to use the same letter for each scholarship. Each letter needs to be sent separately listing the name of the scholarship in the subject line of the email.
Can I use the same essay for each scholarship?
Although there is some overlap in the essay content, it is recommended that you tailor your essay for each separate application.