Grants & Scholarships FAQs

My computer asked me to log in, but would not accept my login. Now what?

There are a variety of reasons why you may be unable to login. Please check to see if one of the items below fits your circumstance:

  • Your username must be prefixed with onepurdue\.
  • You must be on a computer. The application is not available on a tablet or mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone.
  • If you attempt to log in from a computer with an older browser and it does not work, please come to campus and try to login at a computer lab.
  • If you are not a Purdue student with a Purdue login and password, you will be unable to access the application.
  • If you are not registered for class for the current academic period, or if you have not attended Purdue in the past year you may have difficulties, please call Span Plan staff at 765-494-5860.

Are International students eligible to apply for Span Plan Grants and Scholarships?

Yes, international students may apply for Span Plan funding opportunities. International students will document financial need according the the EFC Calculator and send those in via email to

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; applicants 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.
Scholarship Awards
  • Awards are based on a combination of academic success, leadership, letters of recommendation, financial need and application strength
  • The credit hour requirement varies from scholarship to scholarship.
  • Scholarship 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.

What does my recommendation letter need to include, and where do I send it?

  • More than likely the referee will have their own content preferences for writing letters of recommendation. However please reference this commonly used example of a recommendation letter  if you have questions about formatting and/or what content to include.
  • Please send all recommendation letters to

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 here:

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 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.

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.

Can I apply for all scholarships?

As long as you qualify for the scholarship, you may apply for it.

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. 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.

Can a student attend graduate school and still apply for the grant?

Grants are only awarded to part time undergraduates.

FAFSA/Financial  Need

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.  

U.S. Residents:

  • 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 1; fall, June 1; spring, December 1.

International Students:

  • Go to Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) to get a calculation of your EFC. Use the most recent year listed in the drop-down menu to do your calculations. If you have questions about using the EFC calculator, please contact the Division of Financial Aid at 765-494-5050 or visit their office in Schleman 305.
  • Save the information with all your answers, as well as the calculated EFC in a Word document.
  • Attach the Word document to the online application.

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.

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.

Grants for undergraduate students

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 original endowment. 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 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 Polytechnic 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.

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 or Purdue Polytechnic, Lafayette.

Once all the above criteria are verified, those applicants with the highest financial need are awarded the grant.

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 1 for fall
  • December 1, for spring
  • April 1 for summer

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, but will not be awarded more than four times.

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?

Applicants will be notified in 4-6 weeks after the application deadline of each semester.

When does the grant award get applied?

Aid is applied at the start of the semester designated on the application.

How is the 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.

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.

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.

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 factors are considered when selecting Span Plan grant recipients?

Applicants must meet all the selection criteria:  A part-time nontraditional student at the West Lafayette or Lafayette Polytechnic 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.



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 letter of recommendation be mailed to your office?

Letters of recommendation should be created as a Microsoft Word document and emailed directly to by the author. Letters must be received by the application deadline. Below is a sample email:

Subject:  Peg Sullivan Scholarship

I am a student at Purdue University applying for the Peg Sullivan Scholarship, 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). Thank you.

I want to apply for the Zissis Scholarship, but the application won’t let me.

The Zissis Scholarship is for graduate/professional students only. You must select ‘fall’ as the academic period and select ‘graduate/professional student’.

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.

What is the application deadline for the Span Plan scholarships?

The application deadline is March 1. Late applications will not be accepted.

Contact Us

Span Plan Adult Student Services
Krach Leadership Center
1198 Third Street, Rooms 420 & 422
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to noon
& 1 to 5 p.m. Staff available
by appointment or walk-in.
Phone: 765-494-5860

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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