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General Inquiries

Why do I have to do community work?
For many reasons, most importantly:
a. Doing community service helps you develop strong leadership skills. We are looking for leaders of tomorrow who will give back to the community.
b. A resume that is balanced with academic achievements and community service will help you in pursuing the best undergraduate and graduate programs and advancing your career.

Is this scholarship a Merit based scholarship only?
ISF scholarships are both merit based and need based. See our Scholarships page for more details.

Where do you get the money for these scholarships?
The funding for the scholarships is raised entirely through fundraising events and donations from generous people. This is thoroughly a community effort. We have not received a penny from any government or any organization belonging to any government, we raise all our funds by holding fundraising events. All the members of the ISF Board of Trustees and all committee members are volunteers and do not receive any compensation from the ISF. ISF does not have a payroll or anyone on a 1099 payment schedule. In fact, all the members of the committees are themselves donors to the fund. The children of the committee members and board of trustees are not allowed to apply for ISF scholarships.

Who Can Apply

My parents live in Iran and they don’t pay taxes in the US. Can I apply?
Yes. You may apply, but you must give us a lot of information about your parents and how you are supported in the U.S. We will ask you for documentation. We will do our best to verify the information about your source of financial support.

Does ISF have a postgraduate scholarship program?
Yes, as of November 2018, ISF is offering scholarships to graduate students. At this time, due to limited resources and the financial complications of Iran’s economy and currency, we are only offering graduate scholarships to Iranian students who are studying in a terminal masters program as international students. Please see our Graduate Scholarship page for application information.

I live in Iran; I very much want to come to the U.S. to study. Can you help me?

Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to support or sponsor students from outside the U.S.

I live and study outside the United States. Can I apply for your scholarship?
No. ISF cannot transfer money outside of the U.S.

I am a high school student. When can I apply?
You can apply once you have been accepted at a 4-year college or university.

I am a junior and will be going to study abroad; can I apply for ISF scholarship?
No. ISF does not support students during their study aboard year. ISF does not send any
money outside the U.S.

I am a junior in college; can I still apply for scholarship?
Yes.

I am a student at the City Community College. Do I qualify for the ISF Scholarship?
No. However, when you transfer to a 4-year college, you can apply then.

New Recipients 

How many years is this scholarship for?
ISF stands by its students throughout their college education.  The scholarship is renewed annually for up to 4 years or until you graduate (whichever comes first) as long as your GPA is over 3.5 and you take at least 15 units each academic term, you do 100 hours of community work per year, and your parents’ financial situation doesn’t change.

Could you not publish my name if I receive a scholarship?
The students who receive the scholarship should be very proud of this award since they have
proven to be among the best and the brightest. As such, ISF proudly announces our scholarship recipients annually.

Eligibility Requirements

Do I have to be studying in a certain field to qualify?
We do not ask our students what they are studying because we feel strongly that our community will benefit from professional diversity. We are proud of all successful Iranian-Americans in all fields of practice and we support you in your chosen field of interest.

Do I have to be a Muslim to apply?
No. We do not ask any questions about your religious or political beliefs nor do we take these beliefs into consideration as part of our selection process.

Is a GPA of 3.5 a minimum requirement to apply for the scholarship?
Yes.

Will I receive a scholarship based solely on a GPA of 3.5?
There a number of eligibility requirements for each of the scholarships we offer. You not only must qualify for the scholarship but you must present a complete and outstanding application to the selection committee in order to be considered for an award. You can read more about eligibility requirements on the Scholarships page.

My GPA is 3.4. Do I qualify?
We recommend that you apply for the scholarship. Work hard to improve your GPA to reach the 3.5 mark by July. If you don’t reach a GPA of 3.5, you do not qualify.

I have just come from Iran and my English is not good enough to get an A in many subjects. Can you accept my application with a lower GPA than 3.5?
Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions.

I am a student at an Ivy League university and my GPA is less than 3.5. I don’t think it is fair that someone from a State University with GPA of 3.5 can qualify but I don’t?
We don’t agree with this logic, since we think that at any university you must work hard to receive a high GPA. We have limited resources, which means we cannot give scholarships to everyone so we need to draw the line somewhere.

Application and Selection Process

Are there different applications for the merit and non-merit based scholarships?
There is only one application and applicants for all scholarships can use that form.  Please visit our Scholarships page for more information.

I don’t have an email. Can I apply?
No. A valid email address is required.

I sent in my application, but since then, my email has changed. What should I do?
Please keep us updated with your latest contact information by sending us an email. We remove applicants with invalid emails from our list.

Do I need to send all the documents at the same time?
You should get your application material in before the designated deadline. Your transcripts can arrive later if it is not ready, but no later than the application deadline.

What percentage of applicants receives a scholarship?
On average, about 8-10% of applicants will receive an award. 

Am I guaranteed to get $10,000.00?
The amount of your award is dependant on the area where you live, the college you are attending, and our budget.

Tax Returns and IRS Form 4506

Why do I have to send in the Form IRS Form 4506?
By signing this Form, you give ISF the permission to ask IRS for a copy of your tax returns. If you are awarded a scholarship, we keep this Form in your file in case we need to confirm the validity of your tax returns.

Do you verify tax information?
Yes. We use the IRS Form 4506 to verify your reported tax information. If we find any evidence of falsification in your returns, you are required to pay back the sum of money you have received in awards plus interest.

Do I have to send in both tax returns and IRS Form 4506?
Yes, you must send in both Forms for yourself and your parents.

Do I send money with the IRS Form 4506?
No. If we decide to use this Form, we will pay the fees associated with the Form.

My parents are in Iran, what can I do?
We have a special Form for applicants whose parents reside in Iran, please email us separately for this Form.

I am independent of my parents; do you still need my parents’ tax return?
Yes.

I am married and independent of my parents; do you still need my parents’ tax return?
Yes. In this case we need four sets of tax returns: yours and your spouse’s, your parents’ and your spouse’s parents’. They each have to send in the IRS Form 4506 as well.

My parents are divorced and my father does not support me; do you still need his tax return?
Yes. We need his tax return in addition to the IRS Form 4506 from him.