Frequently Asked Questions




  • When Should I Apply for a Scholarship?

    ISA offers scholarships throughout the calendar year. It's always a good idea for students to get started on the application sooner, rather than later. Don't forget that it may take some time to gather the necessary supporting documents, so giving yourself at least 2-3 weeks before the deadline can help ensure you meet the deadline. Scholarship materials must be RECEIVED at the ISA Headquarters in Austin by the deadline. Scholarship applications that are received past the deadline will NOT be considered.

    Deadlines for scholarships are as follows:

    Summer Programs: February 28

    Fall (and Fall-start) Programs: April 30

    Winter/Spring (and Winter-start) Programs: October 30

  • What is the University Award Letter and How Do I Find It?

    University Award Letter is a document from your home university's financial aid office. Typically, this information can be found in the Financial Aid section of your home university student portal. This document states what financial aid you have been awarded, and often asks if you plan to accept or decline the awards. If your award letter is in electronic form, you can simply take a screen shot of the letter, print it off, and submit the screen shot with your application materials. 
  • How Competitive are the Scholarships?

    This depends on the number of students applying. The majority of students who travel abroad do not apply for scholarships, which increases the chances of those who do apply! We always encourage students to take the time to apply!

  • How are Scholarship Decisions Made?

    ISA sends all eligible applications to an outside committee comprised of university officials to review the applications according to established criteria. The committee takes into consideration the student's essay, resume, and supporting documents.

  • How and When Are Recipients Notified?

    All students who have submitted a scholarship application will be notified of the decision six weeks after the deadline. Scholarship recipients are notified by their respective program managers by phone or e-mail.

  • How do I Receive the Funds?

    ISA scholarship recipients will have the award amount applied to the overall program balance. Should the student already be paid in full, a refund check will be sent to the student's permanent address on file with ISA.

    Host university scholarships disbursements will vary. Please refer to the Host University Scholarships page to determine the timeline for receiving a host university award. 

  • I just Graduated High School, Is There a Scholarship for Me?

    Students accepted to an ISA Gap Year program should read more about ISA Gap Programs Scholarship.

  • Who do I Contact If I Have Further Questions?

    If you require further assistance after reading this page, please contact ISA by email at Please keep in mind that particularly around the scholarship deadline, it may take some time to respond to your inquiry.

  • How do I Apply?

    Once you have been accepted into an ISA program, check out the Eligibility Requirements and Application for further information. When you're ready to apply, complete the application and gather the necessary supporting documents.

  • What Are Some Things That Students Overlook in Their Scholarship Applications?

    Applicants wait until the last minute and then may miss the deadline. Applications MUST be received by ISA by the deadline. Late submissions will NOT be considered. This can be especially challenging if the application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday as there will not be anyone available to ask last minute questions, so applicants should plan accordingly.

    Applicants do not submit the required documents such as the Student Aid Report or University Award Letter.

    Applicants do not spend time preparing materials. They should write their essays well in advance of the deadline, ask someone to proof it for them, revise and then submit. Supporting documents should be requested from the appropriate institutions in advance. 

  • Do I Need to Submit a Separate Application For Each Scholarship I'm Applying For?  

    No. Only one scholarship application is required for ISA and Host University scholarships. Be sure to indicate all scholarships you are applying for on the application and double-check that you have included all necessary documents.

    The Kalyn Peterson Memorial Scholarship is for Service-Learning participants only and the ISA Gap Programs Scholarship is for Gap program participants only. Both of these do require a separate application. 

  • How Many Different Scholarships Can a Student Be Awarded From ISA?  

    Students can apply for multiple scholarships; however, students are only eligible to be awarded one ISA scholarship. Where host university scholarships are offered, students may also be awarded one host university scholarship.

  • Are Students Able to Receive Both a University-Sponsored Scholarship and an ISA Scholarship?  

    Yes. Students are eligible to receive both an ISA scholarship and a Host University scholarship.

  • I’m Doing an Internship or Service-Learning Program, am I Eligible to Apply?

    Students accepted to an ISA Internship or Service-Learning program can apply for most ISA scholarships. The Live Like Ally Memorial Scholarship, the Gina Rosko Scholarship and the Host University Scholarships are the exceptions.

    Additional notes about eligibility:

    • Students must be accepted to a January or September-intake Internship program of 8 weeks or longer; OR a Spring or Fall Service-Learning program of 8 weeks or longer to apply for a corresponding ISA Fall or Spring award.
    • Students must be accepted to a May or June-intake Internship program of 8 weeks or longer; OR a Summer Service Learning program of 8 weeks or longer to apply for an ISA Summer award.
  • What Specific Documents are Students Required to Submit with Their Scholarship Application?

    The following documents MUST be submitted in order to be considered for a scholarship:

      One official copy from each college/university attended. The transcript submitted with the ISA program application will suffice only if it is an official transcript.
    • ESSAY
    • RESUME
      If you receive financial aid, you must include the following items from the most recent term that they are available:
      • Student Aid Report (SAR) – Not the VOA form from ISA.
      • Home University Award Letter/Form

      *Although financial need is not a requirement to apply for the Diversity or Host University scholarships, those applicants who are on financial aid must include both supporting financial aid documents in his/her scholarship application packet. Financial need is not a consideration for the Live Like Ally scholarship, and supporting financial aid documents are not required. 

  • What Is the SAR and How Do I Find It?

    The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a document that can be printed directly from the FAFSA website. Please include the entire document in your application materials.