Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Answers

The following, in no particular order but grouped into two categories, are questions we are frequently asked, with their answers:

I. For Applicants and High School Counselors

I-1-Q. I live in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania five county area but attend high school elsewhere. Am I eligible?

A. You may be, if you fit the criteria listed under “The Scholarships.” The location of your high school is not important.  The eligibility depends on where your bona fide residence is.

 I-2-Q. My school does not rank its students. Should the Principal/Counselor leave the quintile question blank?

A. No! Ask the guidance counselor to show what quintile you would be in if the school did rank students. Or, have the counselor list your class standing instead of the quintile. Or, failing that, have the counselor show your cumulative GPA and the range of GPAs for your class.  Due to our pre-screening rules, it is not likely you could qualify for an interview (or scholarship) without this information. Every question must be fully answered.

 I-3-Q. The college I plan to attend does not use the SAT. What can I do?

A.  Take the SAT anyhow. We use it. Our SAT Code is 0069.  As an alternative, you may also supply scores from the ACT.  Our ACT Code is 6898.

 I-4-Q.  Will it matter if I am unable to attend the interview at the appointed date and time as scheduled?

A.  Yes. For 2016, the interviews are scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at The Union League, 140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. You must attend the interview to be eligible for a McKee Scholarship.

 I-5-Q. Will late applications be considered?

A.  No. Applications must be received by the due date of March 1st.

 I-6-Q. I have a few AP credits and plan to do college in less than four years. How will that affect my McKee scholarship?

A. We need more particulars, but we can most likely make some adjustments to our regular grant schedule for you.

 I-7-Q.  Is there any limit on the number of applicants from the same family or from the same school?

A.  Absolutely not:  The Committee wants every eligible person to apply, and, if qualified, to receive a McKee Scholarship.  Each applicant stands on his own merits and accomplishments. The only numerical limitation is the amount of funds available for distribution each year.

 I-8-Q.  Col. McKee, being African-American himself, expressed a desire that black students be represented equally among the beneficiaries of his plan. How can that be accomplished?

A. Educators and counselors should identify African-American and other eligible students early in their high school careers as potential applicants and should follow through by encouraging them to plan for college, to apply in the fall term of the senior year, and to make sure they comply with all of the requirements for consideration as a McKee Scholar.

 I-9-Q.  What if my school counselor seems unaware of the McKee scholarship program?

A.  If you are eligible or even think you might be, you should tell your counselor about the McKee program and about this website, and ask your counselor to work with you to get your application submitted correctly, completely, and on time.

 I-10-Q. May a McKee Scholarship be used for graduate school?

A.  No, only full-time undergraduate post-secondary education is eligible.

 I-11-Q.  Is co-op education eligible for a McKee scholarship?

A.  Yes. A somewhat different funding schedule and grade reporting cycle may have to be worked out but the Committee is glad to accommodate co-op scholars for the classroom portion of their education.

 I-12-Q. I plan to start at a community college and switch to a four-year college or university for my bachelor’s degree.  Is that acceptable?

A. No – we do not fund scholarships for community college.  You must attend a four-year college full time to be a McKee Scholar.

 I-13-Q.   I do not have all the answers to complete my application on time (e.g., SSN, date of father’s death, etc.). May I send the application in a bit late?

A. No. Give us all the information you have on time and do all you can to get the rest to us before we complete the pre-scoring and send out the interview invitations. If you do not provide sufficient information, it is most likely that you will not score high enough to be granted an interview.

 I-14-Q. I did not think I could go to college until late and will have to take the SAT’s in January.  Will it be too late?

A. Could be − we are on a tight schedule. Consider paying for a rush delivery (and see next FAQ regarding possible fee waivers).  Ask your counselor for help.

 I-15-Q. A College SAT Report can cost a bit more than I can afford. Is it really necessary?

A. The CEEB’s College Report contains information that the school and student reports do not − information that may help your selection for an interview, the essential step for a possible award. If money is a real issue, have your counselor contact us as well before the March 1st deadline, or, better yet, have him/her check with the CEEB for the current standards for the waiver of fees in certain cases.

 I-16-Q.  What is the SAR?

A. The SAR is the Student Aid Report you receive when you complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online [www.fafsa.ed.gov].  As soon as your FAFSA Application is complete, you will be able to print out the SAR.  Please mail or email [secretary@mckeescholars.org] the SAR to us right away.

 I-17-Q.  I am in college already, but I am still not over the age of 18, am I eligible for a McKee Scholarship?

A.  No.

 I-18-Q.  I am not a senior in high school but I am not over the age of 18, am I eligible for a McKee Scholarship?

A.  No.

1-19-Q.  Do I have to mail in my SAT Report and SAR?

A. No.  Look for the upload button.

II. For McKee Scholars and College Administrators 

II-1-Q. How should I submit my grade report each semester?

A.  You can submit your grade report whatever way is most convenient for you.  You can email it, fax it, or mail.  See the contact information for the Executive Secretary.

II-2-Q. Can a scholarship once awarded be modified to meet a change in circumstances, such as a deferment for military service, serious illness, leave of absence for personal or family reasons, etc.?

A.  Yes. Be sure to contact the Executive Secretary with details and a prompt request, and we will do what we can to work something out according to the circumstances, if possible.

II-3-Q.  I am thinking about sitting out for a year after I finish this semester. If I decide to do this would I still be eligible for the remaining portion of my scholarship when I returned to school after the year off?

A.  Yes. Once your have made a final decision, be sure to contact the Executive Secretary.

II-4-Q.  Can a McKee Scholarship be used for foreign study?

A.  Yes and no. The scholarships are only for U.S. based colleges and universities; however, study abroad programs that are an integral part of a US based degree program may qualify. Contact the Executive Secretary with details as early as possible.

 II-5-Q. I am planning to change schools.  May I take the McKee Scholarship with me?

A. Probably, assuming the new school meets our standards and you remain qualified, but contact us immediately, preferably well before the tuition is due and be certain all of your grade reports are up-to-date.  (Hint: Do not wait for the end of the school year to report — report to us each time course grades are reported to you.)

 II-6-Q. Considering aid from other sources and the low charges at my school, the McKee grant is more than I need to cover my tuition.  Can I get a refund of the excess or apply it to next year?

A. No. McKee money cannot be paid directly to the individual or used for incidental or personal expenses (clothes, loan payments, gas money, etc.).  What is not used by the school for your education, for any reason, during the period for which it was advanced, must be refunded back to the Trust.

 II-7-Q. What about using McKee funds for things other than tuition?

A. The grant is primarily for tuition, but certain other charges made by the school, paid to the school that you attend, and related to the education it provides to you may be covered.  Various school fees, books, equipment, and supplies purchased from your school, may be covered, per IRS Reg. §1.117-5.  When in doubt, contact us or your school financial adviser.

 II-8-Q. How do I handle the co-op schedule?

A. Usually, by the time your first grade report is due (late fall, early winter of the first year), you will know whether you will be a four or five year co-op and on what cycle.  Tell us then and we will plan an appropriate payment schedule. (The co-op experience itself is not funded.)

 II-9-Q. College is not for me after all.  I want to change to vocational training and get a job.  Will you still help?

A. We only fund full-time four-year college education; not vocational training.

 II-10-Q. What do you mean by “good standing” ?

A. You are not in good standing with McKee Scholars: (1) if your school states you are not in good standing, or (2) if you have more than one consecutive  semester on probation, or (3) if your cumulative GPA is not at least 2.0 at the end of each Spring semester.

 II-11-Q. What do you mean by “full time”?

A. Taking not less than 12 credit hours for the semester.

 II-12-Q. Transcripts are expensive.  Why do I have to keep sending grade reports?

A. You are required to send grade reports for all periods for which a McKee scholarship grant is made. You do not have to pay for an official transcript. Most schools have a free or very low cost source of grades [e.g., report cards, unofficial transcripts, website reports, etc.]. The Committee will accept readable photocopies, faxes, even e-mail reports [with attachments or just forwarded messages from the school] so long as they are authentic and show your name (anonymous printouts do not suffice). These grade reports assist the Committee and the Court in monitoring the program. The information will not be shared with anyone else nor will it be published in a way that identifies any student. The applicant agrees to provide the reports as part of the scholarship process and it is a sine qua non if the applicant or the school is to use a Colonel McKee grant. Grants for which there are no grade reports are to be refunded to the McKee Trust.

 II-13-Q. School starts next week and my McKee grant has not arrived.  When will I get my check?

A.  You will not be receiving the check because it is sent directly to the school, usually before Labor Day for a student on a conventional fall-spring schedule. Students on co-op, accelerated, or other unusual schedules must work out the appropriate timing with the Executive Secretary in advance. Since the grant covers the next two semesters (or three “quarters” of a typical co-op program), the first portion may be a few days “late” at some schools; the rest will be several months “early.”   And, of course, if you have lost eligibility or failed to send us timely grade reports, the check will not be issued at all. In fact, a refund to the Trust will be required for any funded time for which no grade report is filed with us (even the last semester/quarter before graduation).

If your question is not answered above, please contact us.