Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply for RMU scholarships?

Robert Morris University offers awards based on merit, talent, athletics, and financial need. All funds are limited, and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Your application for admission will double as your scholarship application for merit scholarships so there is no separate application to complete. Students must meet all admission criteria and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive awards. The Financial Aid department will consider either a student's GPA, ACT scores, or both to award merit-based funds. See the RMU Scholarship page for details about merit-based awards. Athletic scholarships are determined by the coaches of each program. Click here to view the Athletics page. Need-based grants are determined after a student has completed all the required financial aid materials.
[back to top]

What are private/outside scholarships?

Outside scholarships, or private scholarships, usually come from service organizations, independent foundations, and corporations at the local, state, and national levels. In short, an outside scholarship is a competitive award that doesn't come from Robert Morris University or a government agency. Nearly all outside scholarships require a short essay, usually detailing the studentís educational and professional goals. Others will require an essay and supporting materials such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, financial aid award letters, tax forms, etc. Many outside scholarships can even be completed entirely online. Each private scholarship provider will create its own eligibility and selection criteria; students should take time to read directions carefully.
[back to top]

How do I get my transcript from RMU?

Students at all locations must request transcripts in person through their Admissions department at the Branch Locations or through Student Records at the Chicago Location. Transcript requests cost $1 per transcript, and take approximately one week to be processed and delivered. Students may request express processing and delivery for an additional fee. Students with payment holds on their account will not be able to receive transcripts until the hold is removed. Always request transcripts early to avoid wondering if it will arrive on time! For more information, visit Student Records.
[back to top]

How can I get a copy of my Student Aid Report?

Your Student Aid Report, also known as the SAR, can be obtained a few ways. You can print a copy of your SAR by following the prompts at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or you can call 1-800-4-FED-AID (433-3243), an automated telephone system, and a copy of your SAR will be mailed within 7-10 days. Private scholarship providers may also accept an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). Speak to your financial aid planner about obtaining this form.
[back to top]

I'm a current RMU student. Where can I go to get help with my essay for an outside scholarship ?

Each Robert Morris University location has a Writing Center located in the Lopata Resource Center, RMUís free tutoring service. Students can bring scholarship essays to the Writing Center to receive help with their writing needs.
[back to top]

Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?

Most scholarship programs will indicate whether you should provide letters from an educational resource or an employer. Teachers, student advisors, guidance counselors, coaches, employers, and community leaders are all good examples of people who would be able to write a letter of recommendation. In general, this person should be able to reflect on your abilities, character, commitment to your education, perseverance, or any other positive attribute. Give the person plenty of time before the application due date so that he or she doesn't feel pressured. You should give your references one week notice at the very least. If you are applying to multiple programs that require letters of recommendation, consider asking the person to make copies for you.
[back to top]

What are private providers looking for in a scholarship application?

The most common mistake scholarship applicants make is failing to follow directions. Too often students rush to complete their applications and forget certain required materials, additional copies, or other small but crucial instructions. Some scholarship programs have reported that up to 20% of their applicants are automatically disqualified because of errors like these. Beyond following directions, your application should be typed or neatly hand-written, free of spelling errors, and have a professional appearance. Your essay should always be typed. When writing a personal statement, donít hesitate to talk about your educational and professional goals, past challenges youíve faced, people who have influenced you, and reasons why a scholarship would help you. Be personal and specific, but donít be insincere. Judges want to feel like they have a clear idea of who you are, where youíve been, and what you hope to do. You have to ask yourself, what will make me stand out from other applicants?
[back to top]

Does RMU have any matching programs for students who win outside scholarships?

Yes. RMU offers the Benjamin Franklin award. RMU students who win an outside scholarship through a competitive process may be eligible to receive a matching scholarship up to $1,000. Funds are limited, and are on a first-come, first-served basis.
[back to top]

Where can I look for outside scholarship opportunities?

Students have many options when it comes to looking for outside scholarship opportunities. Students can start by browsing the Outside Scholarships page on this website. Scholarship search engines, such as www.fastweb.com, www.scholarships.com, and www.collegeboard.com, provide a free, student-centered service to students who complete an online profile at their site. Search engines compare a student's profile to a database of providers and provide descriptions and updates of scholarships the student would be eligible to apply for. Click here for a more detailed list of scholarship and financial aid resources. If you are a high school student, your guidance or college counseling office is another great resource, especially for scholarships from local organizations.
[back to top]

Are outside scholarships only for students about to graduate from high school?

No. Although many scholarships are targeted toward current high school seniors, many programs are open to students of any age. In fact, some programs even require that students be past a certain age to apply.
[back to top]

My GPA wasn't as high as I would have liked it to be. Will I still be eligible for outside scholarships?

Yes. There are many scholarships that use academic achievement only as a secondary selection criterion or do not ask for transcripts at all. A student's GPA may be only one of the factors used by scholarship providers to determine their winner(s). Financial need, extracurricular involvement, letters of reference, unusual circumstances, and the student's essay can bolster an application despite a low GPA. Unless the application requires that you have a certain GPA, feel confident and complete the application.
[back to top]

What does it mean when an outside scholarship application says "toward tuition at an accredited educational institution"?

Robert Morris University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (30 N. LaSalle,Suite 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602, 312-263-0456). Accreditation provides a systematic process that requires a school to ask why it exists, to establish a vision of its future, and to determine specific objectives for reaching that vision. Among other important factors, accreditation allows other institutions, such as scholarship providers, to recognize and feel comfortable knowing that their scholarship dollars will be going toward a studentís education at an accountable and valid institution.
[back to top]

Robert Morris University Illinois is a private, not-for-profit associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree-granting institution, accredited by the Higher learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, 312.263.0456). Robert Morris serves over 7000 students interested in getting an education that meets the demands of today's business, graphic arts, health care, culinary and technical world at its main campus in Chicago as well as at locations in Arlington Heights, DuPage, Elgin, Orland Park, Bensenville, Schaumburg, Springfield, Peoria and Lake County.