Georgia Association of Convenience Stores

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

When is the application period?

What is the Program timeline?

What are the selection criteria?

What are the details of the award?

Is this scholarship renewable?

My parent's employment makes me eligible for this scholarship. Whose contact information should I include?

Which school should I list on the application if I have not made a final decision?

How do I change my college choice?

How do I know if my application is complete?

As the applicant, what are my responsibilities?

How do I use my Home page to verify my application status?

The deadline is tomorrow, and it takes 5-7 days to process. Will I make it?

The deadline has passed, and my application status is Started, what do I do?

How do I upload more than one file at a time?

How do I create a .zip file?

What is the difference between Official and Unofficial Transcripts?

What supporting documentation is required for this application?

Where and when should I send my supporting documents?

What are the Dos and Don'ts of uploading documents to my application?

What should be visible on my documents?

What are the acceptable file types?

Why can't I upload a Word document?

One of the documents I uploaded has a status of Rejected. What do I do now?

How long does it take to process my uploaded documents?

The deadline has passed, and my documents are still Processing, what does that mean?

How will I be notified about the status of my application?

What notifications will be sent to me?

Who will notifications be sent from?

When will I receive notifications?

Can I opt out of notifications?

What are my responsibilities if I am chosen as a recipient?

How and when are checks issued?

Are scholarships taxable?

Who administers this program?

Who do I contact if I have other questions?

Online application opens Jan 1

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for this scholarship:

*Must be a high school senior or college freshman, sophomore or junior
*Must be an employee of a GACS member company or a dependent son or daughter of a GACS member company employee
*The eligible employee must have at least one year of continuous service as of January 1 of the year in which the scholarships are awarded
*Must be employed or have a parent/guardian that is employed at a GACS member company at the time awards are announced
No exceptions will be made.

Note: If you or your parent/guardian is an eligible employee at the time you receive notification that you have received an award you will retain the award for the full academic term.

When is the application period?

January 1 through April 1

What is the Program timeline?

*Application Opens: January 1, 2019
*Application Deadline: April 1, 2019
*Scholarship Recipients Notified: end of May 2019
*Scholarship Checks Issued: early August 2019

What are the selection criteria?

An independent selection committee will evaluate the Complete applications and select the recipients considering:

*Financial need
*Community involvement
*
Academic achievements and records
*Volunteerism
*Essay content
*Employer Nomination (if applicable)

Decisions of the selection committees are final and are not subject to appeal. No application feedback will be given.

What are the details of the award?

The GACS Educational Foundation offers a various number of awards each year:

One (1) $2,000 Scholarship (Brittany Schmeelk) will be awarded to the most outstanding applicant in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT/SAT scores, plus any related coursework. Recipients of the Brittany Schmeelk Scholarship are limited to winning the award one time, however, they may reapply for other awards as described below. Applicant must be a Retail member.

One (1) $2,000 Scholarship (Jim Tudor) will be awarded to outstanding applicants in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT scores, and SAT scores, plus any related coursework.

One (1) $2,000 Scholarship (Hayes Bryan Scholarship) will be awarded to outstanding applicants in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT/SAT scores, plus any related coursework.

One (1) $1,000 Scholarship (Laura K. Glover Martin) will be awarded to the most outstanding applicant in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT/SAT scores, community service, and financial need.

Two (2) $1,000 Scholarships (Flowers Bakeries Group) will be awarded to outstanding applicants in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT/SAT scores, plus any related coursework. Applicant must be a Retail member.

One (1) $1,000 Scholarship (Nancy Bivings) will be awarded to outstanding applicants in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT/SAT scores, plus any related coursework.

Two (2) $1,000 Scholarships will be awarded to outstanding applicants in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT/SAT scores, plus any related coursework.

Five (5) $1,000 Scholarships will be awarded to qualified candidates who demonstrate financial need. Preferential treatment for two of these scholarships will be given to qualified candidates planning to attend a technical college.

Two (2) $1,500 Scholarships will be awarded to qualified candidates with a B average.

Two (2) $1,000 Scholarships will be awarded to qualified candidates who are outstanding in any or all of the following: extracurricular activity, arts, and/or sports.

Two (2) $1,000 Nomination Based Scholarships will be awarded to applicants nominated by their employer for demonstrating leadership within their company. Applicants must receive a Nomination Letter from their employer in order for their application to be considered. The Nomination Letter should include how long the applicant has been employed with the company, what makes the applicant a deserving candidate, and any accolades the applicant has received.

One (1) $1,000 Scholarship (Circle K) will be awarded to outstanding applicants in the areas of academic merit, college GPA (if applicable), extracurricular activities, ACT/SAT scores, plus any related coursework. Applicant must be an employee or child of employee of Circle K.

*Each scholarship is a one-year award and will only be applied to the school year immediately following the date of the award.

*Students may reapply each year, for up to four years, as long as they and/or their parent/legal guardian continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

*The scholarships will be applied to tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for course load.

*Institutions must be accredited, nonprofit two- or four-year colleges/universities.

*A student may transfer from one institution to another and retain the award.

Is this scholarship renewable?

No, this scholarship is not renewable but applicants may reapply each year as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

My parent's employment makes me eligible for this scholarship. Whose contact information should I include?

You, the applicant, must register for an account with a personal email addresses. Do not use parent's work email addresses. Your My Profile page should reflect the applicant's (the person who is attending university) legal name and contact information. If parent's information is needed, it will be specifically asked for on the application.

Which school should I list on the application if I have not made a final decision?

You should list your first choice on the application. You can change your college choice any time prior to the application deadline. If selected as a recipient, you will be asked to confirm your final school choice. If your school changes after the acceptance deadline, you will be able to update this information on your My Profile page.

How do I change my college choice?

You can update your final school choice on the 'My Profile' page at https://aim.applyists.net. If you are chosen to receive an award, it will be your responsibility to make sure your college is updated at least 30 days prior to the check issue date stated in the award notification so your check can be issued accordingly. This will not update any application or acceptance form; however, all awards are issued based on the 'My Profile' page. If your scholarship check needs to be reissued for any reason, a reissue fee may apply.

How do I know if my application is complete?

Allow five to seven business days after uploading documents for your online status to update.

Complete applications will have a green COMPLETE button.

If your application status has a grey or orange STARTED button, click the button to view the status of each individual requirement.

As the applicant, what are my responsibilities?

It is your responsibility to make sure your application is Complete. Your online application form must be Submitted, all required documents uploaded and Accepted, and all required supplements must be Complete.

How do I use my Home page to verify my application status?

When you log in to your Home page, you will see all applications listed. Each application will have an overall status button visible to you:

A grey Started button means you have not submitted your online form.

An orange Started button means you have submitted the online form but you are either missing required items for the application, or your documents are still processing.

When you click the status button, you will see more detailed status. This will show you the status of each individual required portion of the application.

For more details on your Home page, review the Home Page Tutorial section.

The deadline is tomorrow, and it takes 5-7 days to process. Will I make it?

As long as your documents were uploaded prior to the application deadline, they are considered. You should continue to monitor your Home page until you see the status update to ACCEPTED. If the status updates to REJECTED, contact ISTS immediately.

The deadline has passed, and my application status is Started, what do I do?

If your STARTED button is grey, you have unfortunately missed the deadline and your application is now ready only.

If your STARTED button is orange, click the button to view what is missing. Your required documents may be PROCESSING. As long as your documents were uploaded prior to the application deadline, they are considered. You should continue to monitor your Home page until you see the status update to ACCEPTED. If the status updates to REJECTED, contact ISTS immediately.

How do I upload more than one file at a time?

You may create a .zip file containing more than one file as long as everything included is in an acceptable file format (i.e. .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps.) Do not upload additional documentation that is not requested. It will not be reviewed.

How do I create a .zip file?

To use this format, follow the steps outlined below:

1. Create a new folder on your Desktop, name it the document type you will be uploading. For example, Test Scores, Transcript, or Financial Documentation.

2. Move all the files you wish to upload into the new folder.

3. Right click on the folder from your Desktop:

a. PC Users: select "Send to," followed by "Compressed (zipped) folder."

b. Mac Users: select "Compress '[folder name]'."

4. Your new .zip file will be located on your Desktop, ready to upload.

What is the difference between Official and Unofficial Transcripts?

Official transcripts must be obtained through your high school administration office, or your college registrar office. These transcripts are normally printed on official letterhead and/or state that they are official. These may contain or require a signature.

Note: Your official transcript may come to you in a sealed envelope, stating it will become unofficial if opened. When scanning or copying your official transcripts, a watermark may appear noting they are now unofficial. Despite any watermarks or sealed envelopes, you may open the envelope if needed to upload the document. These documents will be considered official for our purposes. Acceptable file types are .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps. When scanning or copying, you do not need to include a copy of the sealed envelope.

Unofficial transcripts may be accessed through your school's online student portal. These pages must still be converted to one of the acceptable file formats. There are free tools available that will allow you to save various documents (including web pages) as a PDF. Unofficial transcripts must contain your name.

What supporting documentation is required for this application?

ACT/SAT Test Scores: College Freshman and Sophomores only

High School Transcript: College Freshman and Sophomores only

College/University Transcript: College Sophomores and Juniors

2019-20 FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR): All applicants

Where and when should I send my supporting documents?

All required supporting documents must be uploaded to your online application by the application deadline. If you do not follow the upload instructions exactly, your application may remain incomplete. Documents that meet the criteria required for this application that are uploaded by the deadline will be processed and considered on time.

What are the Dos and DON'Ts of uploading documents to my application?

DO:

Upload one of the accepted file types.

Only upload the requested and required documents.

Black out any Social Security numbers on the documents you are uploading. This is not required, but advised.

Return to your Home page at https://aim.applyISTS.net to verify your documents have been Accepted.

DON'T:

Upload a Microsoft Word document (.doc, .docx) or any other format we don't accept.

Upload more than the requested documentation.

Assume your documents are correct and accepted once you have uploaded them.

Upload a document stating you are mailing your documents.

Assume the required document does not pertain to you. If the application states the document is required, your application will remain incomplete if you do not provide that document. Contact ISTS if you are having trouble providing a required document.

Password protect your uploaded documents. Password protected documents will be rejected.

Upload any file that has a viewing expiration date.

What should be visible on my documents?

All uploaded documents must show your name. If you are using an online portal to access your requested documentation and all that is visible is the salutation and your first name (Example: Welcome Joe), this will meet the name requirement.

What are the acceptable file types?

The only acceptable file types are .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps. Any other formats will not be reviewed, and your application will remain incomplete. You may upload multiple files within a .zip file. All files within a .zip file must be in one of the acceptable file types listed above.

Why can't I upload a Word document?

ISTS does not accept any file format that is editable.

One of the documents I uploaded has a status of Rejected. What do I do now?

Review the reason your document was rejected. Once you have corrected that issue, upload a new copy of your document.

How long does it take to process my uploaded documents?

Documents are processed daily. Your document will be processed within five (5) to seven (7) business days. If your document was uploaded prior to the deadline, it will be considered. However, it is your responsibility to monitor your Home page to ensure your document is Accepted.

The deadline has passed, and my documents are still Processing, what does that mean?

All documents must be reviewed for the required information and for accuracy. All documents uploaded prior to the application deadline will be reviewed and considered. It is your responsibility to monitor your Home page to ensure your document is Accepted and that your application status reads Complete.

How will I be notified about the status of my application?

Notifications are sent primarily via email to the email you used to create your account. Some programs offer text and voice notifications. Ultimately, it is your responsibility as the applicant to verify your application status on your Home page is Complete.

What notifications will be sent to me?

Deadline Reminders: Deadline reminder emails are typically sent two (2) weeks and one (1) week prior to the application deadline.

Selection Results: Selection result notifications are sent to all Complete applicants.

Other Scholarships: Occasionally, if you meet the requirements for another scholarship administered by ISTS, you will be notified. These notifications are not guaranteed.

Your information is never sold to any third party for marketing purposes.

Who will notifications be sent from?

You will receive notifications from two (2) possible ISTS email addresses: donotreply@applyists.com or contactus@applyists.com. You should add both of these email addresses to your "safe senders list" to ensure important emails are not sent to your spam or junk folder.

When will I receive notifications?

Deadline reminders are typically sent two (2) and one (1) week prior to the application deadline.

Can I opt out of notifications?

While you can opt out of notifications, this is not advised. It is your responsibility as the applicant to ensure your application is Complete. If you opt out of notifications, you will not receive deadline reminders and selection results. Your information is never sold to any third party. The only emails you will receive from ISTS are directly related to your application and possibly other scholarship opportunities.

What are my responsibilities if I am chosen as a recipient?

You must enroll as a full time undergraduate student in the fall of the year in which the scholarships are awarded, continue the entire academic year without interruption unless approved by scholarship sponsor, deliver your scholarship check(s) to the proper office at your institution with its attached instructions, and notify ISTS should your check not arrive within 30 days of the issue date. You will receive an email notification when your funds are issued.

How and when are checks issued?

Checks will be issued in early August. Your check will be made payable to your institution listed on your My Profile page only. Your scholarship check cannot be made payable to you, the applicant. The check will be mailed to your home address so that you may deliver it to the correct office at your institution. You will receive an email notification once your funds have been issued.

Are scholarships taxable?

Tax laws vary by country. In the United States, scholarship funds used exclusively for the payment of tuition and textbooks are normally not taxable. The scholarship recipient is responsible for taxes, if any, that may be assessed against your scholarship award. We recommend consulting your tax advisor for more guidance. You may also consult IRS Publication 970 for further information (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf).

Who administers this program?

To ensure complete impartiality in the selection of recipients and to maintain a high level of professionalism and security, the program is administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), a firm that specializes in managing sponsored scholarship, grant, tuition assistance, and tuition reimbursement programs.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

For additional information regarding the scholarship program click here to contact ISTS, email them at contactus@applyists.com(use subject line: GACS), or call them toll free at 855-670-4787. Our offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central.

For more details on your Home page, review the Home Page Tutorial section.