Online Scholarship Application

2021-2022 Academic Year

Oct. 26, 2021

Nov. 21, 2021

11:59 p.m.

Letter of Recommendation
Dec. 5, 2021

11:59 p.m.

Matching and
Committee Review
February 2022

March 2022


Here are some links to instructional videos to help you with the application process.

Even though some videos may demonstrate using a prior year application, the overall process is still valid.

How to Access the Scholarship Application
Overview of Documents Needed
Walk-thru of the Scholarship Application



You will find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions below. Please read this page entirely to help make the application process easier for you.

The Application:
  • Only students currently enrolled at Rio Hondo College will be considered and awarded scholarships.
  • To complete an application you must log into your Rio Hondo College AccessRio student account, click on the Finances menu and click on the Apply Here for Scholarships banner. Applications submitted through old saved links or using an email other than your student email ( will not be accepted.
  • Once an application has been submitted, you will NOT be able to make changes. Incomplete applications will not be considered for scholarships. Please review your application thoroughly prior to submitting. You may save your application and return to it as many times as you would like until you feel ready to submit.
  • Applications will not be accepted after the posted application submission deadline for any semester.
  • There is a 45-minute time out feature while working in the application. Every time you go to the next page you start with another 45 minutes. As you answer each question and navigate to the next question, your information is saved. If the application times out due to inactivity you will lose unsaved information. You will get a brief warning before the application closes.
Documents/information needed to fill out the scholarship application:
  • Your Rio Hondo College student ID number.
  • Completing your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application is required before submitting your online scholarship application since many scholarships are need based.
  • An electronic PDF copy of your current and complete Rio Hondo College unofficial transcript with cumulative GPA and schedule of current classes to upload into your application.
  • Electronic PDF copies of unofficial transcripts from other colleges or universities.
  • First-semester college students and high school graduates must have a high school transcript on file at Rio Hondo College and a PDF copy to upload to their application.
  • Campus, community and volunteer information.
  • A list of honors, awards or achievements and when they were earned.

Information in your Rio Hondo student record such as GPA, declared major, Education Plan details and number of units completed or enrolled will be used as part of the process to match you to possible scholarships. Please review your AccessRio student information to be sure your student record and Educational plan are up to date and correct.

Who Am I Essay:

Before you start the online application, we recommend that you write and save your 300-900-word essay “Who Am I?”. The essay is a requirement for submission of your application. You will be able to cut and paste your essay into the application. Pay close attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling. If you need assistance with the writing process for your essay, you can contact the Writers’ Resource Center.

Please write a personal statement including the following information:

  • Personal accomplishments
  • Personal and/or academic adversities you have overcome
  • Why you have chosen to attend college
  • Future educational and career goals, and the reasons for them
  • How receiving this award will impact your educational path
  • Other information that will help the Review Committee understand your current needs and future direction


Some scholarships include a special letter of recommendation requirement. Use the “Search Scholarships” menu option while you are in the application to view scholarship details and check for specific letter of recommendation requirements for the scholarships that may match your qualifications.

When asking a faculty or staff member for a letter of recommendation consider the following:
  • Does this professor/staff member know your name?
  • Did you take a class with this person or were you involved in another academic setting?
  • Can they provide information regarding your academics?
  • Can this person speak to how a scholarship will benefit you?
  • Can they speak on your behalf regarding your financial status or hardships?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above, set up a meeting with or email your recommender to ask them if they feel comfortable supporting you with a letter of recommendation.

Items you might want to have available for your recommender:
  • A copy of your resume, an autobiographical statement or copy of your essay “Who am I?”
  • Other documents, such as a copy of your unofficial transcripts, that will make it easier for your recommender to support you with a letter of recommendation.
If you recommender agrees to provide you with a letter of recommendation, be sure to:
  • Have the full name and correct spelling of email for person(s) providing you with letter(s) of recommendation. Incorrectly spelled emails are the number one reason a student does not receive a letter of recommendation.
  • Let them know to look for an email that will be sent from and when you plan on adding them to your application as a recommender. They may need to check their spam/junk folder if they don’t receive the email.
  • Let them know they will be submitting the letter of recommendation through an online form. Hard copy or emailed letters cannot be uploaded to the student’s application.
Other Letter of Recommendation considerations:
  • It is advisable that you list 2 or 3 recommenders in case one does not respond.
  • It is highly recommended that you log into your submitted application and monitor that your letters of recommendation have been completed.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with the recommender and send reminder emails.
  • Remember, a faculty member may have multiple students asking for a letter of recommendation. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for a recommendation as they may not be able to accommodate your request.


After the deadline has passed for submitting applications and Letters of Recommendation, all complete submitted applications will be  compared to the criteria for each scholarship. All applications that match the criteria will be evaluated by the Scholarship Review Committee.

Scholarship Matching:
  • Students will be matched with as many scholarships for which they qualify.
  • Scholarship applicants must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Some scholarships will require a higher minimum GPA.
  • Scholarships are both need-based and merit awards. The answers to the financial information questions and your financial need statement will both be reviewed during the matching process.
  • Scholarship recipients must meet ALL scholarship requirements during the semester for which the scholarship is sought in order to be eligible for that award. Students will forfeit the scholarship if eligibility changes after the scholarship is awarded.
  • Meeting the minimum application requirements and scholarship criteria does not guarantee that you will receive a scholarship.


Scholarship decision letters and all official communication will be sent to Rio Hondo student e-mail accounts. You may also log back into your application via the AccessRio portal to see if you have been awarded a scholarship.

Accepting your award:
  • You must accept the award by the deadline in order to receive your scholarship.
  • In addition, you must complete your thank you letter and send it to in order to have fulfilled all the requirements for your scholarship to be disbursed.
  • Scholarship awards will be presented at the Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony. Participation in the ceremony will be required from scholarship recipients unless otherwise stipulated.

This button will take you to the Rio Hondo College AccessRio page. Please log on using your college email and password. Click on the Finances menu and then scroll down to Apply Online for Scholarships and click the Apply Here for Scholarships button to launch the application. Fill out the application ONLY if you are logged into your AccessRio student account.