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Online Scholarship Application

2024 Academic Year

The scholarship cycle for Spring 2024 is open.

If you started your application in the fall you can complete it now in the spring while the application is open.
After April 16, 2024, the 2024 application will be closed and no further applications will be accepted.

Spring Application
April 8, 2024

Spring Application
April 18, 2024
8:00 a.m.

Letter of Recommendation
April 22, 2024

11:59 p.m.

Matching and
Committee Review
Extended until May 3, 2024

All Awards
May 7, 2024


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

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

How to Access the Scholarship Application

Overview of Documents Needed

It should only take 10-15 minutes to review and answer the questions on the scholarship application. Most of the information has been populated from your student record. Additional time will be needed to write your essay. 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:

Many of the fields on the application will display your information on file with Admissions and Records such as GPA, declared major, Education Plan details and number of units completed or enrolled. The information on the application will be used to match you to possible scholarships. If you believe any information is not correct, please contact Admissions and Records  immediately to update your record prior to submitting your 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 highly recommended before submitting your online scholarship application since many scholarships are need based. However, please submit an application even if you have not completed the FAFSA or CADAA. Some scholarships are merit based and awards are selected based on GPA.
  • 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.
  • 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 to be considered for scholarships with specific high school requirements .
  • Campus, community and volunteer information.


Some scholarships include a special letter of recommendation requirement. Use the “Scholarships Search” 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. You may complete the Letter of Recommendation section and send the request to your recommender before submitting your application. 

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 outside of the letter of recommendation process.

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 your letters of recommendation.
  • 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.


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


Early Matching:

If there is an early submission date, then applications submitted by the posted deadline will be pulled and reviewed for potential matches to available scholarships prior to the end of the cycle.

Scholarship Matching:

After the final 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.

  • 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. Your financial aid information 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 your Rio Hondo student e-mail account. You may also log back into your application via the AccessRio portal to see if you have been awarded a scholarship.

Accept your award and complete the Thank You Letter:

  • Some scholarships require the student to accept the award by the deadline in order to receive your scholarship.
  • Some scholarships require a thank you letter. You must submit a thank you letter for these awards in order to have fulfilled all the requirements and 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.