Frequently Asked Questions


The Carpe Diem Foundation of Illinois is committed to helping students who have demonstrated outstanding achievements, exceptional leadership ability and a serious commitment to community service.

A. Who should apply?

The Carpe Diem Foundation of Illinois is not able to offer new scholarships for the Fall 2013 Term. We will continue to fully fund all scholarships that have previously been granted, pursuant to our existing criteria.

We will re-evaluate whether we are in a position to fund new grants from time to time.

B. Does anyone have a priority to receive this scholarship?

Yes. We want to assist families who have demonstrated a commitment to public service. Priority is given to students whose parents are or have been employed in public service positions such as education; local, state or federal government; social service; public health (including medical providers); the administration of justice and the fine arts.

However, the scholarship is not limited to individuals in the priority groups listed above. Also, while it is not based on financial need, other scholarships which you receive will be taken into account. If you believe that you are going to make a real difference in the world and you can demonstrate that you have already taken actions which have improved people's lives through service organizations in your school and the community, then you should apply.

C. Do you have to major in a specific area of interest, if awarded the scholarship?

You do not have to declare a major if you are a high school senior or college freshman. We do expect you to have a vision for the future and be able to describe your role in pursuing your goals.

You are expected to follow your vision of how to make the world a better place. We expect you to grow and develop as a leader.

D. What is the amount of the scholarship and what do I have to do to keep it?

All scholarships will be $1,500 per year for tuition, room, board and books at U.S. accredited educational institutions. The scholarship is granted for 1 year only. It may be be renewed for up to four years if the Foundation's endowment is sufficient to do so, and the Board approves. Winners must submit copies of their grade reports (transcripts) each semester, maintain a B+ average in their course work, participate in one or more activities that improve the quality of the academic and social life of your community and must be enrolled as a full-time student of the educational institution during the term of the scholarship.

E. What costs are involved to apply?

We have instituted a $10 application processing fee so that our limited endowment can make more scholarships available rather than be spent on administrative costs. Other costs incurred will include the cost of an official school transcript and postage. Again, this is a merit-based grant. It is very competitive and is not based on financial need.

F. Can I send additional documentation?

Only one to two pages and only if it is absolutely necessary to explain a section of the application. DO NOT SEND books, binders or large volumes of paperwork. An art, music, or creative writing portfolio would be the only exception. However, CD's or a reference to a website are preferred to hard copy portfolios. If you want the material returned, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. We cannot guarantee the return of your documents, but will make every effort to do so.

G. Do I have to send samples of creative writing/poetry, graphic arts/artwork or musical or theatrical performance?

To be considered for your achievement in the arts, you must submit representative samples of your work. Theatre and Music tapes, CDs, DVDs and creative writing samples will not be returned. Art portfolios are more expensive, and we will attempt to return them. If you want the samples returned, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. We cannot guarantee the return of your samples, but will make every effort to do so. Art can be submitted on a CD, or if viewable on a web site, give us the web address. For theatre and music, it is better if the performance is a solo. We want to see what you can do.

H. What information do you want regarding research project?

If you worked with a teacher/professor on a research project, please explain in your application. If you conducted an independent research study that was not a class assignment, please explain. If published, please supply citation.

I. What standardized test scores are required?

We must have a score for either the old SAT, the new SAT or the ACT. If you took both the SAT and ACT, supply both test results. Supply SAT II test scores for any subject tests you have taken.

J. On the short essays, do you want 200 words per question?

200 words is the maximum per question. You may write less.

K. Do I also need to write a long essay?

Yes. No more than 500 words.

L. What is the Honor Statement on the application?

After reading the Honor Statement, all that is required is your signature. Your signature verifies that all the application materials are submitted with integrity.

M. Do I send my transcript with the application?

If your school will allow it, enclose the transcript in a sealed envelope with your application. Some schools will insist on sending your transcript separately. Do not delay in sending your application because the school cannot give you a transcript before our deadline. Request your transcript immediately upon deciding to apply for this scholarship so that the school has time to fulfill your request.

N. Can I have a high school counselor complete the community service recommender portion?

Yes, but send a brief note of explanation why someone other than a community/church/social leader is completing the questionnaire. It is in your best interest to have someone NOT associated with your school complete the community service recommendation.

O. Can I use more than one recommender?

No. Only one teacher and one community leader. Give your recommender plenty of time to complete your request. Do not wait until the last minute to contact your recommender.

P. Can the teacher and community service recommendations be sent in separately?

Only if it is absolutely necessary and totally unavoidable. We will make every effort to match your application with the recommendations, but we cannot guarantee our efforts will be successful. Talk with your recommenders early. Do not hold your application waiting for letters from your recommenders. Do not miss the deadline for receipt of your application.

Q. When will I hear whether I have been awarded the scholarship?

If you are chosen to receive a scholarship, you will be notified by August. Following notification a short paragraph or two about each winner will be posted on our website.

Earlier in the evaluation process the names of Honorees (honorable mention) and Semifinalists are posted on our website. Some applicants from the Semifinalist group are selected for telephone interviews. Following further evaluation the scholarship winners are selected from the interviewed group.

After winners are notified certificate packets are mailed to all Honorees and Semifinalists acknowledging their level of achievement in the competition.

R. Where can the scholarship be used?

The scholarship can only be used at accredited U.S. educational institutions. This includes colleges and universities, conservatories of music, schools of design and academies of the arts.

S. How many scholarships are awarded per year?

In 2012, we granted 19 scholarships.

T. Why is this scholarship offered? Why should you apply?

This Foundation was created in honor of Mabel E. Greenspon. Mabel E. Greenspon was a master teacher who believed that her students could make the world a better place to live. She put her money to work to provide you with the opportunity to become a leader. Don't let your opportunity be wasted. Carpe Diem!

U. How do you apply for the scholarship?

You must download the application package which includes the: Application Form, three essay questions, Teacher Recommendation form and Community Service Recommendation form. Complete the application form, two short essay questions and long essay, secure the recommendations and an official transcript, enclose the $10 application fee and send your completed application packet to the Foundation.

V. Can I fax my application or parts of my application?

No. We will not accept any faxes.

W. How should I mail the application?

We are not currently accepting scholarship applications.

If you have a question not covered above, please e-mail the foundation and you will receive a response as soon as possible.