Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility & Selection Criteria


My Scholarship

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Q: Who can apply for the award?

Any graduating senior in the San Francisco Unified School District who has plans to attend any accredited educational program in the fall of the year of the award is eligible to apply.

Q: What type of students do you choose for the Award?

Although any SFUSD graduating senior may apply, the award is primarily designed to meet the needs of economically underserved students. Applicants are evaluated in many areas including attendance record, recommendations, and grade point average, but their essays and financial need is given the most weight. All recipients who have clearly demonstrated that they are committed to pursuing their education are eligible.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA (grade point average) requirement?

This award targets students with a 2.0 to 3.5 GPA. We give priority to students who may have more trouble receiving scholarships based on academic performance and immigrant status. We value a student’s demonstrated commitment to their education more than the highest GPA.

Q: Can I apply if I do not have a Social Security Number?

Yes! You do NOT need a Social Security Number to apply. Later we will ask you for your student ID for our records.

Q: Should I bother applying if I have no financial need?

Yes, students are evaluated in many areas including attendance record, personal recommendations, grade point average, personal essays, as well as financial need. Your personal essay garners almost as much points as your financial need. Students with a strong essay and financial need are likely to place higher.

Q: Can I receive the scholarship if I’m attending a vocational or training program like a culinary, cosmetology, or technical training program and NOT a university or college?

Yes! We want to help you pursue the education program that inspires you. All forms of education beyond high school are applicable.

Q: Other scholarships denied me because my grades were not high enough, is the Maisin Award the same?

No, we are unlike other academic scholarships. If you are dedicated to continuing your education, can exhibit strong commitment to pursue your academic goal, and have at least a 2.0 GPA, you are eligible and highly considered.



Q: I have questions about completing my Online Application. Is there anyone who can help me?

If possible, ask a counselor, teacher, or parent for assistance. Otherwise, we are happy to answer any questions you might have. Please email us at [email protected]

Q: How should I submit my application?

Applications are now completely paperless and must be submitted using our online application link by the first Friday in March annually. We do not accept applications sent via fax or e-mail.

Q: How many students apply for the Maisin Scholar Award?

Each year, we receive roughly 700 applications. Out of those submissions, we select 75 winners. That means you have an excellent chance of receiving the award if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Q: Do I have to submit financial documents like tax returns?

Although we do not require these tax returns to complete the online application, we reserve the right to request tax returns or any supporting documents such as pay statements from your parents/guardians to provide ample evidence of income reported.


My Scholarship

Q: Can I only use my scholarship for tuition?

The award is applied towards tuition and student fees. If your tuition is covered, or the scholarship exceeds tuition, the funds will be issued to you from the institution and may be used for school-related expenses such a books.

Q: When do I receive my scholarship?

If you have submitted all of the necessary forms, we distribute checks in early August to your school. You will provide information of the office or department we should send the check to, but we will usually mail the disbursements to the Financial Aid office or Scholarship Office at your institution.

Q: Is the check sent directly to me?

No. The award is mailed directly to your school or educational institution.

Q: How is the money distributed?

If you are attending a four-year college/university, we instruct your school to divide the award over the semester or quarters of the school year. For example, if you are attending a school on the semester system (such as San Francisco State), half of your scholarship will be applied towards your Fall tuition and the other half will be applied in the Spring. If you attend school based on a quarter system, we split your scholarship equally between all quarters you are enrolled.

If you are attending a community college then you are required to re-apply for your spring disbursement after the fall semester.

Q: Do I still receive my award if I’m only going to school part-time?

We will award you a partial scholarship based on your enrollment status.

Q: Will I still receive my scholarship if I change schools?

Your award follows you wherever you go. However, you must alert us of any changes immediately; otherwise your check will be sent to the wrong school. We are not responsible for sending the award to an incorrect school if you have not informed us otherwise.

Q: Is the Maisin Award a one year or multi-year scholarship?

This is a multi-year scholarship of up to 4 years but you must renew each subsequent year to qualify.