Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is State of Georgia residency required for a GEF scholarship?

Yes. A typical college-age applicant (approximately 18-22 years old) is considered a State of Georgia resident if they currently reside at a Georgia home address (when not attending an engineering college) AND graduated from a Georgia high school. An adult student that didn’t graduate from a Georgia high school is considered a State of Georgia resident if they currently reside at a Georgia home address AND have continuously resided in Georgia at least five (5) years before applying for a GEF scholarship.

These scholarships are intended for students who will remain residents in Georgia for their professional career. Applicants who have a home address from outside the State of Georgia and currently live in Georgia while attending college have high potential to move back out of state once they graduate.

Students who reside at a Georgia home address when not attending an engineering college but attend an out-of-state engineering college meet the Georgia residency requirement. Other criteria are discussed in other questions on this page or will be discussed during the application process.

What is the schedule for GEF’s scholarship awards?

The following steps show our intended schedule. The actual dates may vary due to issues beyond the control of GEF:

1. Scholarship applications go online at the GEF site late Spring or early Summer each year. The application must be completed and submitted online.

2. Reference letters are required for Freshman applicants. GEF prefers that applicants send the following online form via email to their reference providers: www.gefdevelop.wpengine.com/reference-request. Applicants may also upload PDF copies of reference letters during their Online Application submission.

3. A notice of receipt and a copy of the application are sent by a return email message to the email address provided in the application.

4. Applications are reviewed for completeness by the Scholarship Committee. Applications that are complete are then ranked by the Scholarship Committee and a shortlist established for interviews.

5. Top ranked applicants are contacted and scheduled for interviews mid-to-end of September (or as determined by the GEF Board of Directors). Upper classmen and graduate students are required to bring an official copy of their most current transcript to the interview (Directions for email, postal, or hand delivery of official transcripts will be provided as an alternative). If the applicant is not able to attend an on-campus interview, telephone interviews may be scheduled and conducted.

6. Interviews are accomplished and the resulting interview scores compiled by the Scholarship Committee. Application and interview scores are combined and a revised ranking is developed by the Scholarship Committee for potential scholarship award.

7. A final ranking list and recommendations for scholarship award is prepared and provided by the Scholarship Committee for presentation to the Georgia Engineering Foundation board for allocation of the awards.

8. Scholarship winners are notified and asked to attend the Scholarships Banquet for recognition and presentation of the awards in November (or as determined by the GEF Board of Directors).

When are applications due?

The Application submission process for the academic year starts and ends as established by the GEF Board of Directors and as posted on this website. All applications submitted AFTER the due date will not be reviewed or considered for scholarships or awards. Due to the volume of applicants each year, this deadline ensures that adequate time is given to review each application within a reasonable amount of time.

Incoming freshman are required to provide three letters of reference. What is desired and who should provide letters of reference?

Letters of reference are best provided by non-family members who have an extended relationship with the applicant. Provide names and email addresses, and we will send a form that they can quickly and easily complete and return to GEF.

How do I submit my letters of reference?

GEF prefers receiving letters of reference electronically through our website.  For consideration, they must be submitted by the end of the scholarship submittal period specified on the website. Once a person has agreed to provide a student with a reference letter, the student must send their personal link found on their application to the person providing the reference. The Reference must then complete the Online Reference Form. This online form reduces the delay between GEF and references, while preventing critical paperwork from being lost or misplaced. If there is technical trouble accessing the Online Reference Form, please contact the Scholarship Chair.

Please note: Applicants may also upload PDF copies of reference letters during their Online Application submission and file names must follow standard filename convention.

What are the accreditation requirements?

Accreditation is a review process to determine if an educational program or institution meets certain standards to qualify. Accreditation status is not permanent, and must be renewed through period review. Also, some colleges and universities offer both ABET and non-ABET accredited programs. Applicants should investigate the accreditation of their program. Please check to see that ABET has approved the program (Programs currently pending ABET accreditation are not considered to be acceptable. The program must be accredited at the time of the application.)

Engineering Accreditation – ABET: The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is a non-governmental organization that accredits post-secondary education programs in “applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology”. Note that some programs are accredited by agencies other than ABET, but the Georgia Engineering Foundation policy requires ABET accreditation for all scholarships. The only exception is scholarships funded by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE) Atlanta Area Section, which also require the ACCE accreditation in addition to ABET (see below for details).

Construction Management Accreditation – ACCE: The American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) is a national accreditation agency for Construction Management programs. Accreditation by ACCE is required in addition to ABET for consideration of scholarships awarded by the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE) Atlanta Area Section.

How do I find out if my program meets GEF’s accreditation requirements?

The Department Chair, Dean or other college or university representative can confirm the current accreditation status. Alternatively, you can go to the ABET Web Site (for Engineering Programs) or the ACCE Web Site (Construction Management Programs) to confirm program status. If still not sure, call the ABET or ACCE office to ask if the status of your program has changed.

What if I am pursuing a masters or PHD program in engineering?

Masters and PhD programs are not required to be ABET accredited, but they must be in an Engineering program of study at a recognized College or University.

Can I apply if I am attending a school outside Georgia?

Yes, as long as it is within the USA and the program meets the Georgia Engineering Foundation accreditation requirements (see above).

If I won a scholarship in a previous year, am I eligible to enter again this year?

Yes, if the scholarship program sponsor says you are not eligible for that award, you would be entered for any other scholarship program(s) for which you qualify.

How are scholarship winners determined?

The answers to questions in the applications are used to rank and compare according to criteria established by the GEF Board, and a formula is used to assign points and cumulatively rank the applications for interviews in a spreadsheet. Additional criteria from the interviews are added and calculated by the point system to establish the final ranking of all acceptable applications for allocation. The Scholarship Committee hosts an allocation meeting for GEF members to collectively review the specific scholarship criteria for each scholarship sponsor, and allocates awards using the overall ranked application list and the criteria for each scholarship.

Are high school undergraduates eligible for GEF scholarships?

Only high school seniors who have been accepted to an ABET accredited program in the fall are eligible to apply.

Do I have to attend the banquet to receive my scholarship award?

No, but it is highly desired to give you the chance to meet the persons responsible for funding the scholarship. If you cannot attend, you will be asked to send a family member to attend to represent you and receive the scholarship award.

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