Apply To Be A 2017 Tillman Scholar - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Tillman Scholars represent a rich and diverse set of backgrounds, experiences and ambitions. They exemplify strong leadership potential and a drive to make a positive impact locally, nationally, and globally through their academic and career goals. The application to join the 2017 class of Tillman Scholars will be open until Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 11:59pm PT.  The following Frequently Asked Questions address Eligibility and Criteria, Documents and Information, Awards and Renewability, and Application Completion.

Eligibility & Criteria

1. What is a University Partner? How do I know if my school is a University Partner?  Pat Tillman Foundation University Partners can be found here. The University of Arizona is a University Partner school and is guaranteed one Tillman Scholar per year and they help facilitate the selection process. If you are applying as a Tillman Scholar at one of these schools, please note that if you switch your school of attendance after submitting your application, you must inform immediately. After March 20th, applicants may not move in or out of the University Partner track--this means that if you attend a non University Partner school after applying as a candidate at a University Partner institution, your application is not valid.

2. Does it matter where my institution of higher learning is located?  Yes, only those attending an American institution (main campus located in the U.S.) may apply to become a Tillman Scholar.

3. Do I need to be a full-time student?  Yes, applicants must plan on being enrolled full-time in their degree program during the award year(s) in order to be eligible. The definition of full-time status varies by degree program and can be verified with your Registrar’s office. Executive MBA (EMBA) students are eligible as long as your institution declares your program a full-time program.

4. Are students attending 2-year community or technical colleges or trade certification programs eligible to apply?  No, only those pursuing at least an undergraduate (bachelor’s degree or above) are eligible to apply.

5. What if I am taking my classes online?  Distance learners are eligible to apply provided they are full-time students.

6. I am working to obtain a certification in a particular field. Am I eligible to apply?  No, only those pursuing at least an undergraduate (bachelor’s degree or above) are eligible to apply.

7. Is there a minimum GPA requirement in order to be considered?  No, there is no minimum GPA requirement to apply. However, in order to be considered for scholarship renewability for subsequent years, a minimum 3.0 GPA must be earned and maintained.

8. I am the son/daughter of an Armed Forces veteran. Am I eligible to apply?  No, children are not eligible to apply for the Tillman Scholars program. Scholarships are available to military children through our partners at Fisher House Foundation, No Greater Sacrifice, ThanksUSA, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, among others.

9. My spouse was discharged from the military. Am I eligible to apply?  Yes, spouses of active military or veteran service members are eligible to apply, provided the service member was honorably discharged.

10. I am a service member and my spouse is a service member as well. Should I apply as a spouse or as a service member?  You should apply as a service member if you have served or are currently serving in the military.

11. What if I have not yet enrolled in a particular school? Can I still apply?  Yes, but you must be accepted and enrolled in the institution by the time the award is made in June 2014. “Waitlisted” applicants are eligible to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have applied to a University Partner institution but have not yet been accepted, becoming a Tillman Scholar is contingent upon being accepted to that particular institution. (see question number 1 for more details).

12. I see there is a background check. I’m concerned about an issue in my past. What’s your policy?  The Pat Tillman Foundation’s background check policy can be found here. Only those individuals who have been selected for a phone interview in May will be required to complete the background check.

Application Documents and Information

13. A question on the application is asking me to enter a date--what if I am not sure about the exact date?  If you do not know the exact date, please enter your best estimate.

14. I am having trouble uploading documents to the online application. What can I do?  Try using a different browser, computer or internet access. Ensure the naming convention and file format meets the requirements outlined on the application instructions. If the problem persists, please email with the issue and attach the document you are trying to upload.

15. Are essays required for this application?  Yes, there are two (2) required essays exploring the following areas: military and public service motivation and experiences; and academic, career and service ambitions.

16. Are letters of recommendation required for this application?  Each applicant will be required to provide one point of contact to provide a character recommendation. That person will receive a unique log-in from the Pat Tillman Foundation and will be required to answer three standardized short questions pertaining to your character (each question has a max word count of 100-200 words). Their recommendation will be confidential and the applicant will not be able to see it. The applicant will receive a notification from the system when their recommendation has been completed. An application is not considered eligible for submission until this recommendation has been completed. The recommender will not need to write a separate letter of recommendation. Please note the applicant must log into the application after the character recommendation is complete and submit their application in order for it to be considered by the Pat Tillman Foundation.

17. What if my recommender has not submitted the recommendation, and the deadline is coming up?  You may request a character recommendation from another individual. But please note the recommendation is required and you will not be able to submit the application unless a recommendation has been provided.

18. What documents are acceptable to confirm my/my spouse’s military service?  DD214 or valid personal service record, i.e. Officer Record Brief (ORB), Enlistment Record Brief (ERB), Basic Individual Record (BIR), Personal Data Record (PDR), Performance Summary Record (PSR) or Report on Individual Personnel (RIP) will be accepted. Please contact if you have additional questions.

19. What if I cannot obtain one of the listed military service documents?  We may accept other forms that verify military service. If you have any questions, please e-mail

20. I do not have a digital (soft) copy of my military service document. Can I fax or mail the hard copy in?  No, only documents uploaded to the online application will be accepted. Please scan and upload your hard document to convert it to a digital copy.

21. What if there is sensitive information (e.g. Social Security Number) included in my military service form and I do not want to transmit this over the internet?  Please be sure to black out your social security number before uploading the document.

22. I am hesitant about the security of the overall selection process and the security of the online application. What measures do you take to protect my information?  The Tillman Scholars selection process is directly supervised by a team of three employees at the Pat Tillman Foundation – the Director of Programs & Scholarships, the Scholarships Manager, and the Programs Manager. These staff members are the only individuals with access to all applications and application materials. After applications are complete, they are presented in a review process without identifying information to trained volunteer committee members. Your name, demographic information (including ethnicity and gender), and financial information will not be visible to the committee members. All committee members, as well as participating PTF staff members, are required to sign confidentiality agreements, which strictly prohibit use of applicant information for any purpose except for evaluation of the application. Throughout the process, all sensitive information is recognized and handled appropriately. The application is hosted on a secure site and you can read Fluid Review’s privacy policy here.

23. Is a transcript/academic record required for this application?  No, a previous transcript is not required.

24. What information do you require to substantiate my financial need?  As part of the application, you will be required to estimate financial information for the 2017-2018 academic year including:

  • Academic expenses (e.g., tuition, books, fees)
  • Living and personal expenses (e.g., insurance, childcare, rent, meals, transportation)
  • Sources of income (e.g., salary, GI Bill and other federal benefits, other scholarships) Please be sure to enter specific requests for joint (if married) and individual financial information.

25. The dollar amounts on the financial page do not fully represent my true need. How can I explain my financial circumstances further?  Use the response box on the financial page to explain your numbers or provide any further information that may help us better understand your situation or any anticipated changed more holistically.

Awards and Renewability

26. How much is the award amount if I am chosen as Tillman Scholar?  Selection as a Tillman Scholar is merit-based. Each Tillman Scholar’s financial award amount is determined on a case-by-case basis and is intended to meet each Tillman Scholar’s unique need. The exact amount will be based on both strength of the application and individual financial need. In 2015, the average scholarship amount was $15,000 per academic year.

27. I applied for this program last year and was not accepted. Can I apply again this year?  Yes, you may apply again. Many current Tillman Scholars applied in the past and were accepted on subsequent tries.

28. I used my scholarship funding as a Tillman Scholar to fund a previous degree. May I apply again for another degree?  No, scholarship funding can only be used toward a single degree per Tillman Scholar.

29. What types of expenses can I use my scholarship funds for should I be awarded?  Scholarship funds may be used to cover either academic or living expenses excluding the following: investments, vacation travel, business expenses or personal entertainment.

30. If selected as a Tillman Scholar, when will the award funds be available?  Funding will be sent to your institution no later than July 31, 2017.

Application Completion

31: I have completed my application but the system won't let me "submit" the completed application.  Please try going back through each page of the section and click "save" on each page. You should then be able to submit. If it's still not allowing you to do so after taking these steps, please email

32. When is the application due?  March 1 st 2017 at 11:59:59 PM PT.

33. Can I start the online application, save my inputs and return later to complete it?  Yes, you can save and exit at any time and return to saved work. Please note that you must hit “save and continue editing this page” in order to save the work on that page if the entire page is not completed.

34. When can I expect to hear about the status of my application?  All applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail upon submission of your application. All applicants will be notified about the status of their application by mid to late April 2017. Interviews will occur at the end of April for University Partner candidates and in mid May for non-University Partner candidates. All candidates will be notified of their acceptance by June 1. The 2017 class of Tillman Scholars will be announced in June 2017.