Find answers to the most frequently asked questions

Scholarship FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

General Application Questions

Why can’t I see anything beyond the eligibility form?

The eligibility form must be completed and submitted before the system will allow access to the rest of the application tasks. If you have submitted the eligibility form and the system has not opened the rest of the application, check that your submission/reference code is entered correctly, in the format shown, with no extra spaces. If the code was entered incorrectly, email AMAF Program Manager Emily Demko (emily.demko@ama-assn.org) and your application can be re-opened. You can also email Emily for other issues with the eligibility form not progressing.

Will I be notified when my application’s eligibility is approved?

No, you will not be notified regarding eligibility. You will know that you have completed and submitted the eligibility form correctly when the system shows other application tasks beyond the eligibility form. If the system has not progressed past the eligibility form and you believe this is in error, please email AMAF Program Manager Emily Demko (emily.demko@ama-assn.org).

The application form is not allowing me to move past a certain page. Why?

If the system is not allowing you to move beyond a page of the application, be sure all fields are complete. Always enter “N/A” in fields if necessary. The education and work experience charts have columns to the right that may not show on the screen view, so be sure to scroll over and be sure to complete them as well.

I can’t fit all of my research/activities/etc. in the space provided, what should I do?

We do not accept additional documentation of any kind, and space limitations are the same for everyone. It is up to the judgement of the applicant on what to include, or how to shorten the information appropriately to fit the space provided.

What is organized medicine?

Organized medicine refers to participation/membership in state, specialty, and/or national medical associations or societies, such as the AMA.

My recommender submitted the letter/form but the system is showing the task as not complete. Is something missing?

If your recommender has told you that they submitted their letter/form and the system still shows the task as incomplete, you probably need to click the blue “mark as complete” button under that task listing. If the letter/form has not been submitted, that “mark as complete” button will not allow a click. The status of the task will also change from “requested” to “received” when a form/letter is successfully completed/uploaded.

I don’t have a Step 1 score/haven’t taken the test yet. What can I submit instead?

If you have not taken the Step 1 test yet, your school can provide a letter on school letterhead stating this, and the expected date the test will be completed. If you have completed the Step 1 test do not have a score report for some reason, your school can also submit a letter on school letterhead stating your score. Letters from your school in lieu of the Step 1 score report can be uploaded by the applicant directly.

What is required in the personal statement/what should be included?

All personal statements should speak to your personal journey to medical school. If you are applying for a category that requires certain elements be discussed in your personal statement, be sure to include those as well. Those requirements can be checked at the main scholarship landing page on the portal.

I am having trouble uploading documents/My letter writer is having trouble uploading their recommendation letter. Can we email materials?

No – we do not accept application materials via email, mail, or fax under any circumstances. All materials must be uploaded via the application system. Be sure that you and recommenders attempt document upload well before the deadline.

Did you receive my completed application?

The system will send a generic, automated confirmation email when your application is submitted. The system will not allow incomplete applications (missing answers in forms, missing documents) to be submitted. Submissions will also not be allowed past the deadline.

Recommendation Requests & Registrar/Financial Aid Request Questions

Can my recommender that must be a faculty member be a faculty member at a different institution other than my medical school?

Absolutely! We just require that the letter writer hold a faculty position at a medical school.

What should recommenders include in their letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should go beyond statements of good academic standing. Recommenders should speak to the student’s involvement in other activities, financial need, and any other pertinent information that speaks to the student’s qualifications for a scholarship.

Who should the letter of recommendation be addressed to?

Letters of recommendation can be addressed to the scholarship review committee.

Will there be a form for the financial aid office/registrar to complete and how does that work?

The applicant invites the financial aid officer and registrar through the system to complete a form on their behalf. The applicant will enter the staff member’s email address, and the recommender will receive an email through the application system with a link. The recommender should then create an account through the link (using the same email address they received the request to) with a password of their choice. Once signed in, the financial aid officer or registrar will then see any pending recommendation requests in the system. This request system is the same for anyone writing letters of recommendation.

The name on the request email is wrong, even though I entered the correct email address. Can you fix this?

Unfortunately, this cannot be fixed due to a quirk of the system. The name does not have to be correct on the request, however, for the submission to be accepted or fulfilled and will not affect review scoring.

A student sent me a recommendation request that should go to someone else. Can you fix this?

The student can withdraw a request and re-send to someone else, if needed.

My recommender/letter writer can’t see any recommendation requests when they go to the portal. Can you help?

First, check that the email has not gone to the recommender’s spam/junk folder.
Then, check that the recommender is using the same exact email that you sent the request to. Sometimes schools have different variations on email addresses. While those variations may all go to the same inbox, the application system recognizes them as separate emails/accounts. Your recommender should sign in under the correct variation the request was sent to, and then should see the request.
If they are still not receiving the request, you may have to use an alternative email address, as sometimes institutions block those emails. Personal Gmail addresses always work, if that is an option.

My recommender submitted the letter/form but the system is showing the task as not complete. Is something missing/did it not upload correctly?

If your recommender has told you that they submitted their letter/form and the system still shows the task as incomplete, you probably need to click the blue “mark as complete” button under that task listing. If the letter/form has not been submitted, that “mark as complete” button will not allow a click. The status of the task will also change from “requested” to “received” when a form/letter is successfully completed/uploaded.

I am having trouble uploading documents/my letter writer is having trouble uploading their recommendation letter. Can we email materials?

No – we do not accept application materials via email, mail, or fax. All materials must be uploaded via the application system. Be sure that you and recommenders attempt document upload well before the deadline.

General Scholarship Program Questions

Can scholarship funds be used for other medical education costs?

No. The AMA Foundation requires that all scholarship funds be used for medical school tuition costs only, with no stipulations on the semester funds are applied towards.

What are the submission/reference codes? Do they change each year?

Each scholarship category has a unique code that applicants must enter in the eligibility form to proceed with the rest of the application. These codes change each year and are only distributed to medical school administration (deans and financial aid offices). Administrators can request codes for nominated students by emailing AMAF Program Manager Emily Demko at emily.demko@ama-assn.org.

What if I am taking a year off for research? Can I apply this year?

If you are taking a year off for research, to pursue an MBA, etc., you are eligible to apply either your third year of medical school, or as you are completing the year off from your home institution and heading back in the fall.

How many scholarships are awarded each year?

The number of scholarships awarded changes every year and is based on availability of funds. Typically, the General and Underrepresented in Medicine categories have 5-10 recipients each; other categories typically have 1-2 recipients each year.

How will we hear if we received a scholarship?

You will hear via email either way, whether or not you were selected for a scholarship.

Who reviews/selects recipients?

All applications are reviewed by volunteers, which include donors, AMAF Board Members, and others. Final decisions are approved by the AMAF Board of Directors prior to notifications being sent.

Can I email materials?

No – we do not accept application materials via email, mail, or fax. All materials must be uploaded via the application system. Be sure that you and recommenders attempt document upload well before the deadline.

Who can I contact with questions?

For any question not included here, please email AMAF Program Manager Emily Demko at emily.demko@ama-assn.org.