Frequently Asked Questions

1Why is Alexander Hamilton your namesake?
Alexander Hamilton was one of our country's only founding fathers who did not rise to his leadership role from a background of advantage and privilege. Since 2004 we have been working to preserve his legacy by investing in the higher education attainment and leadership development of our country's brightest and least advantaged youth.
2What judging criteria are used to determine Hamilton Award Winners?
Hamilton Scholars evaluates three factors. These include: achievement, service, and financial and/or personal need. Achievement considers scholastic, entrepreneurial and personal achievement. Service considers service to school and service to community. Financial and/or personal need takes the applicant's financial, family and community challenges into consideration. In addition, we also choose students who are committed to participating in the five-year Hamilton Leaders Academy.
3What other factors will be used to judge applicants' submission?
Students are expected to use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar in their applications. Students who submit applications with misspelled words, typos or slang will be marked down.
4Will I be interviewed?
60 Finalists for the Hamilton Award will be interviewed via phone. Interviews will occur in late March/early April. Applicants who are not chosen for an interview may still be eligible to win a Merit Award. All Finalists will receive a certificate and letters of recognition.
5What is a Merit Award?
A Merit Award is a recognition of outstanding achievement. Merit award winners receive a Merit certificate and letters of congratulations, but do not receive a cash award or an invitation to participate in the Hamilton Leaders Academy.
6If I am selected, what do I win?
Winners are automatically enrolled in the Hamilton Leaders Academy and receive the following: a $500 cash scholarship; an autographed copy of Richard Brookhiser's Alexander Hamilton, American; an autographed copy of William Chrystal's Hamilton by the Slice; proclamation signed by Doug Hamilton the fifth great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton; a Hamilton pin courtesy of the Hamilton family and letters of congratulations. Bio-sketches of winners appear on this website and news releases are sent to city, state, and federal elected officials as well as local newspapers. The Hamilton Leaders Academy is a no student cost program that helps students get into college, transition to college, and succeed while in college. Some of the services provided by the Hamilton Leaders Academy include: individual college admissions assistance, peer and adult mentoring, training in vision and goal development, and internship programs. Read more about the Hamilton Leaders Academy .
7Do I have to participate in the Hamilton Leaders Academy if I win?
The Hamilton Award is our mechanism for choosing students to participate in the Hamilton Leaders Academy. Students who win the award are expected to participate in the Hamilton Leaders Academy.
8What is required of students who win the Hamilton Award?
Students who win the award are expected to participate in the Hamilton Leaders Academy. This means students need to participate in conference calls, complete vision and goal setting activities and attend the Seattle Leader Week after completing their senior year in high school. We estimate that the work leading up to the Seattle Leader Week will add up to around 20 hours over a 10-month time period. The Seattle Leader Week lasts one week and occurs at the end of June 2015. Students who participate in Seattle Leader Week earn the designation of Hamilton Scholar.
9Will it cost me any money to participate in the Hamilton Leaders Academy programs?
No, the Hamilton Leaders Academy is an all-expense paid program for students who win the Hamilton Award.
10How do you define financial need?
There is no firm income cut-off for our program. However, we focus primarily on students who come from families earning less than $60,000 annually. If you come from a household earning more than this amount, but still feel that you have faced economic hardship, there is room on the application to explain your situation. Additional information we take into consideration includes: number of people in your household, cost of living in your area and extenuating circumstances that may make it difficult for your family to pay for college.
11How do you define personal need?
When considering a student's need we also take a student's family situation, community situation, educational opportunities and any other personal barriers they have faced into consideration.
12How many students are selected?
35 to 40 students will win the award and be enrolled in the Hamilton Leaders Academy. An additional 25 students will be named Finalists and 40 will receive Merit Awards.
13If I have additional questions, what should I do?
If you have additional questions, please email info@hamiltonscholars.org or call our office at 206-774-0764.