Institute For Women

West Chester University

Alicia Hahn-Murphy
Lawrence Center 220
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2122
Fax: 610-436-3160


Frequently Asked Questions


When can I apply for a Newcombe Scholarship?

Applications are available shortly after the start of WCU’s spring semester, and the Women’s Center tries to notify by email all those that prequalify. The application deadline normally falls around mid-March. For this year’s official deadline, please view our online application, which can be accessed here.


How many Newcombe scholarships are awarded each year, and how much is awarded?

There is no fixed number of Newcombe scholarships to be awarded, and the number of awards generally corresponds to the quality of the applicants of a given year. Historically, the number of scholarships awarded has been in the range of 20-30 per year, and are awarded in several different amounts, ranging from $500 to $3,500.


I will be graduating in the Fall Semester. Am I still eligible?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled in at least nine credits during the fall semester of your graduation, you are still eligible. If selected, the full amount of your scholarship will be applied to your account during the fall semester.


I already have a Bachelor's degree. Am I still eligible?

No. The Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship is only available to mature women students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree.


What if I'm not currently enrolled in classes for the upcoming year?

You may apply for the scholarship without being enrolled in classes, but if you are selected to receive a scholarship, you must take a minimum of 9 credits each semester or the scholarship will be revoked.

I am a previous recipient of the Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship. Can I reapply?

Yes! Prior recipients who still meet all of the eligibility requirements are may reapply.


What is a FAFSA, and where can I fill one out?

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Anyone who wants financial aid for college needs to fill out a FAFSA. All federal grant and loan awards are determined by the FAFSA, and nearly all colleges use the FAFSA as the basis for their own financial aid awards. You may fill out a FAFSA online at or pick up a paper copy at WCU’s Office of Financial Aid. Applicants for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship MUST fill out and submit a FAFSA and submit the FAFSA by

March 1st.

I'm an international student, so I don't file a FAFSA. Can I still apply?

Yes! As an international student, you may disregard the FAFSA requirement, but please include a statement in your application essay that says you didn’t submit a FAFSA because you are an international student. Also, please describe in your essay the financial responsibilities that make it difficult to attend or stay in college. The selection committee members award scholarship amounts based on financial need.


Do you have any tips for writing a great application essay?

Of course! The essay is the portion of the application that provides the selection committee with the opportunity to get to know you, so be as honest and specific as possible when discussing your life circumstances, financial responsibilities, and career goals. Really think about the things in your life that make it difficult for you to attend and stay in college. These reasons might include a disability, illness, childcare or eldercare responsibilities, or financial problems, to name only a few possibilities. Tell us your story!


While there are no minimum or maximum word requirements for the essay, we have noticed that the most successful applicants usually supply an essay that is between two and three double-spaced pages long.


How do I ask someone to write me a letter of recommendation?

Charlotte W. Newcombe Scholarship applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation with their application. At least one letter of recommendation must be from a professor in your major.


Try to ask people who know you and your work the best. Academic or professional references are always preferable to references from friends or family members. When you ask someone to write you a recommendation make a strong effort to do so at least one month in advance of the application due date.


Although not necessary, you may find it helpful to supply the person with a Newcombe Scholarship letter of recommendation form. Feel free to go ahead fill in your basic information for them. If needed, supply them with information of awards, volunteering, outside community activities, or pertinent information that they may not know so that they are best able to represent your qualifications. Follow up within a week prior to the deadline you established to see if they need any additional information.


The recommendation does NOT need to be sealed, and can be given to you directly. In fact, it is preferable that you send all application materials in one package (see below).


I am a transfer student. Can I submit a letter of recommendation from a professor at my previous college?

Yes. You are required to submit two letters of recommendation, of which at least one must be from a professor in your major. A recommendation from a professor at your previous university is perfectly acceptable.