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Dingledine Scholarships

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I originally applied Regular Decision, but need to change my application to Early Action to apply for the Dingledine Scholarship?

If you have already submitted an online application as a Regular Decision freshman applicant, but want to change your status to Early Action, you can send an email prior to Nov. 1 requesting that change. All supplemental materials to support your application for admission (high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores), must be postmarked to the Office of Admission by the Early Action deadline. Send your email request to

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Can I apply for the Dingledine Scholarships before I am notified that I have been accepted to JMU?

Absolutely. The scholarship application deadline is before our acceptance notification date.

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Does a scholarship applicant have to receive an Early Action offer of admission to JMU to receive the Dingledine Scholarship?

Yes, all students invited to interview for the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarship will have also received an Early Action offer of admission to JMU.

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What is the difference between the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarships and the Madison Achievement Scholarships?

The primary difference in the two scholarships is the amount of the award. In selecting recipients, the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarships focus on service to others. The Madison Achievement Scholarships recognize a broad spectrum of accomplishment and potential. More about the Madison Achievement Scholarships »

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How many scholarship candidates will you interview for the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarships?

JMU interviews 50 candidates on campus in mid-February. Each student receives either a Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarship or a Madison Achievement Scholarship. Both awards require 3.00 cumulative GPA at the end of the spring semester for renewal each following year.

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Is there an alternative interview opportunity available if I am unable to travel to campus?

Eligibility for the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarships requires a face-to-face interview. Students who cannot come to the interview are still eligible for the Madison Achievement Scholarships.

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When will I hear from you about the scholarships?

Our approximate timeline is as follows:

  • February 1: Invitations to the scholarship interviews will be mailed no later than this date. Only applicants to be interviewed will be notified at this time.
  • Mid-February: Scholarship interviews on campus.
  • Mid-March: Award letters to interviewed candidates will be mailed no later than this date.
  • Mid-April: Additional Madison Achievement Scholarship award letters mailed.

All scholarship applicants, including those we do not interview, will remain in the scholarship applicant pool until all scholarships are awarded and accepted. We will not notify scholarship applicants who do not receive a scholarship.

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Will you accept and use the official high school transcripts and SAT and ACT scores that I have sent with my freshman application?

You will need to send a separate official high school transcript with your scholarship materials. We ask you to self-report your most current SAT and/or ACT scores on the scholarship application. The Office of Admissions will update your scholarship application with any new SAT or ACT scores.

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Can I send you an attached extracurricular resume?

Although we recognize that most students have prepared an activities and awards resume, we require that you transfer that information to the scholarship application. If you need extra space, feel free to attach an additional sheet, but the basic format needs to follow the scholarship application.

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Can my letters of recommendation be from anyone? Can I use the same recommendation I submitted in my application for admission?

Your letters of recommendation can be from anyone. It is your decision who can best provide information about you to the scholarship committee. One of your letters of recommendation can be the same letter of recommendation submitted with your freshmen application; however, it is your responsibility to ensure that a second copy accompanies your scholarship application.

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Can I print recommendation letters that have been emailed to me to include with the rest of my application materials?

Yes, you may make a copy of an email recommendation, but the information should include contact information for the person preparing the recommendation. (Here is a tip: a formal letter displaying the signature of the preparer is more impressive.)

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Can my letters of recommendation arrive separately from the scholarship application?

We understand that preparers of recommendations often prefer a confidential letter; however, we need all your scholarship application materials to come in one package. Therefore we suggest that the person writing your letter of recommendation place the letter in a sealed envelope and sign across the seal.

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Can I use the personal statement from my freshmen application as an answer to an essay question?

A faculty committee will review your scholarship essays, while the JMU Office of Admissions committee will review your application for admission, therefore, we will not notice the duplication. However, be careful when preparing your scholarship essays to directly address the questions. There is no question to prompt you for the admissions application personal statement.

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Does it matter if a scholarship applicant is a Virginia or non-Virginia resident?

All entering freshmen applicants are eligible to apply for Dingledine Scholarships, regardless of residency.

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Are these scholarships available for transfer students?

There is a Dingledine Scholarship available to transfer students graduating from a Virginia Community College with a transferable A.A, A.S., or A.A&S. degree with a 3.5 GPA. Learn more »

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Do I need to fill out financial aid information?

No, financial need is not a factor in the selection of the Dingledine Scholarships, however, we recommend that all applicants for admission to JMU also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as part of your preparation for college and your application for financial aid. The FAFSA priority filing date for JMU is March 1.

Are there any freshmen scholarships available without submitting the Dingledine Scholarship application?

Yes, a few JMU academic departments offer merit scholarships that require a test rather than an application, but we will identify the majority of freshmen merit awards through the Dingledine Scholarship application. Departments with scholarships awarded outside of the Dingledine Scholarships will contact potential candidates directly. View all prospective student scholarships »

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If I receive a Dingledine Scholarship, am I required to participate in the mentorship program?

Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholars are required to participate in a mentorship program with Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Kevin Gibson. This is a great opportunity. It is our intention to support students who have received this prestigious award by providing resources to transition into the JMU community, and to continue the level of involvement that was recognized in receiving this scholarship.

Scholarship recipients who opt to leave the mentorship program in subsequent years are not eligible for the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine Scholarship award that academic year. Students who request to leave the program and return in a later semester must submit that request to Mr. Gibson with a reasonable explanation.

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Are there additional requirements for the Madison Achievement Scholarships?

Yes. Students must achieve a 3.0 cumulative JMU grade point average by the end of each academic year to qualify for renewal. Some scholarships have additional requirements which will be clearly stated in the award letter.

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