Information on completing the application and corresponding with ESF

The scholarship is intended for students of Estonian heritage studying full-time in a Bachelor or Master degree program at an accredited academic institution in the USA, Estonia or elsewhere.

Application Portal Is
Closed

Not following the instructions is cause for disqualification and/or forfeiture of the scholarship

General directions

THE ENTIRE APPLICATION PROCESS IS ONLINE, NOTHING IS TO BE MAILED

DUE TO THE EXTRAORDINARY TIMES, THE TIMEFRAME FOR THE APPLICATION PORTAL IS CHANGED 

Applications are accepted on a first come first served basis starting February 1st, 2021

The portal closes upon receipt of 200 applications or on March 1st, 2021

Maximum scholarship is $7,000 (USD)

 

Timeline

Feb 1  | Application portal opens – ESF begins accepting applications

      Candidate receives emailed auto confirmation of submission

March 1 | Portal closes if application limit has not already been reached

      Deadline for recommendation letter to be received by ESF  

May 15 | Candidates begin receiving email notification of ESF’s decision

July 30 | Deadline for notifying ESF of changes to academic plans

Sept 1 | ESF begins accepting emailed proof of registration/matriculation (R/M) for the fall  semester from scholarship recipients

Upon ESF receipt of R/M, stipend is remitted to student's bank account

Oct   1  | Deadline for ESF receipt of proof of R/M for fall semester

             Scholarship is revoked if proof of R/M is not received

 

Correspondence - ESF’s NEW EMAIL - toetusfond@esfusa.org

  • Add ESF to your contact list to avoid spam filters or being blocked
  • All correspondence with ESF is via email: toetusfond@esfusa.org
  • The email entered into the application must be valid through the upcoming academic year
  • All ESF emails must be replied to within one week

 

Application

  • Ensure all MANDATORY ATTACHMENTS are available and formatted for uploading prior to filling out the online application (refer to Technical Tips)
  • Only one application is accepted per candidate each academic year
  • ASAP - send RECOMMENDATION LETTER instructions to the provider
  • Prepare all answers prior to starting the online application
    • The application must be completed and submitted in the same session
    • The application cannot be saved to be resumed later
    • Once submitted, changes or additional information CANNOT be sent
    • Answers are 40, 200 or 1,000 characters (including spaces)
  • All financial information must be converted to USD

 

Language

  • The application must be filled out in Estonian
    • Candidates born/schooled outside of Estonia may use English and Estonian
  • All documents originating in Estonia must be in Estonian
    • Documents originating elsewhere must be in English or Estonian
    • Documents not in English or Estonian must be accompanied by English or Estonian translations

Mandatory documents

Attachments to upload with the application

  1. Transcript(s)
  2. Personal Essay
  3. Photo
  4. Other Documents (GPA calculations, translations, grading systems, explanations, etc.)

Emailed directly to toetusfond@esfusa.org by the recommendation provider

  1. Confidential Letter of Recommendation
1. TRANSCRIPT(S) PDF (less than 5 MB)
  • Official transcript must be in Estonian or English
  • If the school is not in Estonia or the USA, include the school’s official explanation of the grading system
  • Master’s students must include prior transcript(s)
  • All high school seniors and college freshmen must include grade 9-12 transcript(s). If in Estonia, they must include the Estonian national exam results 
  • Transcript must include recent fall semester’s grades
    • If not available, a letter written by an academic advisor detailing the candidate’s achievements and class ranking during the fall semester, must be uploaded with OTHER DOCUMENTS. It must be on official letterhead, signed and dated
  • Transcript must show the cumulative GPA
    • If not available, or not on a 4 or 5 point scale, cumulative GPA must be calculated on a 4 or 5 point scale and uploaded with OTHER DOCUMENTS

If the school’s grading system has been changed/adapted due to Covid-19 (e.g. classes are pass/fail) upload the official explanation of how cumulative GPA is determined

2. PERSONAL ESSAY PDF (less than 1 MB)
  • Must be no longer than one page
  • Topic is to be selected by the candidate
  • Essays from previous years addressed topics such as:
    • What inspires you about your field of study
    • A life changing event, person, or challenge
    • Previous ESF recipients could write about the previous year’s impact on them and their outlook

Do not reuse essays written for previous ESF applications

3. PHOTO JPG, JPEG, PNG (less than 1 MB)
  • Passport style and size
4. OTHER DOCUMENTS PDF (less than 5 MB)
  • GPA calculations, translations, grading systems, explanations, etc.
    • Merge all document into one PDF for uploading

Technical instructions

  • Download the latest version of the browser
  • Remove the pop-up blocker
  • MANDATORY ATTACHMENTS
    • All Transcripts must be merged into a single PDF (less than 5 MB)
    • Personal Essay must be in PDF format (less than 1 MB)
    • Photo must be in JPG, JPEG or PNG format (less than 1 MB)
    • Other Documents must be merged into a single PDF (less than 5 MB)
      • Merging Documents
        • Free online software is available
        • Apple Preview can be used
        • Use black and white settings to minimize file size

Confidential recommendation letter

The following information should be sent to the recommendation provider in a timely manner

The confidential recommendation letter must be received by ESF by March 1st, 2021        

The Candidate may select either an academic or a personal letter to be sent on their behalf which addresses the ESF criteria….”The Estonian Student Fund USA awards scholarships to students who demonstrate academic excellence, community leadership and a commitment to making a contribution to Estonian language, culture and society.”

  • The letter must be sent by the recommendation provider directly to toetusfond@esfusa.org
    • Must be sent as a PDF attachment (less than 1 MB)
    • The subject line must read:
      •  “Candidate’s Last Name, First Name – ESF Recommendation Letter”
  • Must be written on organizational letterhead and include the recommender’s
    •  Name, contact information, signature, date
  • If the provider is not fluent in Estonian, the letter may be written in English

 

               The Academic Letter of Recommendation

  • Must by written by a teacher, department head or advisor who has taught or advised the candidate within the past two years
  • Must provide information on the candidate’s recent academic progress, achievements, current class standing and why they are a worthy candidate
  • May include comments on the candidate’s character, personal qualities and/or community leadership
  • Must include specific details such as the length of time the provider has known the candidate and in what capacity

 

                The Personal Letter of Recommendation

  • Must be written by someone who has associated with the candidate within the past two years
  • May be written by a former teacher, workplace supervisor, organization officer or religious leader but cannot be written by a family member, relative or friend
  • Must comment on the candidate’s character, personal qualities and/or community leadership and why they are a worthy candidate
  • Must include specific details such as the length of time the provider has known the candidate and in what capacity