Applicants must list the contact information for one reference, preferably one being a Seattle College staff or faculty member, a second reference is optional. Ask references you are considering beforehand if they are available and willing to write a positive reference. Then enter their name and email addresses on the application. A link will be sent to each email address to complete the reference questionnaire.

The application site will not accept more than two references, so be sure the two references are visible on the application when submitted.

Who should I ask?

  • One reference should be a person who knows you academically: an instructor, advisor, counselor, or other college staff.
    • If you are a new student or planning on enrolling at Seattle Colleges, you are allowed to choose a non-Seattle College reference. See the FAQ's for ideas on who to ask. 
  • The second reference may be academic or from someone such as an employer or community leader.

We will NOT accept references from family members or significant others.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure references are aware they are being asked to complete a reference, that the correct email address is included on the application, and that the references complete their questionnaires. Scholarship staff will not contact references on behalf of students.

When should I ask?

Generally, before beginning an application, we recommend that applicants prepare references adequately. Ask references with plenty of time for them to give an impactful recommendation (3-4 weeks, not days). Applicants should meet with references and share information on work, goals, interests, achievements, and the purpose of the scholarship. It will help the reference write a more personal recommendation.

Reference Deadline

References will be due the same week as the application deadline, which changes every year. See “Important Dates & Deadlines” for specifics.

Applicants are responsible for following up with their references to complete their referrals before the deadline. To monitor whether a reference has completed their section, click the "Reference" tab on the scholarship application home page after you log in.

If a reference has not received a link by email, double-check to ensure the email address is entered accurately on the application.

Changing References

If a new reference needs to be added, go to the reference section of the application and add an additional reference. The names and email addresses of the references should be visible on the application when submitted.

Individual reference contact information cannot be edited. If the reference information is incorrect, a new reference must be added with the correct information.

If you are a Reference

Individuals who have been asked by an applicant to provide a recommendation for Seattle Colleges annual Foundation scholarship application must complete their reference by the deadline to be considered in the review process. Steps to complete a reference:

  1. Use the link that was included in an email from
  2. Only use Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Microsoft Edge browsers to complete your reference. 
  3. The link will go directly to the scholarship website (AwardSpring) and does not require a reference to create an account.
  4. Reference Questions: These are the questions that will be asked of each reference:
    1. Reference's name
    2. Reference's email
    3. Describe your relationship with the applicant and how long you have known them.
    4. Rate the student on the following qualities and skills. If there is something that is non-applicable, you can leave it blank.
      • Ability to follow through
      • Communication Skills
      • Cooperation
      • Initiative
      • Integrity
      • Leadership
      • Motivation
    5. Why do you think this student is deserving of a scholarship?
    6. Do you know of any obstacles that this applicant has had to face or overcome? Are you aware of any extraordinary circumstances that would affect this applicant’s ability to attend, pay for, or succeed in a post-secondary educational setting?
    7. Please add any additional comments you feel will help the selection committee.
  5. After completing the reference, click on “Submit."
  6. An email will be sent to the applicant once the reference has been submitted, not including content.


If you have not received an email from the scholarship site to begin the reference, please contact the applicant and have them check that they have entered your email correctly.

Also check junk mail, clutter, or spam mail.

If you agree to write a reference for a student, it is important to follow-through with a strong letter. If you do not feel you can write a strong reference, it is okay to say no. Things to consider when writing a reference for someone else:

  • Familiarize yourself with the applicant’s qualifications. You are encouraged to ask questions and seek information from the applicant.
  • Describe your relationship with the applicant.
  • Be specific and give examples where relevant. Share what you can about the applicant’s personal characteristics, performance, experience, strengths, capabilities, and promise. Provide a specific example or quantify if appropriate.