Selective Scholarship Application

What is the Selective Scholarship Application (SSA)?

The Selective Scholarship Application (SSA) is an invitation-only application shared by a number of schools and programs at Indiana University Bloomington  to award merit-based scholarships to incoming first-year students who meet high academic standards. Incoming first-year students must submit a complete application for admission by 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern on November 1 in order to be considered for an invitation to complete the SSA.

The SSA is used as the application for specific scholarships from:

Want to be invited to complete the SSA? Submit your complete application for admission to IU Bloomington no later than November 1 to be considered for an invitation to the SSA.

FAQs about the SSA

Once you’ve accessed your Selective Scholarship Application (SSA), you may have some questions. We’ve included some common questions and answers to help you navigate the SSA from start to finish.

The Selective Scholarship Application (SSA) is an invitation-only application shared by a number of schools and programs at Indiana University to award merit-based scholarships to incoming first-year students who meet high academic standards. Incoming first-year students must have a complete application for admission on file by November 1 in order to be considered for an invitation to complete the SSA.

Yes. You must be admitted to Indiana University Bloomington before you will be considered for eligibility to apply for scholarships through the SSA. We do not provide SSA materials to students who have not yet been assigned the SSA.

If you are eligible to complete the SSA, you will receive an SSA invitation email from the Office of Scholarships approximately 5–7 days after you receive your admission email. Any school or program that will review your application will be listed in that email.

Yes, all incoming first-year students who submit a complete application for fall admission by November 1 are considered for Selective Scholarship Application (SSA) eligibility. If any of your admission application materials are not received prior to November 1, you will not be considered.

Yes. You need to set up your One.IU account before you can access the SSA and other services available for admitted students. Directions for creating your account can be found here.

  1. Create your IU computing account. You will need your 10-digit University ID number provided in your admission notification email to create this account. It may take up to 24 hours to activate your account. Do not log in using your guest account.
  2. Once your account is activated, log into One.IU. Enter the keyword "scholarships" in the search bar.
  3. Click on the "Scholarships" icon, a dollar sign ($) with a graduation cap.
  4. Click “Sign In With Your Network ID.” You may be prompted to sign in using your IU credentials.
  5. Complete all questions on the General Application, then click “Finish and Submit.” This should be completed before the IU Bloomington SSA. Please ensure that you answer all questions thoroughly.
  6. Complete the IU Bloomington SSA, then click “Finish and Submit.” The deadline to submit your SSA is February 1. We recommend inputting your reference information and saving your application immediately, to allow your references time to submit their recommendation letters by the deadline of February 1. They will receive an email with instructions for uploading their letters once you click “Save.”

Only students who have been invited to complete the SSA will be able to see the IU Bloomington SSA when they log in through One.IU. If you have received an official invitation and do not see the IU Bloomington SSA, please verify that you are logging in with your official IU computing account (created after your admission using your 10-digit University ID number that begins with 000 or 200. Please refer to your admission notification email or letter for your University ID number). All IU students can complete the General Application, and students invited to complete the SSA should submit the General Application as the first step of the SSA.

For questions or technical issues related to the SSA, please contact the Office of Scholarships at iussa@iu.edu or 812-855-5779. If emailing, please include your full name and University ID. If calling, please have your University ID readily available. The 10-digit University ID number can be found in your Admission notification letter and begins with 000 or 200.

We are unable to assign SSAs for any student prior to admission to Indiana University Bloomington. The deadline to submit the SSA is February 1, including both recommendation letters. It is your responsibility to ensure that your recommendation letters are received by the deadline.

Your application will contain the most recent admission application information we have on file for you. If you submit updated test scores after being assigned an SSA, your application will be updated to reflect the new scores. Once you submit your SSA, your application will continue to update with new SAT/ACT scores; however, we cannot guarantee that the reviewing department will consider any information that is updated after you submit your SSA.

All students who meet the November 1 deadline will continue to be assessed for additional SSA opportunities based on updated test scores through January 15, at which time all SSA eligibility review stops to ensure adequate time for SSA completion.

Yes, you can upload your essays to the SSA in acceptable file formats like Microsoft Word and PDF. Please check your files first to ensure they open correctly, and only use alpha-numeric characters in the file name.

No. Scholarships awarded through the SSA are competitive and all materials must be received on time. Your completed SSA must be submitted on or before February 1 at 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

The SSA requires the submission of two recommendation letters to be considered complete.  Please select one individual who can speak to your academic achievement and one individual who can speak to your community service/leadership/extracurricular involvement.  We suggest that you select individuals who know you personally, but please do not ask family members or friends.  This article from the College Board shares some helpful tips for selecting your references.

We encourage students to write a new essay that specifically addresses the questions in the SSA. Students can use the same recommenders if they also submitted letters in the admission application, but we discourage using the exact letter because it may not address the SSA prompt. 

Recommendation letters must be received by February 1. Once you input information for your selected references and save your application, these individuals will receive emails containing instructions for uploading their recommendation letters. We encourage you to input your reference information and save your application as soon as possible. Talk to your references as early as possible to ensure that they are aware of the deadline, receive the notification email, and have the maximum amount of time to prepare a recommendation letter for you.

You can check your SSA for received recommendation letters at any time, through the References tab at the top of your application. If your reference has submitted a recommendation letter, the status will display as “Submitted” with the date the recommendation letter was uploaded.

You can update your recommenders at any time. Within the IU Bloomington SSA, under the Recommendation Letter section, you can click “Add a New Reference” and enter your new reference’s information. When you click “Update Your Application,” a new email will be sent to your new reference. Please keep in mind that only one academic achievement letter and one community service/leadership letter will be viewable for your reviewing departments, and the reference you have selected within your IU Bloomington SSA will be included within your application.

You can update your recommender information at any time. Within the IU Bloomington SSA, under the Recommendation Letter section, you can click “Add a New Reference” and enter your reference’s accurate information. When you click “Update Your Application,” a new email will be sent to your new reference. Please keep in mind that only one academic achievement letter and one community service/leadership letter will be viewable for your reviewing departments, and the reference you have selected within your IU Bloomington SSA will be included within your application.

Most offers from the SSA are sent between February and March, and all SSA scholarships will be awarded prior to May 1. Departments that utilize the SSA operate on varying award timelines, notifications may or may not be provided, depending on the unit. If you complete the FAFSA, you will receive a Financial Aid Notice from the Office of Student Financial Assistance in mid-February. Additionally, students can access the financial aid and scholarship summary at any time through One.IU. Search for and select “Student Center,” scroll to the Finances section, and choose “View Financial Aid.”

The renewal criteria for scholarships awarded through the SSA vary by awarding department and individual scholarship. If you are a recipient of a scholarship awarded through the SSA, the renewal criteria should be included in the scholarship notification.

Yes. Many of the schools and programs that utilize the SSA plan to offer potential direct admission and scholarship opportunities for students who apply test-optional. For any additional SSA criteria for each department for fall 2023 applicants, students should contact the departments directly.

We prefer for references to submit recommendation letters themselves, via the instructions provided within your reference request email. If you have exhausted all other options and are unable to submit your recommendation letter, please email it to the Office of Scholarships at iussa@iu.edu as an attachment, so that we may upload the letter on your behalf. Please include the student’s full name and high school name so that we can verify that it is the correct student. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the Office of Scholarships at 812-855-5779.

Please try submitting your recommendation letter as a different type of file. Generally, .doc, .docx, and .pdf files tend to work best. If this does not resolve the issue, please contact us directly at iussa@iu.edu or 812-855-5779.

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