Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
- Can I get an exception since I don’t have a US Green Card (permanent resident) or United States Citizenship? No, an Upakar Scholar must be a US Green Card holder or a US Citizen
- Does the application need to be received by scholarship deadline or postmarked by scholarship deadline? Can I get an extension? The application must be postmarked by scholarship deadline. There is no exception to the deadline.
- I really need the money to pay for school; can I get an exception to the eligibility criteria? No, an Upakar Scholar must meet the eligibility criteria as listed in the application
- My school does not do weighted grades/class rank/cum GPA, what should I do? Note this on the application and have a school official confirm that by a signature or letter.
- I was born in India as an Indian citizen. I was adopted as a child and I am now a US citizen. Am I eligible to apply? Yes you are eligible to apply. Please review the documentation requirements to include with the application.
- I am just outside of the GPA/AGI requirements. Can I get an exception? No. In general, an Upakar scholar far exceeds the GPA and AGI requirements. However, if there are more than 4 dependents listed on your parents’ tax return; send an email to
with “More than 4 Dependents” as the header. You may be granted an exception.
- Does Upakar offer mentorships for Upakar scholars? Yes, but it is up to the Upakar scholar to contact the Mentorship chair.
- I did not complete the FAFSA. Am I automatically disqualified? No, but you will need to attach a clear and concise explanation to the scholarship application as to why you did not complete the FAFSA.
- There are a lot of personal questions about my parent’s finances. Do I need to answer all of them? Yes, they are the basis of the Upakar scholarship determinations. Please remember this is both a merit and need-based scholarship and we need to confirm the both merit and need. Any application that does not fully answer the questions will be immediately disregarded. Please get your parent’s help with this section if needed. If you are not able to access this information, send an explanation to
with “No parent financial information” as the header.
- I would like to drop off my application personally; can I make an appointment or drop if off somewhere? No, if any attempt is to contact the board members directly or attempts to influence the decision making process will cause an application to immediately be disregarded. Please mail it to the address listed in the application by the application deadline.
- I live in India and want to come to America to study. Can I get an Upakar scholarship? No, an Upakar scholar must be graduating from an US based high school.
- I am in Graduate school or already in college, can I apply? No, the Upakar scholarship is only for high school seniors going to college.
- What is the Geeta Rastogi Memorial Scholarship? This special scholarship is in memory of Geeta Rastogi, a beloved wife and mother. She was a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and strongly supported the Fine Arts when alive. The funding of this scholarship has come exclusively from her family and friends. If you would like to donate to this scholarship, visit the Donate page and reference GRMS in the memo.
- What is the Community College Scholarship? This scholarship has been set up for top performing Indian American students that choose to first go to a community college and then plan to transfer to a four year degree program at a college or university. Upakar has recognized that these students will not be able to qualify for a traditional Upakar scholarship but are making a wise financial decision for themselves and their families. All criteria is the same as the traditional scholarship.