Blog

Browse All Blog Topics

Watch for Scholarships that Charge Application Fees

The fall semester is just around the corner, and in addition to the start of classes, students are also beginning to gear up for scholarship application season, the time from late fall to late spring when the majority of scholarship applications are due. If you are just starting your scholarship search, there are a number of things to keep in mind when deciding which awards to apply for. The size of the award, the application deadline, the amount of work required, and your likelihood of winning are all criteria you likely use in evaluating awards. One other thing to think about before putting together an application, though, is whether there will be any costs associated with the scholarship contest.

Every scholarship application will have some degree of cost associated with it, whether it's postage, time, or the costs involved in creating your application materials (for example, printing an essay or filming and editing a video). However, some scholarship applications are going to be more costly than others, and when a scholarship charges an application fee on top of the time, energy, and money you're already putting into it, it should be cause for some careful thought.

Scholarship opportunities are generally seen as altruistic offers made by organizations that want to help students succeed in college. Sure, many scholarships have a promotional nature, as there are few better ways to attract interest in a company than by giving something away for free. However, some companies actually charge students to apply for scholarships. For example, we came across one scholarship essay contest that offered a $500 award and charged a $15 application fee. The scholarship provider boasted of receiving 10,000 applications in a year, meaning they hauled in $15,000 and only gave away $500. Unless they're spending over $14,000 promoting the contest and paying people to judge the essays, it's reasonable to believe they're profiting off the scholarship in more ways than just boosting traffic to their site. Not necessarily the most altruistic endeavor, huh?

This isn't the only example of a scholarship contest charging a seemingly unnecessary application fee. Offers like this aren't necessarily scholarship scams, as legitimate awards are offered to people who apply. However, why would you pay money for something when there are so many other ways to get it for free?

And don't forget, you should pay for your college education with as much free money as possible! Find as many scholarships and grants as you can before turning to student loans. Visit the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today where you'll get matched with countless scholarships and grants for which you qualify, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 

J.T  on  8/17/2015 6:22:41 PM commented:

Out of curiosity, is it even legal for a scholarship fund to financially gain through application fees? ie. Charging $10 an application, having 1000 applicants = $10,000 and then offering a predetermined scholarship amount of $500? It seems that the above mentioned group was illegally gaining, but I'm no law expert

L. M.  on  8/3/2015 9:25:11 PM commented:

Rather than treating all scholarship opportunities that charge an application fee with distrust, consider all factors. A donor who must process thousands of applications will have significant labor and other costs. Even getting the word out can cost them a lot of money they can't recover. Their willingness to donate money and/or services for no fee shouldn't be cast into doubt by their practical consideration of choosing to partially fund the selection with application fees. I have a scholarship worth thousands and cannot afford to offer it without recovering some of my costs and time for the publicizing and detailed selection process alone. However, I take care to ensure that the total funds received do not exceed the normal cost of the services donated. So, if I were to receive $6,000 in fees but the services donated were $4,000, I'd donate $2,000 more in services, even though the funds only paid part of the selection process and not the services.

L. M.  on  8/1/2015 6:25:14 PM commented:

Rather than treating all scholarship opportunities that charge an application fee with distrust, consider all factors. A donor who must process thousands of applications will have significant labor and other costs. Even getting the word out can cost them a lot of money they can't recover. Their willingness to donate money and/or services for no fee shouldn't be cast into doubt by their practical consideration of choosing to partially fund the selection with application fees. I have a scholarship worth thousands and cannot afford to offer it without recovering some of my costs and time for the publicizing and detailed selection process alone. However, I take care to ensure that the total funds received do not exceed the normal cost of the services donated. So, if I were to receive $6,000 in fees but the services donated were $4,000, I'd donate $2,000 more in services, even though the funds only paid part of the selection process and not the services.

Most Shared Articles

Fighting crime is no easy task and is not meant for everyone. Careers in criminal justice aren't limited to police officers. You can study to be a criminal law paralegal, a crime lab analyst or even work for homeland security. If you plan to take this route, don't forget to apply for these solid scholarships to reduce debt while also doing your part to reduce crime: [...]

0 months ago 0 comments Read More

Due to Oregon's $1.8 billion budget crisis, public university leaders want funding reallocated from the Promise program to the state's need-based grant, which is awarded to low-income students who attend Oregon's public universities. [...]

0 months ago 0 comments Read More

The traditional college route isn't the best choice for everyone. There are ample scholarship opportunities for students who opt for a vocational career, whether it be in the plumbing, carpentry, electrical, firefighting or many others. If you want to learn or hone a specific skill as an alternative to attending a more traditional four-year college, take some time to consider these vocational scholarship opportunities: [...]

0 months ago 0 comments Read More

Wheaton College, a liberal arts college in Massachusetts, has created a refugee scholarship following the POTUS' immigration order in an effort to preserve their "foreign-born community." Another scholarship called The Privilege Grant, was recently created and is exclusively for white men "pursuing college on equal footing with their female, queer and ethnic minority classmates." [...]

0 months ago 14 comments Read More

February is Black History Month, or National African-American History Month, and is annually spent celebrating the achievements and contributions of black Americans in U.S. history. MLK had a dream - what is yours? Ours is helping you go to college with as little debt as possible. If that's your dream, check out these Black History Month-inspired scholarships: [...]

0 months ago 1 comments Read More

Living the college life has gotten way more expensive since 1980, and not including just tuition and fees. While many types tuition freezes, government tuition-free programs, scholarships, and grants help foot the tuition bill, housing and food remain uncovered, according to MarketWatch. [...]

1 months ago 2 comments Read More

The NFL Super Bowl is right around the corner, and while you may be enjoying the highly entertaining commercials or half-time show, we’ve compiled a list of football scholarships for those of you who one day aspire to play in the Super Bowl. If you have a passion for the game and wish to play at the collegiate level and beyond, check out these award opportunities and get paid to play: [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

At elite colleges, more students come from the top 1 percent than the entire bottom 60 percent, according to a new study. While roughly one in four of the wealthiest students attend elite schools, including five Ivy League schools, graduating college helps "level the playing field for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds," according to Inside Higher Ed. [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

Not all scholarships are awarded to the best writers with the strongest essays. So whether you're too busy writing other essays for school or simply not the best at literary composition, there are scholarship providers that dole out funds for unique hobbies or skill sets; or even for simply entering a contest. Check out these no-essay (or essay-alternative) awards for a chance to fund your college education:: [...]

1 months ago 3 comments Read More