Scholarship F.A.Q.

What is the difference between a lottery scholarship and a merit scholarship?

Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit; thus, students distinguished by academic excellence, participation in extracurricular activities and involvement in community service have the best chance at receiving one of these rewards. Lottery scholarships, on the other hand, are chosen at random, meaning every student who applies has an equal chance of winning.

What are my chances of receiving a scholarship?

This depends largely upon the scholarship, how well you meet qualifications and the level of effort that you exert in your search. Typically, if you can find scholarships that are limited to students within a state, city, sport or academic area, you have a better chance of winning. The more applicants there are for a particular offer, the less chance you have of winning. Choose scholarships that give you an opportunity to exercise your skills in an area of interest to you —this should increase your chance of winning. Also, keep in mind that to find money for college, you have to create your own success by committing the time and brain power necessary to achieve your goal.

How does community service increase my chances for receiving a scholarship?

Not only is community service experience a common essay topic but your involvement in community service can distinguish you from other applicants. Scholarship providers often look for this quality because they are looking to assist in funding the education of someone who gives back to their community and values making contributions of time and service for its benefit.

Who should I ask to write my letter of recommendation?

Start by asking a teacher, employer or mentor. Do not ask a friend or family member. A letter of recommendation is similar to a professional reference; choose someone who can articulate your strengths and praise your accomplishments.

If the required G.P.A. is 3.8 and I have a 3.7, should I still apply?

No. If you don't meet the criteria exactly you shouldn't apply. Scholarship offers typically receive thousands of applications. Anyone who doesn't meet the requirements is typically disqualified.

How quickly will I be notified?

You will typically be notified within a few weeks of the deadline, though this varies with each scholarship provider.

How does the scholarship provider choose a winner?

Each scholarship provider is looking for different skills or interests. A winner must meet all of the standard criteria required for the scholarship but also distinguish himself from the rest of the applicants. Read about the scholarship and try to determine what exactly the scholarship provider is looking for so that you can emphasize your related qualities in you essay or cover letter.

Does the amount I receive in scholarships affect my eligibility for financial aid?

Yes. Often the scholarship provider gives your award to the college you are attending as credit towards your tuition. If this happens, the school adjusts your unmet financial need accordingly.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Harvard Revokes Parkland Shooting Suvivor's Admissions Offer

June 18, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

Harvard revoked more admissions offers - this time involving 10 students who participated in a Facebook group called "Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens." Jokes about abusing children and the Holocaust and insulting comments about different racial and ethnic groups were found in the group, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Earlier this month, Harvard also rescinded an admission offer to Kyle Kashuv who, when he was 16 years old, used inflammatory and racist language, including the N-word, right before the Parkland shooting at his school, Stoneman Douglas High School. The shootings have since "changed him and made him more mature," he claims. Kashuv became famous for his conservatism, pro-gun and pro-Trump activism which he believes, represent a different view on how to prevent future, like tragedies.

In a recent Twitter post, he apologized for his past comments and stated that, "We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible...I'm embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I've become in the years since." Shortly thereafter, Harvard looked into his case and eventually revoked his admissions offer. Though university personnel appreciate his "candor and expressions of regret," Harvard "takes seriously" the "qualities of maturity" and of "character" of the students it admits. Despite appealing the revocation, Kashuv was turned down. In his defense, Kashuv argues that, "throughout its history, Harvard's faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and anti-Semites. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn't possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don't believe that. I believe that institutions and people can grow. I've said that repeatedly." In your opinion, should Kashuv have had his admissions offer revoked based on something he did when he was 16? Why or why not? [...]

Wiccan Prof Sues Catholic University Over Alleged Discrimination

June 11, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

A Wiccan Professor at St. Bonaventure sued the university and her alma mater for discrimination, alleging that she was not allowed to advance in her career because she is a woman and a witch. The reported discrimination began around Halloween in 2011, after she was asked to conduct an interview about her Wiccan beliefs with the university's student TV station, SBU-TV. [...]

LGBTQ Scholarships for Pride Month

June 6, 2019

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month this June, Scholarships.com is recognizing the success of, and providing financial aid resources to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer community and its allies through featured LGBTQ scholarships. These colorful LGBTQ scholarships are not only intended for those who identify as LBTQ or are questioning, but are available to LGBTQ parents and allies, as well. Below is a preview of LGBTQ scholarships that were created to provide economic mobility and equality for LGBTQ students and allies who may face unique challenges on their educational journeys. For even more LGBTQ scholarships, Parent LGBTQ scholarships or LGBTQ Ally scholarships, visit here. [...]