There are so many different types of scholarships available these days and, naturally,
almost as many scholarship myths. Some of us might be aware of the more commonly
held beliefs about the variety and relative availability of scholarships, both local
and national, but I was surprised to discover how many people are almost completely
misinformed and stand a much better chance than they think of qualifying for dozens
of scholarships, even several dozen in many cases and well over a hundred more often
than you might think. Below are some attempts to set the record straight about scholarships
and to encourage and inspire you to at least conduct a free college
scholarship search at Scholarships.com.
You should begin searching for scholarships during your senior year.
You can wait until your senior year, but it is really not advisable. If you
do begin during your senior year, you should start as early as possible. Many scholarships
have deadlines in January, so the sooner you begin the more you will have a chance
at winning. Ideally, students should begin searching for scholarships during their
junior year, around mid-year.
Scholarships are only for top scholars and athletes.
This one is definitely false. There are so many scholarships that do not take grades
or athletic ability/participation into consideration whatsoever and some, while
they do consider your GPA, the minimum may be 2.5, rather than 4.0. A lot of high
school students have, or can achieve, a 2.5 GPA.
You have to be a great essay writer to get one.
Not so. Often, it is more about what you write than how well it is written. Whether
you follow the instructions and address the essay question is often more crucial
to your success than how eloquently you write.
You have to be a high school student to win a scholarship.
Many scholarships are for undergraduate students and those no longer in school at
all. There are also scholarships for graduate students. You definitely don't need
to be in high school to qualify.
Most scholarship awards are small and not worth the effort of applying.
What is small? $1,000? If you win 7 or 8 scholarships that range from $1,000 to
$5,000, you could pay for a good deal of your first year in college. Every dollar
you are awarded is a LOT more than a dollar you save when you graduate and that
money must be repaid with interest if you have to take out loans for 100% of your
educational expenses. Sure, you may not pay for ALL of your school with scholarships,
but even $3,000 or $4,000 per year would be a big help. Just apply to two or three
dozen of them to increase the odds you'll win at least one or two.
Scholarships are all heavily weighted towards minorities and those with documented
There are scholarships for minorities and those with documented financial need,
sure. But there are a lot of scholarships that don't take either of those into consideration.
The best way to find out what scholarships you qualify for is to complete a profile
on Scholarships.com and let US match the scholarships for YOU based on who you are
and what your interests, talents and academic credentials are.
Scholarship competition is too intense. It's not worth bothering.
Sure there is competition. But so many of those applying don't take the time to
properly read or follow the rules and answer the questions thoughtfully, or even
correctly. Do everything correctly and you could be one of a small percentage of
applicants who even gets considered. Here's another way to look at it. What if you
spent a total of 50 hours searching and applying for scholarships? And, after all
that time and effort, you win two or three scholarships, totalling about $2,000.
That's $40 per hour, which is at least 4 to 5 times more than you can expect to
get paid for doing pretty much any other activity or "job". And that doesn't even
include the interest you'd be paying on that money, had you been forced to borrow
it from a lender. Apply for as many scholarships as you can and you are bound to
win something, provided you make sure to do everything you are asked and follow
all of each scholarship provider's instructions.
Finding scholarships takes forever and you’re ineligible for 90% of what you find.
Not with Scholarships.com. Set aside twenty minutes and complete a profile and we'll
show you which scholarships you are eligible for. Now it's just a matter of reading
each description and contacting each award provider as instructed by that particular
scholarship provider. This is key. As mentioned earlier, if you don't
follow the rules, you are probably just going to waste your time applying. Do it
right if you want to win.
The scholarship application process is a one-time thing.
Not so. Each year, you need to look for money for the next and, as stated earlier,
there is money out there for all of you. High school seniors, college sophomores,
graduate students. It's worth searching before the first of January each year to
see what is out there.
Billions of dollars in scholarship funds go unawarded each year.
This is a common one, maybe the most common. Sure, there may be a few scholarships
that go unawarded each year, it's hard to know for sure, there are so many out there.
We have heard this claim roundly rejected time and again, sometimes even countered
with a claim that would be hard to back up. The claim that no scholarship money
whatsoever goes unawarded might be a bit broad and absolute to actually be 100%
accurate. However, you can rest assured it is not some staggering figure, but probably
just a few scholarships here and there that don't get marketed to the very specific
audience for whom they were founded. This is just something a scholarship scammer
might say to tempt you to using their paid service. Never pay to find financial
aid for college. You can find it totally free at Scholarships.com
FAFSA is an acronym. It stands for "Free Application for Federal Student Aid". Please take note that the first word in the acronym is "Free". You do not need to pay to fill out the FAFSA but there are certainly websites out there that will charge you for their assistance. If you are asked for a credit card at any point in the process, you are at one of these sites. If you do not want to pay to complete the FAFSA, be sure to apply at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The FAFSA must be completed by you and your family each year if you wish to be considered for need-based grants from the college or university you are or will be attending as well as subsidized student loans. [...]
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As you get ready for this next big step in your life, this last year at home can feel like the longest and the shortest you ever had! While you prepare to select a college and research scholarships and financial aid, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your friends and family. While movies, even when based on a true story, are always a little bit fantastic, they are also works of art that share experiences among their viewers. [...]