Watch for Scholarships that Charge Application Fees


August 5, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
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.

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?

Just because there are millions of college scholarships out there doesn’t mean you have time to go searching, and many won’t even match your profile. We’ve done the work and Scholarships.com is totally free. We have the search algorithms and scholarships database, saving you time in searching, finding and applying to thousands of dollars in college scholarships. Get instantly matched to scholarships that meet your unique talents, skillset and strengths, only those you qualify for. Access a complete list of college scholarships now by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

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.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first 
Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon. The ESA Esports scholarship program is intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities who currently account for a very small percentage of Esports scholarship recipients. Therefore, in order to be eligible for the 
ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, you must either be a woman or minority and pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences. Current high school seniors, college freshman, sophomore and juniors who are U.S. citizens may apply for the ESA Esports scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four (4) year college or university in the upcoming fall semester in order to be considered. All scholarship applications are due March 2, 2020 at 11:59 PST. Applicants will receive results by mid-June and funds will be issued to scholarship winners by end of August.

Get Paid to Play in College with ESA Esports Scholarships

January 21, 2020 11:52 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon.

    When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships after investing a decent amount of time and effort into applying for scholarships. Even smaller scholarships worth $500 are enough to cover books and fees, even if they aren't enough to foot an entire semester’s college tuition bill.

Biggest / Largest Dollar Scholarships in 2020

January 16, 2020 9:41 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships

    High school graduation is right around the corner for high school seniors class of 2020 and - while many students may have already committed to their dream colleges - securing college financial aid is still a top-of-the-list priority in bringing that dream to fruition. Luckily, right now is the scholarship application peak season, with just enough time to apply for and win scholarships for college. Many 2020 scholarship deadlines are within the next several months, giving students like you sufficient time to conduct a free scholarship search and apply for those that best suit and interest you. Here's a sneak peek of the many scholarships for high school seniors class of 2020:

20 Scholarships for High School Seniors Class of 2020

January 8, 2020 3:18 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
High school graduation is right around the corner for high school seniors class of 2020 and - while many students may have already committed to their dream colleges - securing college financial
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering more than 150 college scholarships totaling almost $500,000 for college-bound high school students, current college and continuing education students living in Northern and Central California. The college scholarships being offered by PG&E include the employee resource group (ERG), engineering network group (ENG) and Better Together STEM scholarship programs.

PG&E Offers Over 150 Scholarships Totaling $500k

January 7, 2020 2:57 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering more than 150 college scholarships totaling almost $500,000 for college-bound high school students, current college and continuing education

    What better way to start off the New Year than by applying for and winning free college scholarships? Our New Year's Resolution is for you to attend and graduate college debt-free, so we've already compiled a list of top 2020 scholarships to help you achieve your college financial aid goals in the upcoming New Year.:

New Year, New You, New 2020 Scholarships

January 2, 2020 9:03 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
What better way to start off the New Year than by applying for and winning free college scholarships? Our New Year's Resolution is for you to attend and graduate college debt-free, so we've
If there is one thing upon which 2020 Presidential candidates and government officials agree, it is that something must be done to resolve the issue of college student debt, which has now outpaced credit card and auto debt. More than fifty percent of Americans believe that college student debt is a major problem, with the average college student currently graduating with $30,000 in student loan debt. Some of the proposed college debt plans - such as student loan forgiveness plans - would leave students debt-free, while others would offer new repayment and refinancing options. Here are some of the major changes that could take place in the near future:

Plans to Tackle Student Loan Debt in 2020

December 30, 2019 2:44 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
If there is one thing upon which 2020 Presidential candidates and government officials agree, it is that something must be done to resolve the issue of college student debt, which has now outpaced
While many students widely anticipate the moment they are able to go home for winter break and spend time with their family and friends, thousands of students dread the month-long campus shutdown as they have no home to which they can go.

Battling College Homelessness During the Holidays

December 24, 2019 10:45 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
While many students widely anticipate the moment they are able to go home for winter break and spend time with their family and friends, thousands of students dread the month-long campus shutdown as