You’ve probably heard these statements about college scholarships before: “It’s too much work!”, “Millions of scholarships go unclaimed!”. These misconceptions need to be debunked.
While applying for scholarship may not necessarily be too much work, it is rare for someone to get an all-expenses-paid college experience (in other word, “a full ride” for anyone beating the bushes for scholarship money). So let’s take a more realistic look at some of the popular myths surrounding scholarships.
Myth #1: The scholarship application process is too much work.
Some scholarships can be quite time-consuming to apply as the process involves more than filling out application forms. However, the materials you create for your college applications, such as essays and résumés, can often be reused for your scholarship applications.
Myth #2: Millions of scholarships go unclaimed.
If you see this statement in an advertisement for a scholarship search service, don’t fall for it. Scholarships go “unclaimed” mostly because of weird timing issues or highly restrictive eligibility requirements, not because people fail to see easy money ripe for the picking.
Myth #3: A scholarship can pay all my college costs.
Most scholarships pay for only a fraction of your total college costs and are usually only for college-related expenses as defined by the college. They usually don’t cover expenses like computers or air fares. In addition, some scholarships are good for only one year.
Myth #4: You have to be an A student to get a scholarship.
The truth is, you don’t have to be an A student to be eligible for scholarships. However, you need to show that you possess the qualities, such as leadership, artistic talent, etc., valued by the scholarship sponsor. For some scholarships, the minimum GPA can go as low as 2.0.
Myth #5: I will get scholarship offers automatically because of my talents and achievements.
Let’s face it. There are countless students with outstanding talents and achievements who are competing for scholarships. You can’t just sit there and wait for the offers to roll in. You will need to find and apply for the scholarships that suit you.
Myth #6: Only highly needy students get scholarships.
Most private scholarships do not require financial information. They are awarded based on merit.