Scholarships have helped many people worldwide get a better education that would have otherwise been difficult for them to pay for. Today, organizations even pay for online learning scholarships, allowing students to attend universities in the UK, Australia, or other countries or get something as simple as English or Maths tutoring in Perth or other cities. But landing a scholarship is easier said than done, and many people get discouraged because of the myths surrounding them.
One of the challenges students have reported running into is the time for applying for these scholarships. Most are usually on a deadline and are overwhelmed with which scholarships to go for. Let’s debunk some of the common misconceptions about scholarships.
8 Common Misconceptions About Scholarships
1. Most People Who Get Scholarships Are From Low-Income Areas
This is usually a common one, and we had to put it up first because many people consider this myth true. Financial aid given to people from low-income areas is known as grants, while scholarships are provided on merit. Financial assistance, especially those from the government, focuses more on the household income of the recipients.
Scholarship awards don’t inquire about your financial status. It is not always people in need who get the scholarship, and you should keep that in mind whenever you are applying to allow yourself to win.
2. You Need Perfect Grades to Get a Scholarship
While most scholarships will consider your grade point average, they usually see if you are above the cutoff point. There are even scholarships that don’t consider the average grade but focus on the skill set or interest of the student by considering things like artistic ability, school leadership, community service, and politics.
Only a selected number of schools focus on the GPA to award their scholarship. For the scholarships that prioritize your grade, it is one part of the overall application. Your interests, talents, and accomplishments are crucial in determining whether you land the scholarship.
3. There Are Higher Chances of You Landing a Scholarship if You Pay a Certain Fee
If payment is involved in applying for a scholarship, then it means that you are technically buying. Some scholarships make money from people paying such fees, and you should be very aware of them as it is not how legitimate scholarships work.
Aside from the ones that ask you to pay, you should also avoid those that ask for your social security number as there is also a risk of them being scams trying to steal your identity. We recommend having email addresses exclusively for applying for scholarships. This makes it easy to track potential offers and protects you when fake scholarship sites steal your information and sell it to marketers. You should also unsubscribe from the scholarship junk emails that don’t apply to you.
4. You Should Be Able to Write Great Essays to Get a Scholarship
Most scholarship applications want to learn more about you, your life, and your capabilities, so they ask for your essays. You should share personal stories or answer specific questions that give more information about you. This is among the ways they assess you from the other people applying for the scholarship.
However, some scholarships don’t necessarily require you to write an essay. These focus on factors like GPA test scores, financial need, or extracurricular activities. If the essay thing is why you feel held back from applying for a scholarship, look for ones that don’t require you to do so; many out there consider this optional.
5. Scholarship Money Only Covers Tuition
This could not be further from the truth. Generally, scholarship money covers tuition and miscellaneous fees, but exceptions exist. Different scholarships have different policies, and some scholarships only provide money for indirect costs. Some students apply and win many different scholarships every year that give them enough money to cover not only their tuition but also the materials or other expenses they will incur when studying, like transportation money or living costs. When you land a scholarship, look at their scholarship policy to plan out your expenses to cater for your entire study period.
6. I Don’t Qualify for a Scholarship Because I Missed a Deadline
Deadlines are indeed essential, but they come with varied deadlines, and most usually reopen at different times of the year. In addition, not all scholarships have the same deadline, so pay attention to the deadline of the scholarship you are applying for. These deadlines, while stressful to the applicant, are critical to the committee and you, the applicant.
The time they give is enough to prepare and make the required adjustments as school starts. There is usually much time spent doing the interviews, looking through the essays, digging into backgrounds, etc. The ideal deadline for most schools is typically June, as the school starts in August. If you don’t submit yours in time, try again when they reopen the scholarship next year or next semester.
7. Once You Land Your Scholarship, You Are Done
There are scholarships that, once you get them, mean you no longer have to worry. However, recurring scholarships require you to fulfill certain conditions and requirements to be eligible. This is why they encourage reading the scholarship details when applying. This ensures you are aware of the obligations necessary to keep funding you.
These requirements include attending seminars, presentations, or any other duties. There are even athletic scholarships that are subject to review, and some that offer multi-year scholarships, meaning they are subject to renewal after an academic year.
8. Scholarship Applications Start When You Are a High School Senior
Everyone going into college wants to get as much financial aid as possible; thus, a lot of time goes into landing one as a senior. However, your hunt for a scholarship can start as early as junior high. It is better this way as you are less pressured to get one. The quest doesn’t have to end after high school, as you can keep seeking financial aid while in college. Scholarships exist for graduate students, undergraduate students, and even those with professional degrees.
You should be aware of these and many other scholarship myths before sending out your applications. There is always a scholarship that you will find acceptable, as they are not all the same. Remember to take note of the scholarship’s policies and adhere to them until you hear back from the application. If you haven’t found one that meets the qualifications, keep looking; you will run into one sooner or later.