When searching for financial aids, most students will think of “Scholarship”, which is the free money sponsored by government and private sectors to students who meet their eligibility requirements. Many myths and misunderstanding about scholarships get passed around the halls of high schools and among the parents of students getting ready to go to college, causing them to focus too much energy on searching for these awards and get ignore on other financial aids sources which are more abundant than scholarships.
Before you start to search and win the free money: scholarships, you should understand the truth behind these misconceptions so you will not be taken in by them. Here are 3 of the common misconceptions about scholarships:
Misconceptions # 1: Billions of dollars’ worth of scholarship money goes unclaimed
Among the biggest myth about scholarship is that billions of dollars’ worth of scholarship money goes unclaimed each year, just waiting for a savvy student like you to come along and scoop it up. This misconception is potentially cause by certain marketing activities campaign conducted by potential scams which they use in an effort to get you to hand over your money to them.
The truth, according to most college financial aids offers, is that almost all available scholarship money is given out each year. There are some scholarships not awarded usually due to applicants who apply for those scholarships are not meeting the eligibility requirements. But these unclaimed scholarships are just a small percentage of the total scholarships given out each year, and those scholarships which are failed to be awarded usually have highly restrictive eligibility requirements.
You may hear about 75 percent of all private financial aid went unclaimed last year. The fact is this figure does not refer to scholarships at all. What is actually refers to is tuition assistance offered by companies to their employees.
Misconceptions # 2: Scholarships provides free ride to college
Many students believe that scholarships are the largest awards that can provide a free ride to college. If you think that by winning a scholarship, you will pay less for your college, you are wrong; your winning scholarships will not reduce EFC (Expected Family Contribution), in other word, EPC remain and the winning scholarship will be added into the total amount of financial aid that you have already received and an equal amount of aid from other sources is subtracted. In additional, scholarship awards are typically small, often under $1,000 and you may not even be able to renew the scholarship for all four years of college.
There are a few scholarship programs pay for your full tuition fee, but competition for the biggest prizes definitely fierce and these scholarships typically go to students with the best possible qualifications. Even you have the best grades and the highest score, you may not count on winning a full-tuition scholarship, your peers may have a better community service record than you, or more leadership experience. You may submit your application for these scholarships applications, but you need to put in place other financial aid alternatives to support your study if you fail to win a full-tuition scholarship.
Misconceptions # 3: Scholarships Only Go to The Best
Many students miss their chances to apply for a scholarship because they think that they are not the best, and they have no hope to win a scholarship. While it is true that the largest scholarship awards go to the academic and athletic all-stars, those make up only a very small percentage of all the scholarship programs that open to you. Most programs are awarded based on specific requirements such as your major, your place of living, whether you are from minority group, you are a woman or you have a specific talent & etc. So you may not qualify for the national scholarships or the huge athletic awards, you may easily find a smaller scholarship with more restricted eligibility requirements where you are uniquely fit into it.
Scholarship is just one type of financial aids; there are still other alternative sources available where you can find money to support your college study. Don’t be taken by the myth that there are billions of dollars unclaimed scholarships available because most of scholarship offers are claimed. The fact shows that not all scholarships go for the best, there is a scholarship waiting you somewhere. Keep hunting for those scholarships; don’t give up before you put your effort to search for it.