Q: How can I find out about what scholarships are out
A: Your best scholarship research sources include: The
Internet (try a free scholarship search engine such as the one
at http://www.financialaid.com/sse/login.cfm ); your local community
(contact your local chamber of commerce); and your high school
guidance counselor and/or college financial aid officer.
Q: Can I apply for a scholarship if I don't know what
college I'm going to attend?
A: Yes. You actually can start applying for scholarships
as early as your freshman year in high school. If you win
a scholarship before you know which college you'll attend,
the scholarship organization either will write you a check
if you promise to use the money for college, or will give
you the money when you decide where to go.
Q: Should I have to pay a fee to apply for a scholarship?
A: In most cases, no. Since scholarships are meant
to support students who need funds to pay for college, they
shouldn't require those same students to shell out money.
In most cases, scholarships that require a fee are scams.
Q: If I didn't win a scholarship, can I apply again
A: Yes. Unless you no longer qualify, you can apply
for a scholarship again. However, consider if your application
will be dramatically stronger the next time around. If you
will essentially submit the same application, you probably
will be better off spending your time to apply to a different
Q: Can I lose my scholarship once it's been awarded?
A: Yes. Most scholarships that are renewable, which
means that you win them for more than one year, have requirements
for you to keep the award. These can be requirements that
you continue to attend the same college, maintain a certain
GPA or keep the same major.
Q: Can I apply for scholarships while I'm a college
A: Yes. One of the biggest mistakes that many students
make is that they stop applying for scholarships once they
graduate from high school. There are literally thousands of
scholarships for students in college and even graduate students.
Some of these awards are only open to students who already
are in college.
Q: If I win a scholarship, will my college take away
some of my other financial aid?
A: Maybe. Many colleges require you to report the scholarships
that you win and then adjust your financial aid package. For
example, if you win a $1,000 scholarship, the college may
decrease your financial aid package by $1,000. If your college
has this kind of policy, you can ask them to decrease your
loan amount instead of grants. It's better to receive more
in scholarships that you don't have to pay back than in loans
that you do.
Q: Can I transfer my scholarship if I go to another
A: Maybe. If the scholarship is from a college, you
can only use it at that specific college. If the scholarship
is from another organization, you can probably transfer the
scholarship with you. It's important that you contact the
awarding organization to ask and make any necessary arrangements.
Q: Should I bother applying for scholarships even
if I don't have perfect grades?
A: Yes. There are scholarships for achievement leadership,
public service, art, athletics, theatre and dance. Plus, even
for scholarships that are based on grades, oftentimes grades
are not the only factor. Instead, they seek the students who
best fit their selection criteria, which may include other
factors like character, motivation, leadership or involvement
Q: Do all scholarships require an essay?
A: No, but most do. Essays are the best way for scholarship
judges to get to know you beyond your grades, test scores
and other data that you provide on your application form.
There are some scholarships that don't require essays, especially
ones for art or music that require a portfolio or project
Q: Can I win a scholarship if my parents make too
A: Yes. There are two types of scholarships: need-based
and merit-based. As the name suggests, need-based scholarships
are based on your financial need and your parents' income.
Merit-based scholarships are based on other factors such as
academic or extracurricular achievements.
Q: What is a renewable scholarship?
A: Renewable scholarships can be won and reapplied
for again in the following years. They are the best kind of
scholarship because you can win the money for more than one