Debunking Scholarship Myths



Common Myths about College Scholarships

We receive questions all the time about college scholarships and common beliefs that we would like to address to help you best navigate this portion of your financial aid package.  Carefully read through these common myths about scholarships to help you gain a better perspective and align your expectations accordingly.

Myth: Earning a full scholarship in college means I will not anything out-of-pocket. 

Earning a full scholarship to college typically means a scholarship covering tuition.  A full tuition scholarship is a wonderful financial aid tool for your college but it is certainly not inclusive.  College students with a full scholarship will still need to budget for housing, living expenses, books, fees, and parking.

Myth: You need to have a 4.0 GPA to earn a scholarship.

This may be one of the most commonly asked questions related to college scholarships.  The perception some students have is that scholarships are out of reach unless you are in the top 5% in GPA in your class.  The reality is that anyone can receive a scholarship award.  While academics is often an important criteria used by scholarship sponsors, it is not the only factor.  Colleges and private organizations extend scholarships emphasizing community involvement, ethnic background, religious affiliation, athletic ability, college major, and special talents.

Myth: I cannot apply for scholarships until I have been accepted into college. 

While federal loans are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, scholarships are not.  It makes sense for most students to run parallel tracks for their college search and scholarship quest.  As you winnow down your list of prospective colleges, you can be performing a similar activity for scholarships of interest.  Be prepared to send out a number of scholarship applications as your college applications are being completed.

Myth: Scholarships are available only if I receive federal aid.

Even if you do not receive any financial aid from the federal government, you still may be able to qualify for other financial aid.  Understand the federal financial aid system operates independently of colleges, universities, and private scholarship programs.  Scholarships are an important tool to utilize whether you receive any federal financial aid for college.  Make sure to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible and dig into scholarship research to help offset the overall cost of your higher education.

Myth: Private Colleges offer more scholarship money to help offset higher tuition. 

It is true that private colleges and universities will often provide more scholarships and financial aid per student compared to public institutions.  That being said, the scholarships and financial aid package will need to be substantive to offset the higher tuition of a private college.  Take the time to carefully review financial aid packages and the bottom line cost of attending any college or university.

Top Scholarship Resources

  1. Scholarship Basics
  2. Finding College Scholarships
  3. Avoiding Scholarship Scams
  4. Debunking Scholarship Myths
  5. Scholarship Tips
  6. Inside Scholarship Essays
  7. Scholarship Guide
  8. Graduating Debt Free from College

For additional research, simply connect with our college degree finder or online college matching platform today.  Both services can help you find your perfect college match in minutes without visiting dozens of schools across the country.