Although there are many scholarships available every year to college students of all ages, there are still many myths about scholarships that discourage students from even applying in the first place. Unfortunately, this restricts the amount of college education funding that those students can often receive. So here are some of the myths about college scholarships that you need to know about in order to have the facts.
1. The first myth that is widely believed about college scholarships is that they are usually only available to those who have the highest grade averages, such as a “A". This is just simply not true. Although many scholarship programs do list having a good academic record as a contributing factor in receiving the scholarship, there are actually several other factors that are taken into consideration as well.
The truth is that even those who have a “B" or “C" grade average can often qualify for many scholarships because of other factors instead. For instance, many scholarship programs place a high priority on a student's involvement in extracurricular activities, especially those in the community. To them, this helps indicate that you are a well rounded individual who will do well in a college environment and are seeking personal advancement. So if you want to qualify for college scholarships, try to involve yourself in activities that allow you to give something back to the community and expand your horizons.
2. Another college scholarship myth is that you generally cannot get a scholarship if you do not have some sort of financial need, and that middle class students are usually unable to receive scholarships.
Again, this is simply not true. Although some scholarship programs are based on need, there are many that aren't. In fact, quite a few scholarships are based more on merit than on need. This means that a good combination of academic performance as well as extracurricular activities that indicate personal growth can often qualify a student for being awarded the scholarship even if you come from a middle class family.
3. A commonly held scholarship myth is that there are billions of scholarship dollars that go unused every single year. While it is true that there is some scholarship money that goes unclaimed, this is usually because the scholarship qualifications are very rigid and narrow in nature and simply were not filled for that reason. What this means for the average student is that there is a lot of competition for the scholarships that are readily available, and you should start applying for them as soon as possible in order to get a head start. And applying for as many as you possibly can qualify for, and handle at one time, is also a good practice.
4. Another myth about scholarships that can actually cost you money is that there are programs out there that will do all the work for you so that you don't have to do anything to apply for college scholarships. Although there are organizations that advertise this, they are usually scams that are set up to separate college students from their hard earned money rather than help them get the scholarships that they need. So if you come across any scholarship program that claims to do all the work for you, or asks for any kind of payment or credit card information in advance, be aware that there is a good chance that this type of program is a scam that should be avoided.
Hopefully, by being aware of the various college scholarship myths that are in circulation today, you can be better prepared to get the scholarship funding that you really need.
Steadman Issenburg writes on many consumer related topics including education. You can find unusual scholarships and unclaimed scholarships and more by visiting our education website.