4 tips to make the most of scholarships

4 tips to make the most of scholarships

Managing Editor of Peterson's and EssayEdge, Guest Contributor

Students typically have to work their tails off to earn money for college. They write proposals, perform interviews and suffer rejection in their quest to land a choice scholarship. But once they've secured it, they may be surprised to learn that their work is not even close to being over. In fact, the same vigilance that got them that scholarship in the first place is critical if they're going to use the money properly. Here are four tips for helping students get the most out of a scholarship.

1. Read the fine print.

Know everything there is to know about the scholarship. Is it a one-time deal, or one that is renewable over the years they're in school? Renewable scholarships seem like a dream come true, but many have a number of stipulations, including a minimum grade point average to maintain or a specific path of study to follow in order to continue to be eligible. There also may be further paperwork to submit on an ongoing basis. If students fall below a standard, deviate from a path or file work late, they could not only lose the scholarship, but they may have to pay back what they already received.

2. Make sure it doesn't impact financial aid.

Something that doesn't occur to every scholarship awardee right away is how an outside scholarship (rather than an in-institution one) can alter their other financial aid packages. Make sure to assess what one might do to the other.

RELATED: The truth about scholarships and 529 plans


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