What are Scholarships?
Scholarships are free money that is available to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of school. Students have to apply for scholarships, which ware awarded on a case-by-case basis, often based on merit/achievement. If a student receives a scholarship, it does not have to be paid back.
What Do You Need to Have to Qualify for a Scholarship?
Every scholarship has varying requirements–including its own application, which you will need to get and complete–but it is a good idea to pull together a folder of the following information (or as much of it as you can), as almost all scholarships will ask for some combination of the following:
- Letter(s) of reference
- Writing sample
- Transcript of Grades
- Copy of Student Aid report
- Parent and Student Tax Returns and W-2 Forms
- GPA Certification Form
- Enrollment Verification Form
- Copy of Financial Aid Award Letter
Beware of Scholarship Scams!
Be cautious of scholarship applications that require an “application fee.” Also, proceed with caution with scholarship matching services that promise results and sales pitches that describe themselves as financial aid workshops or seminars.
Do You Need to Be a Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to Qualify for a Scholarship?
Some scholarships require proof of citizenship in order to qualify for a scholarship, but others do not.