Classes have started, you are finding your routine, and many of you may have been fortunate enough to have received a scholarship to help pay for college this year. Congratulations! Now that you are a scholarship recipient, you may wonder what you need to do next. Here are some answers to a few questions you may have.
What do I need to do to keep my scholarship?
Be sure to read through the guidelines/criteria of your scholarship. You need to stay enrolled in enough credit hours, keep an eye on your GPA, and follow up with any deadlines for thank you letters or check-ins that are required. Never be afraid to contact the organization who awarded you the scholarship with any questions that you may have about maintaining your eligibility.
If I receive a scholarship will it affect my other financial aid?
In some instances when you are awarded a scholarship after your financial aid has been awarded, something called an over-award may occur (see an example). This means that the total of your awards exceed your cost of attendance. Federal regulations require adjustments to financial aid to correct the over-award. In some cases, the adjustment may result in a further reduction of other aid (excluding the Pell grant) in order to award the scholarship. Normally, adjustments are first made to financial aid that is seen as least beneficial to the student, such as loans, since that is financial aid you are responsible for paying back later.
Now that I have a scholarship, will I need to apply to more?
That is your decision, but most students will need to apply to scholarships more than once while in college. Some scholarships are renewable, but not all of them will carry through to the next school year. If a scholarship is renewable, be sure to pay attention to the requirements the donor has for renewing your application with them. If a scholarship is not renewable, you will want to go back and start your application process again. Just remind yourself how great it felt to receive a scholarship the first time if you need a little motivation. Also remember, many scholarship essays can be revised and used again, so you do not have to start from scratch.
Who should I contact if I have more questions about my scholarship?
No worries! You can always reach out to your college’s financial aid department or the foundation at your school. Both of these areas have advisors and representatives ready and willing to help you figure out your questions. If they do not have the answers, they can help you get in touch with the organization or donor who oversees the scholarship.
Are you a scholarship recipient? What questions do you have?