Scholarships matter a lot for students headed to college because college is so expensive and because the financial aid system is often unfair to middle-income families. The formulas colleges and the government use to calculate need-based assistance are out of date. They put many families in the challenging position of having to come up with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for their children’s college education. But myths about scholarships hold people back from finding and applying for scholarships.
We hear the “buts” from parents all the time: “but it’s too early,” “but our daughter isn’t an athlete,” “but we don’t qualify for need-based assistance.” There are many myths about scholarships that permeate people’s thinking. Each of them can keep your child from having the money they need for college.
Myths About Scholarships
Myth 1: Scholarships are Limited to Grades and Sports
This is a widespread belief: that if you’re not an athlete or an academically gifted student, you can’t win scholarships. The truth is that there are scholarships based on many things: interests, ethnicity, race, interests, accomplishments, and skills, to name some. So even if you aren’t academically exceptional or an athlete, you can find scholarships tailored to you.
Myth 2: Scholarships are Only for Students With Financial Needs
Many people believe that scholarships are only for students who couldn’t afford to attend without them. There certainly are many scholarships for students with demonstrated need, but there are also many scholarships for students that do not take financial need into account. If you can afford college, why should you apply? For one thing, winning a scholarship is an honor, and it can help you get into a more selective school. It can also help the many students who don’t have demonstrated need from the government’s point of view but will still have a hard time affording college.
Myth 3: Scholarships are Only for Seniors
No, you don’t have to be a senior to apply for scholarships. There are scholarships for students in freshman year, sophomore year, and junior year. There are even scholarships for students in middle school. And of course, there are scholarships for students who are already in college. You can apply for, and win money for college, all through your educational years.
Myth 4: Scholarships Have to be Related to Your Field of Study
There are scholarships based on a student’s intended major, there are also many scholarships that are independent of it, and some that are awarded to students with particular skills or interests even if that isn’t going to be the student’s intended major.
Myth 5: Universities Award all Scholarships
For most students, applying to university scholarships can be the easiest way to get assistance with college. That’s because universities can offer a scholarship that is essentially a discount on tuition and doesn’t cost the university any cash. But there are also many outside scholarships you can use at any school.
Get Started Early
College can be costly, so don’t put this off.As early as freshman year, and possibly sooner, you can get started applying for scholarships. Use LifeLaunchr’s Scholarship Match to search for scholarships and make a habit of applying. It only takes 15-30 minutes a week, and you can amass tens of thousands of dollars to help pay for college. The average student now leaves college with nearly $32,000 in student loan debt, and the average cost of college can be as much as $300,000 for a four-year degree. Don’t let myths about scholarships hold you back from getting a debt-free college education!
LifeLaunchr Can Help
On LifeLaunchr, you’ll get reminders of scholarships that are relevant for you each month, as well as reminders of other deadlines. And LifeLaunchr’s Scholarship Match can help you find scholarships tailored to you.College is expensive, but with a plan and focused action, you can graduate without debt!