The world of scholarships can be confusing, complexing, and downright mysterious. Just how are winners chosen? What awards are worth the time? Which are scams? Well get ready to forget everything you’ve heard about scholarships, because we’re blowing the lid off some of the most common myths you’ve always wondered about.
1). Only students with a high GPA have a shot at winning
You might think every scholarship provider is looking for a student with a 4.0, but the truth is there are TONS of scholarships where your GPA isn’t the focus – some scholarships don’t even ask for it!
If you’re the type of student that cannot be summed up by a transcript, then merit-based scholarships are for you. These types of scholarships are often related to a student’s ability to excel at non-academic pursuits like art, sports, or volunteer work. Most of the time they require applicants to submit essays, videos, or portfolios showcasing their unique abilities, not their test-taking skills.
For a better understanding of how merit based scholarships work, make sure to check out this post from our archive.
2). “There are no scholarships I can apply for.”
Similar to point number one, this is a far too common attitude students have! Stop debating whether or not you’re eligible for scholarships, cause guess what – YOU TOTALLY ARE. It’s just a matter of looking for them.
While some scholarships do have specific entry requirements, you’d be shocked to discover just how many awards out there only require you to be a high school or college student. Sure, you may not be the best fit for every scholarship opportunity, but don’t cut yourself short without exploring your options.
3). Judges favor awarding scholarships to certain ethnicities
This is a touchy subject for many students, but here’s the real deal – unless a scholarship is specifically designated to support a certain demographic, race should not be considered a factor for applying. Most scholarship applications do not require you to disclose your ethnicity, so for the most part judges will have no idea what your (or other applicants’) race is.
If a scholarship does ask for your ethnicity it’s not for screening purposes – many organizations use this information to get a better sense of what communities they are serving or to share their insights for annual reports (many non-profits are required by the government to provide information on the demographics they are providing services for).
4). Sob stories work to a student’s advantage
In the college admissions world there are the “Three D’s of Personal Statements” that review boards come across far too often – death, divorce, and disease. Similar to the world of scholarships, trying to leverage a personal hardship to sway the judges is a frowned upon tactic.
If a scholarship requires you to share a hardship – or if you feel including it will give a more holistic perspective of yourself – discuss how you overcame whatever obstacle was in your path and what you took away from the experience. Harping on difficulties in your life will not win you sympathy points, but explaining how they have shaped you into a better person will speak volumes about your character.
> > > > To see the full list of bogus scholarship myths, click here!
Provided by Zinch
Zinch is the leading network for college-bound students. Zinch helps students stay on track by matching students to best-fit schools and connecting them to admissions offices, matching students with scholarships, reminding them about important deadlines, and providing students with valuable tips throughout the process. With more than 800 schools and $1 billion in scholarships, Zinch empowers students with opportunities to get in and pay for school.