Unfortunately, many students fall prey to the myth that because their parents have a certain income, they won’t be eligible for many forms of financial aid, including scholarships. However, that myth can cost them significant gift aid money. With the cost of college so high, even families who don’t qualify as low-income can need assistance paying for tuition.
So don’t let scholarship opportunities pass you by! Let’s bust the myth.
Unlike student loans or grants, scholarships aren’t always given out based on financial need. In fact, many scholarship winners are selected solely on merit. What’s important to understand is that ‘merit’ could mean different things depending on the type of scholarship.
Scholarship organizations offer awards for various purposes and each organization sets their own eligibility criteria depending on their values and mission. To even be considered for any scholarship, you have to first meet their eligibility requirements. The winner is then selected based on various factors.
Academic and Sports Scholarships
For scholarships based on academic merit, the winner will be the student who demonstrates the strongest academic credentials. Winners of athletic scholarships will be those students who outperform their competitors in their particular sport.
For some scholarships, the winner may be the applicant who has written the most compelling essay or one who can demonstrate proof of their passion in that particular field. In other cases, it may be the applicant who has the most potential or is the most skilled in that particular field.
There are many, many different kind of demographic scholarships. From religion, to ethnicity, to which state you live in, to certain disabilities, to majors you’re interested in, to sexuality and orientation, and so much more.
Although all of these scholarship opportunities vary widely in terms of their eligibility requirements, one thing they all have in common is that none of them consider your parents income to decide on the winner.