Congratulations! You did it! You won a scholarship. Your hard work has paid off. The final step is to be sure that you keep your scholarship in succeeding years.
Be sure you understand whether your scholarship renewal even applies in your case. In some cases, scholarships can be renewed yearly for the entire four years. However, the renewal may not be automatic. You may need to apply again, demonstrate financial need again, provide tuition bill copies, and/or meet other criteria to receive a renewed award.
You must also understand the terms of your scholarship renewal. Otherwise you could inadvertently lose funding by failing to provide a progress report or not carrying the necessary course load.
Here are some of the issues to fully understand.
Scholarship Renewal Factors
Athletic scholarships usually require that you play the sport for which the award was granted. Be sure you understand what will happen if an injury takes you out of play for a season or you are barred from playing due to academic probation.
Field of Study
If you received an award based upon study in a particular field and you make a decision to change majors, you may lose the award. Be sure you understand the ramification of decisions about course of study so that you can prepare for any loss of funding.
Your scholarship renewal clause may require that you maintain a minimum GPA and/or make satisfactory progress toward a degree. Be sure you understand the consequences of taking a lighter course load, skipping a semester, or failing to maintain a satisfactory GPA.
Be sure that your award is used only for the expenses that are allowed under the terms.
Choice of College
If the award is tied to attendance at a specific school, you will lose the scholarship if you choose to transfer.
Follow the requirement for filing progress reports and other information carefully.
Filing New Applications
Scholarship support drops off considerably in succeeding years for the following reasons:
- Once students are in college, they do not tend to apply for scholarships in succeeding years.
- A number of scholarships are for the first year only.
- Students who have renewable scholarships fail to reapply.
It is certainly possible to continue to apply for scholarships throughout your college career. The same organization and efficiency is required each year to determine which awards to apply for, gather the appropriate materials, and assemble complete packages in the right time frame.
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