The term unclaimed scholarships is used to refer to scholarships which students who have , or had the qualifications to apply and win a scholarship never took the time to apply; or did apply and win, but never followed through with accepting it.
This usually happens with the winning student having a last-minute abrupt ‘change of plans’ in regards to their college careers. Their winning scholarships then become unused!
Unusual circumstances tend to come into play at the final buzzer (so to speak) and everything suddenly changes for the student.
For instance the below unusual events may occur in regards to a scholarship becoming ‘unclaimed’ or ‘unused’:
* A student applies and wins a scholarship, but also wins another one too. The first scholarship may have a restrictive clause that prevents the student from accepting it IF they win another scholarship of equal of higher value. The student never responds and the first award becomes unclaimed. * Student applies and wins a scholarship, but the scholarship is only for the student to attend a particular college ONLY. The student overlooked this fact before applying, or never really knew this was the case. Many scholarship criteria cause’s detail’s like this to be hidden, or buried sometimes. Nevertheless; the student does not even respond back to the scholarship sponsor once getting the award letter in the mail which states this fact, and which cause’s the student to feel it was a scam in the first place. * Student applies and wins a scholarship. The scholarship may be for students who only will be studying in a certain field ONLY. The student changes his field of study at the last-minute and proceeds to attend a college with his/her new field choice – which was not the one which he applied for. * Student applies and wins a scholarship, but also wins many others at other schools who then decides to take the OTHER financial offers and could care less about the first one. * Student applies and wins a scholarship and just decides college is not what he wants to do at this time. Maybe it’s because the student met a significant other and feels that he/she may lose them IF they attend college (bad choice if they do!). Higher education plans are put on hold to see if things will work out (they never usually do at this stage in life) with the relationship. Another unclaimed scholarship!
Unclaimed Scholarships becoming Guaranteed Scholarships
Another classic unused scholarship scenario is the scholarship is never awarded because all the applicants did not meet the criteria for winning.
This one is more common than most think. This is how an unclaimed scholarship is obtained quickly. Sometimes these unclaimed awards are converted to guaranteed scholarships suddenly, or rolled over to the next quarter or year to be given out.
For those who are wondering what a guaranteed scholarship is, it’s an award given out to students who match up with the criteria exactly, such as ACT scores, GPA and other distinguished accomplishments.
Many times GPA and ACT scores are never used, but other specific past accomplishments ONLY. This becomes a paperwork shuffle only, with no evaluation of applicants whatsoever.
These guaranteed scholarships are quick and easy – IF you match up with the stated scholarship criteria! Students should apply to those awards which they match up well to. Your chances of getting one is greater because of this.
Our best advice which most never do!
Best unclaimed scholarship advice is to go into the FinAids office to see what is available for you. Just don’t think a list of scholarships, but all other forms of student aid. It may be special grants, such as need based financial aid given out ONLY by the college itself with a criteria that fits you perfectly.This is the only way to find out what the college itself has available.
They will tell you on the spot many times if you fit in one of their student financial aid programs. They will tell you to fill out many particular forms. If they do, fill them out and turn them in ASAP.
This is how it’s best done!
Of all the advice given out, this may be the best which many times is never followed through on, and produces the most student financial aid for students. After all, the best unclaimed scholarship is the one you apply for and get – whatever it may be called!