There are essentially two types of unused scholarships. The first type is the unused scholarship money that people don’t apply for; either because of extremely rigid requirements, or because they aren’t aware that they are available, and more commonly because they don’t think that they stand a chance of winning the scholarship.
The second group is the unused college scholarships that are actually applied for and awarded, but then not used by the student. In terms of the second type, however, those unclaimed scholarship dollars are typically rolled over back into the originial scholarship fund, or awarded to other students as they become available. It is the first type that you need to know about.
The first reason that students do not apply for these unusued scholarships is because they don’t think that they could possibly win, with the competition involved, even if they meet all of the criteria. This is always a mistake. If you meet the eligibility requirements for a college scholarship, you need to apply. Never think of this as a waste of time. Remember that for most scholarships, a certain number of each scholarship is awarded every year. When there are strict eligibility requirements, or a complicated application process, fewer students will apply. What this essentially means is that often, there are fewer applicants than there are awards available, and this works in your favor. If you meet the requirements, and you go through the application process, in this instance, you pretty much have a guaranteed scholarship.
Surprisingly, students are largely unaware of many unknown scholarships that are available in their own community. Some high schools have taken the initiative to release lists of these local little known scholarships to their students, so that they are aware of them, but few have done this to date. When the student talks about financial aid with their high school guidance counselor, they need to ask specifically about local scholarships that are available along with state scholarships too. Encourage your school to put together a list of the local college scholarships that are available, so that more students can get financial aid, and there will be far fewer unused and unknown scholarships that go unclaimed for college.
Parents should check with their employers, unions, and any organizations that they belong to in order to find out about any little known scholarships that are available. Scholarship opportunities such as these are not always advertised. You should also check with your church to see if they sponsor any christian scholarships, and check with any type of organization that students belong to for any potential hidden scholarships. Sometimes, just being a member of an organization makes your eligible, but because so many people do not know this, there are a large number of unused scholarships each and every year.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that standard scholarships only go to the most advanced students, or to the financially poorest students. This isn’t so. While some scholarships grants are designed for the very brightest, or the very poor, this isn’t true of most scholarships. Also, don’t assume that you are automatically eligible for a scholarship and that you don’t have to apply. With just a little investigation into what is available, you can greatly increase the awards that you get to pay for your education with the many unused scholarships that go unclaimed each year. Find as many of these unknown, hidden and secret college scholarships available today and see what sticks. This will make your college financial ride a little more enjoyable.
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