Myths and legends exist everywhere, even in the world of unclaimed scholarships for college. There are so many different reasons why these different college scholarship myths take shape, but the unfortunate thing is that they discourage students from applying for scholarships that they could easily achieve.
It is a very bad misconception that the scholarships are only awarded to the the best candidates, or the valedictorians only.
Academic institutions usually have a different range of scholarships programs with many different kinds of eligibility requirements.
Many people who usually deal with financial aid and undergrad scholarships go out of their own way to address these myths about unclaimed scholarships for college. One such person is Marvin Carmichael, a former chairman of the NASFAA (National association of Student Financial aid Administrators). He is very familiar with the misunderstandings that people have over unclaimed scholarships, or scholarships in general.
Marvin Carmichael is now the Director of financial aid at Clemson University, and this is where he goes on to dismiss the common myths about the unclaimed scholarships. Keep in mind this is his opinion only on these types of scholarships. Others in his same position has other opinions which may contradict the below. Nevertheless; it’s a good idea to get various opinions on this subject as possible because it’s so controversial.
Myth 1: Unclaimed scholarships amount to billions of dollars
This myth has actually been around since the word scholarship was actually invented. Carmichael says that there are times that the universities have scholarships that don’t get awarded but it’s very seldom. Usually the main reasons for those scholarships not to be awarded are very high eligibility requirements or because of unfortunate timing.
There might actually be a lot of funds that might amount into billions of US dollars, but that’s not due to the lack of unclaimed scholarships. This myth also usually fails to take in account the employer paid scholarships that are usually included in the total of scholarships, and of all the unclaimed scholarships which those amount to eighty five percent.
Myth 2: Due to so much competition I will not get a college scholarship
There are lot of grants and potential awards available out there and all you have to do is seek them out first. But the important point to remember here is that you have to determine what your best abilities are. Scholarships are not just for the valedictorians but also for people who have unique talents and interests. The opportunities out there are quite diverse.
As you begin your search you should first start with your own community and local associations in your area. The people who employ your parents might even sponsor your college scholarships and most of them don’t require anything more than a speech or an essay.
Myth 3: only the best students get undergraduate scholarships.
It not always that the top students get the scholarships says Carmichael. He points out that the universities are not able to use the fee and tuition revenue they get for the scholarships, rather these scholarships funds come from individuals. Government sponsored programs or state sponsored institutions usually make large donations to be used as scholarships.
Some of those scholarships are awarded to the students with a particular kind of major. This can be explained in an example that say someone from the textile industry wants to set up a fund for a scholarship program, the students that might apply for that scholarship might not be high achievers but they might meet the criteria put in place by the donor.
Myth 4: university scholarships won’t come to me because I am not a top student.
Very few students get free rides and in reality they use a lot of different financial mechanisms to cover their tuition and cover their costs. Students are also encouraged to explore other options available to them such as grants, loans, federal and state programs and tuition tax credits. You’ll be awarded more if you have more going for you and you should not sit back and wait for the money to come in to your help.
According to www.naas.org, they are still sponsoring scholarships worth over one million dollars, which also includes grants and loans. And around $100,000 of this financial aid, grants, loans and scholarships which were targeted for high-school seniors went unused because a lot of high school counselors did not distribute the appropriate literature. At a time when a lot of families are struggling this is not only unethical but outrageous.
Could these awards from naas.org actually be authentic college unclaimed scholarships!