Unclaimed Scholarships

unclaimed scholarships

Understanding Unclaimed Scholarships

Do you know what unclaimed scholarships really are? Does unclaimed scholarship money really exist? Can you easily claim an unclaimed scholarship for your self if someone else doesn’t claim it. Are they easy scholarships? These are all valid questions because college money is harder and harder to come by today and students are getting desperate to pay the high cost of a continuing education and they would like their share of easy unclaimed scholarships – if there is such a thing!

There has been so many various random articles written about this subject (even by college professors) and they all have a little different twist of what exactly is unclaimed scholarship money. The above questions have many answers depending on what your definition of unclaimed scholarship money really is.

One school of thought is that it’s a myth started by the scholarship search companies so they can charge anxious and financially desperate students fees to help them look for it. This seems to all lead to the same results in that these companies get paid their fees over and over again for the bogus scholarship searches they perform. They do millions of searches with no scholarship money going to the student and most times the end result is a recommendation to apply for grants which they could have done for themselves.

Then there are those who state that an unclaimed scholarship can only be gotten from scholarship monies awarded from large and small companies alike who have much to hand out but do not get enough applicants to fully award all it – so it gets added to the next years pool of applicants. The reason may be that there isn’t any employees who have college age children looking for student aid.

Another theory of a scholarship that goes unclaimed is that it comes from ultra provisional types of scholarships that have few if any students who apply for it.
For example if the scholarship criteria called for only those applicants who have one left blue eye and one right red-eye along with high GPA’s and SAT/ACT test can only apply; then your odds of having an unclaimed scholarship are very high for this particular award.

Fastweb.com who is one of the largest scholarship search engine services believes that the only scholarships that go unclaimed do so because they CAN”T be claimed because they have highly restrictive eligibility requirements. They say the notion of monies being available and not being used up by students to help pay their way through college is a myth created in a 1976 study by the NIWL who stated that there was 7 billion dollars in student aid monies from employers to help students attend college and that less than 400 million of it was actually being used up.

This can be easily explained that most of the employees simply will not apply for themselves or their children, OR I should say that they will not need to apply because they or their children will not be attending college so there is not a need for tuition assistance at that time. This could have been a big reason why there is so much interest in unclaimed scholarships for college today that was actually created by this report.

Do unclaimed scholarships have restrictive criteria?

Unclaimed money for college has been theorized that it only comes from the oddball scholarships. For example if you have a particular last name such as ‘Downer’; yes, if your last name is Downer and you are descendants of Joseph or Robert Downer of Wiltshire, England planing on attending Harvard University, then you have a very good chance of being awarded scholarship money. What are the odds though that anyone with that last name will be attending this particular college in any given year? We can then say in all good probability that this award may be unclaimed four out of the next five years. This will become an unused scholarship most of the time.

Unclaimed College scholarships are not being used!

The National Academy of American Scholars claims that it had over $100,000 scholarship money unused in 2011 because lots of high school counselors did NOT distribute enough literature by the National Academy of American Scholars to sufficiently get the word out so enough applicants could apply for their scholarship program.

USA reported that one in ten full-time students attending a four-year college university will have some type of scholarship. The average amount is $2,800 according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education. They state that students simply don’t apply for scholarships OR don’t apply at all and more should be getting them!

Why is this?

The many reasons cited for unclaimed scholarships are:

  1. Students do not start early enough on trying to get student aid there-fore missing scholarship deadlines.
  2. Students make fatal application mistakes such as following all the directions for applying, misspelled words, and out of text sentence arrangements.
  3. The inability of NOT getting recommendation letters.

Bottom line for unclaimed scholarship money

You can see all of the above are valid reasons for scholarships being tagged as unclaimed. Simply put; unclaimed scholarships for college are just not being used for tuition for all of the above reasons. Therefore students should look more aggressively for those hidden away scholarships not too well publicized. Their will be a lot less applicants applying for them which will increase your chances of winning by ten to one hundredfold in some cases.

7 Responses

  1. Trey C Williams says:

    This is Trey, mother where do I go to in order to fill out
    the application for these unclaimed scholarships.

    Ms Williams

  2. admin says:


    you must apply via the sponsors website. Many times we put the links in the articles, but will not if the links change from year to year (which would result in a dead link if you clicked on it). You may have to copy the name of the scholarship in the article a and past it in your web-browser to search for it and then go to the scholarships sponsors website. We try and post the scholarships which have many yearly awards to give students a better chance at being awarded one. More awards mean chances of getting one is increased.

  3. Victoria Cromwell says:

    What about scholarships for a current college students? Those are the ones that I have trouble finding.

  4. admin says:


    you may want to visit you FinAids office of the college your attending to inquire into student aid for current students. Much is given to incoming, but current you must look harder for them.

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