Can Scholarships Pay for Off Campus Housing?

Scholarships can cover many college costs -- tuition, fees, textbooks, on-campus housing -- but can they cover that apartment off campus?

Kathryn Knight Randolph

July 24, 2023

Can Scholarships Pay for Off Campus Housing?
Find out whether or not scholarships can help you get that apartment off campus.
Scholarships can cover a myriad of college costs – from tuition to fees to books. But do they cover everything? Can they pay for meal plans? Can they pay for off campus housing? Can they pay for spring break trips? Knowing ahead of time what scholarships can and cannot cover will help you better pay for school, which will impact how you live not only during school but after school as well.

How to Find Scholarships that Pay for Off Campus Housing

Finding college scholarships for off campus housing is just like finding any other opportunity. First, it’s helpful to fill out a profile on Fastweb. Filling out a profile is free and just takes a few minutes. Furthermore, it gives you access to Fastweb’s entire database of scholarships. With the information provided, we can match you to opportunities for which you actually qualify. Essentially, we do all of the hard scholarship search work for you. After you fill out a profile, you will be given a list of scholarship matches. These are opportunities that you actually qualify for and can apply to immediately. Each scholarship will have a detail page. Here, you can find helpful information like the deadline, amount and eligibility requirements.
Additionally, you may find information about what the scholarship will cover. If you do not find what it will cover on the detail page, check the scholarship provider’s website. You can also email the scholarship committee directly to see if their opportunity will pay for off campus housing.

How to Win Scholarships that Pay for Off Campus Housing

Winning scholarships is a numbers game and requires a bit of strategy. The more you apply to, the greater your chances of actually winning one – or many.
With that, you need to treat the scholarship search and application process like a part-time job. Commit to apply to several each week, and make sure they vary by type. Split your application time between easy-to-apply-for scholarships and those that take a little more work. Easy-to-apply for scholarships that require little time to complete have hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants. While your chances of winning are small, the pay-off can oftentimes be pretty big. However, those opportunities that require a little more work like essays, video submissions or letters of recommendation tend to have a smaller applicant pool. While it may take you more time to apply, the chances of winning are actually greater.

Using Your Scholarships that Pay for Off Campus Housing

Once you have won, it’s important to talk with the scholarship provider about what the funding covers. Almost every opportunity will cover tuition. After that though, scholarships get specific about what they can be used for in terms of college costs. Some cover room and board at the college only. Others cover expenses like books, computers and fees. However, you will find that there are scholarships out there with less rigid stipulations, and these can pay for off campus housing. Any scholarship that you win outside of your college or university must be reported to the school – even if you are using them to pay for off campus housing. If you have been overawarded between scholarships and financial aid, the college will remove money from your financial aid package. They are not doing this to punish you. Typically, they’ll remove the student loans first, meaning you will have less to pay back after graduation – if any at all. You can also indicate that you would like to use the scholarships to pay for off campus housing. While the college will still likely lessen your financial aid package, you will all be on the same page about the award amount and the college costs that it’s covering.

When Scholarships Don’t Pay for Off Campus Housing

As you apply for scholarships, you may win an award that does not cover off campus housing. You will have to look strategically at the funding you do have to see if you can move money around to allocate to your biggest financial needs. Merit scholarships that you received from the school when they admitted you will not cover off campus housing. You are more likely to find that outside scholarships will provide the financial help you’re looking for. However, even outside scholarships – which come from a group or organization other than the school – can dictate whether or not the award can pay for off campus housing. That is up to each scholarship provider and the rules and regulations of the committee. So before you apply, ask about the stipulations if they’re not otherwise stated. If the opportunities you find don’t pay for off campus housing, but you still need funds to cover tuition or books, apply anyway.

Strategize for Scholarships that Pay for Off Campus Housing

It’s true that some people just get lucky, but you need to plan to work hard to find and win scholarships that pay for off campus housing. Don’t wait for opportunities to be handed to you; go out and seize them. Fill out a profile on Fastweb in order to be matched with scholarships for which you actually qualify. Ask your guidance counselor about local awards that could help you pay for college. Commit to applying to at least two scholarships per week, and don't forget to start early. You do not have to wait until your junior or senior year of high school to begin searching for scholarships. Start during the freshman year – and find opportunities through your final year of college or graduate school. The point is: there is an abundant amount of scholarships out there for every type of person, student and age. With a little research, and a lot of time spent applying, you could find awards that pay for off campus housing – among other college costs. Get started today with Fastweb, and begin earning scholarships that will enable you to pursue your higher education, career and life dreams.

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