How Much Money in Scholarships Can I Get?

Kathryn Knight Randolph

September 13, 2019

How Much Money in Scholarships Can I Get?
Find out if there are limits to how much money in scholarships you can get.
The easiest and best way to pay for school is through scholarships and grants; but as easy as it is to pay for school with scholarships, it’s harder to actually win them. Furthermore, both scholarship providers and colleges have rules and regulations surrounding what scholarships can and cannot be used for. With that, you may wonder how much money in scholarships can you get? Well, just like scholarships, that answer is a little complicated, but we’ll unpack it for you all the same.

How Much Money in Different Scholarships Can I Get?

Let’s start at square one: searching and applying for scholarships. There are several different types of scholarships, and if you hope to win at least one, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in an award. Merit scholarships – These are awarded based on academic performance, extracurricular involvement and test scores. A merit scholarship is typically awarded by a college when a student applies for admission. Notice of a merit scholarship usually arrives with a college’s admission decision. Full tuition scholarships – For another idea of how much money in scholarships you can get, hope for a full tuition scholarship. These cover the total cost of attending the college – and in some cases extend so far as room and board.
Prestigious awards – There are multiple scholarship programs that are well-known across the country, even the world. We’re talking the Coca-Cola Scholars, The Gates Scholarship and Rhodes Scholars. While a lot of these depend on academic achievement in order to win, some are awarded based on financial need, philanthropic efforts or exctracurricular involvement. Sweepstakes – There are many sweepstakes scholarships available to students. Typically, these only require students to fill out a quick application, making them quick and easy-to-enter. These can range in amount from a few hundred dollars to full-ride opportunities. Local scholarshipsl – Finally, there are local awards that can help students attend college. These come from organizations that seek to award local students with financial help to pay for college.

Where to Find Money in Scholarships that You Can Get

As you continue your quest to see, “How much money in scholarships can I get?”, it’s vital to know where to look for scholarships. Researching scholarships on your own can take hours, days, even weeks in order to find opportunities for which you qualify. Fastweb, however, makes it easy and fast. With Fastweb, users simply have to answer questions about themselves in order to get; a list of scholarships for which they actually qualify. We ask about your location, GPA, test scores, extracurricular involvement, colleges of interest and so much more in order to put that list together. You could match to scholarships based on your academic achievement, intended degree of study or place of employment. Once you have your list of scholarship matches from Fastweb, it’s up to you to apply. In addition to utilizing Fastweb, you should have a conversation with a financial aid administrator at the schools you’re interested in as well as your high school guidance counselor. They will be able to tell you about college or local scholarships that may not be listed in Fastweb’s database. Scholarship opportunities can be found anywhere – so keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t forget to fill out a profile on Fastweb!

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Money in Scholarships I Can Get?

When you win a scholarship, you must report it to the school you plan to attend. That’s because schools will adjust your financial aid package to accommodate for the new support you have in paying for school. This is not done to penalize you. Rather, it’s done to free up financial aid dollars for those who really need it. Typically, scholarship money is sent directly to the school. But if you won a scholarship, and for some reason the money was sent directly to you and you didn’t report it, this scenario would be considered fraud. So do the right thing when it comes to winning – and reporting – scholarships. In very rare cases, a student will receive so much money in scholarships that they will be “overawarded.” This means that scholarships have fulfilled all of a student's financial need, and they no longer require financial aid. Even better, their scholarships have added up so much that they don’t need to pay anything to attend the school. And then even more amazing than that, there is money left over. Provided there aren’t restrictions from a scholarship provider against such a situation, a student could technically graduate with a surplus of money. However, it should be stressed again that this is extremely rare.

Wrapping Up: How Much Money in Scholarships Can I Get?

There really is no limit to how much you can win in scholarships. However, once you get to a certain point, winning scholarships will impact how you pay for college. As stated above, the school has the right – and the obligation – to remove any financial aid from your package that can be replaced by a scholarship. For example, let’s say that your annual tuition is $50,000. When you were admitted, you were given a $20,000 merit scholarship. After completing the FAFSA, it was determined that your Expected Family Contribution was $10,000 per year – so you were awarded a financial aid package of $15,000. However, you won an outside scholarship of $15,000. After reporting it to the school, your financial aid package was reduced to $0 because your new scholarship could cover that amount. It looks like you have been penalized for winning an outside scholarship, BUT that financial aid package consisted mostly of student loans. Now, you’ve used the free money you received from the outside scholarship to pay for college instead of student loans that would have required you to pay them back with interest after college. As you pursue as much money in scholarships as you can get, try to apply to as many scholarships as possible. After all, the more scholarships you apply to, the better your chances of actually winning. So make searching for scholarships a part-time job. Commit to applying to at least two every week. Use Fastweb for help – and good luck!

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