Friday, January 6, 2012

Some Helpful Information To Keep In Mind When Pursuing Scholarship Options

Congratulations! You just received notification that you have won a scholarship to help you pay for your education. More than likely you had to do a lot of research and fill out a lot of papers. Along with your notification of having won whatever amount of money they will be awarding you, the first thing you must be aware of is how your scholarship will be used and applied to your tuition.
Now besides an academic education, you will get a crash course in the school's policy and basic accounting. This does not mean that scholarships are not a blessing! However, schools want to make sure that the funds are used for your tuition.
There is a downside to receiving scholarships, depending upon the amount and/or if you will be receiving other financial aid which will cover your tuition completely. Whatever the case may be, the amount of money that you will receive will be considered as part of your assets, which of course will reduce your need for financial aid. In such an instance, the school will re-evaluate your financial picture and your aid package may suffer!
In order to clear up your confusion, you should talk with the financial aid officer on campus or if you have enrolled into an online program, contact student services via e-mail. Hopefully, you applied to scholarships that disperse funds regularly during the course of your degree plan. Don't forget you do not have to repay scholarships!
If at all possible, you should stay away from student loans since new and stricter consequences have been put into place for non repayment. The best thing to do is gather as much information about scholarships, grants and student loans as possible, and then come up with a good financial plan including future budget allowances.
For the returning student that has an established family, the need to find on-campus housing will not be an issue. This is a big reason that returning to school online is a great idea! However, for the student fresh out of high school, the experience of dorm living is a rite of passage and will need to be considered in the overall cost of getting a higher education.
It might seem that your scholarship has a lot of strings attached to it but don't forget there are other students out there needing and wanting funds for their education also. That is why both campus-based schools as well as online institutions of higher education require that you follow all of their policies; this includes maintaining your GPA at a certain level.

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