In this article, we prime you to one of the most asked questions, would I still have my scholarship after graduation?
If you graduate in three years, you will only receive three years of the scholarship. They will not give you the money for the fourth year.
Check the guidelines for your particular scholarship. There *might *be exceptions to the above, but I’d be surprised if that’s the case.
What Happens to Scholarships if You Graduate Early
Many scholarships require enrollment in a degree program or a specific number of course credits.
This means that if a student graduates early, no additional scholarship funds will be awarded after their graduation date.
For example, the University of New Mexico offers general scholarships to current students who are enrolled in a minimum of twelve credits per semester.
These requirements are fairly consistent among university-awarded scholarships.
If a student graduates early and no longer meets these requirements, funding is terminated. Unawarded scholarships will be used to fund students who meet the award criteria.
What are the Main Sources of Scholarships and Grants?
College applicants have access to four major types of free money. We’ll list and discuss them below, along with the percentage of total grants and/or scholarships received from each source:
- Federal grants
- State grants and scholarships
- Scholarships and grants from schools
- Private scholarships
1. Federal Aid
The federal government is estimated to give out $120 billion in federal aid each year.
However, if you’re looking for merit scholarships from the federal government, you’re out of luck.
Almost all federal government grants require proof of financial need.
To be eligible for federal grants, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
2. State Aid
Almost every state education agency offers at least one grant or scholarship program to residents of the state. Some provide a variety of programs.
Southern states are more likely to give out money based on grade point average and possibly test scores.
States on the East and West coasts are more likely to provide financial need-based awards.
Visit the website of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to learn more about aid programs in your state (NASFAA).
3. Institutional Grants and Scholarships
This is how the award process typically works. When a student applies to a school, the admissions office decides whether or not to accept the student.
If the school offers merit scholarships, the decision is usually made during the admissions process, based on the student’s grades and test scores.
This frequently occurs before the school determines whether a student is eligible for need-based aid.
After reviewing the financial aid form, the admissions staff determines whether a child still requires assistance, even after merit scholarships are considered.
If the school is willing to go above and beyond, it will award a need-based grant in addition to the scholarship.
The most prestigious research universities and liberal arts colleges do not offer merit scholarships.
4. Private Scholarships and Employer Grants
Private scholarships are awarded by outside organizations such as foundations, civic organizations, businesses, religious organizations, professional organizations, and charities.
Many people believe that private scholarships are the most important source of school funding, but as you know, they are among the smallest.
Unlike other sources, these scholarships typically last only one year, and the majority of them are for less than $4,000.
The chances of winning a scholarship are approximately one in eight. Scholarships with prestigious odds of one in 250 or one in 500 are available.