Top 10 Myths that Prevent Students from Applying For Scholarships

Last Modified: 05 Mar 2024

Scholarships are a great way to get financial help for completing higher education. There are students from all over the world competing with one another for them. But, over the years the term “scholarship” has been surrounded by various myths and misconceptions. These myths are both negative as well as positive. Some myths are stopping students from applying for scholarships, while some are giving false hopes to them.

Here is a list of the top 10 myths and misconceptions about scholarships:-

They are only for students with high grades

This is the most common misconception that students have. There is no need to have a perfect academic record to apply for a scholarship. Different scholarships have different eligibility. It could be anything from a student’s home place or country to his or her parent’s occupation. Not all sponsors or organizations wish to reward the high scorers; some wish to help the needy or average students. The more a student looks, the wider will be the availability. Make it a point to check the eligibility criteria of the programs that interest you.

They do not give enough funding

A lot of students believe that scholarships offer limited funding. It is true in some cases but there are other options available as well. Many programs offer both full and partial scholarships. Organizations that offer partial-scholarships allow students to take another scholarship or loan as well. Small scholarships that cover expenses other than tuition fee such as; travel, living and food cost are also helpful.

They are too competitive

It is a common misconception that the competition for scholarships is very high. This happens because most students go after the popular and well-known programs. But there are several small institutions and programs that do not have as many applicants. Individuals only need to keep searching for scholarships for them. Such kinds of scholarships are local i.e. available within the area a student lives in. Candidates can also look for programs that offer less reward or ask for more than one essay. The competition in these programs is less and thus, a student has higher chances of winning.

They are only for high school seniors

Some students believe that scholarships are only available for graduation and post graduation purpose. This is completely wrong as there are scholarships available for school children as well. Many organizations focus on students studying in middle and junior school. The students can stay updated with all these events by staying in touch with their teachers. Since teachers are well aware of such events, taking help from them is a good idea.

They have a time-consuming application process

This myth was true years ago when the applications were to be filled offline. But these days, the process only requires the correct email id with some more information. It hardly even takes 3-4 minutes to fill up one online application form. With proper advice and information, even long application forms do not take much time. Moreover, if an individual focuses on the benefits he/she will get, the time invested in filling the application would not matter.

They cover the full cost of college

This is a myth that gives false hopes and expectations to students and their families. Yes, there are scholarships which are fully funded but they are rare. Families pressurize their children to study hard so that they can win a scholarship. A student may win a scholarship but there is no guarantee of it being fully funded. Candidates should always keep a backup plan ready for such situations. Instead of wasting time in looking just for fully funded scholarships, one should start searching for the ones that offer other great benefits.

They are only for minorities, athletes or low-income students

Scholarships for minorities, student-athletes, or low-income students come under government initiatives. But, there are many private institutes that do not focus on these categories. Some conduct an exam and some go by the application essay written by the student. Thus, children should not neglect private scholarships and try their luck in those as well. A student who is aware of his or her potential can win any scholarship of his or her choice.

They only cover living expenses

This is a common myth that stops students from giving scholarships a try. But there are several programs which cover costs like; travel, equipment, food, and books. International students, in particular, get all such benefits and do not have to worry at all.  An individual should try expanding his/her communication network. This will let him/her get hold of programs that cover living expenses and offer a tuition fee discount.

They are only offered at the beginning of a program

Last year students often feel that the train has left the station for them. This means that they believe their chance of getting a scholarship is gone. But no, there are lots of programs that are least bothered about a candidate’s stage of the study. So, candidates who need financial help to move to the next degree can still apply for a scholarship. Don’t lose hope without even trying to search for such programs.

They are only a few

Big or government based scholarships are hugely advertised and come off only once in a while. This leaves students wondering that they are less in number. This misconception is wrong as all that is needed is to stay updated with new scholarships. Students can do so with the help of the internet, newspaper, magazines, radio or even television. More opportunities will open depending on the extent to which an individual searches.

Therefore, students should not believe everything they hear. When in doubt, take help from mentors, teachers, seniors or ex-scholarship holders. Gathering more information and facts will definitely help you in getting a perfect scholarship. Don’t forget, it’s better to understand them than completely missing out on them.