Are scholarships worth applying for?

By Maxine Seya

Are scholarships worth applying for?

– Jordan, a parent from Sarasota, FL Is it worth applying to scholarships?

Not always. Like college applications, outside scholarship apps can take a lot of time to complete and submit. “Outside scholarships” are typically grants (free money) offered by foundations or private companies unrelated to the college. For example, big companies like Coca-Cola and Bank of America host very competitive national scholarship competitions every year.

Some colleges will, upon reviewing your general application, automatically consider you for scholarships offered by the school itself — no extra application needed.  But the outside scholarships you ask about take a bit more effort to find, filter, and eventually apply for.

I think scholarships are worth applying for only if:

  1. They are legitimate. A lot of scholarship opportunities out there are just scams trying to make a profit. Private companies like to offer small “scholarships” as a way to market their services. How? A personal injury law firm, for example, might offer a $500 scholarship to anyone interested.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.