Free scholarships is a term you might come across often and it’s important to know what it means and how it affects you.
I find it to be used most often as a way for websites to attract people with the word “free” and yet leaves most confused to exactly what it means.
First I hope to dispel any myths about what you may have read or seen about these scholarships that are free. Secondly I’ll show what you really need to know and understand in regards to college scholarships and what they mean by free.
A free college scholarship is free because none of the money that you’re awarded to pay college expenses needs to be paid back. But that really goes for all college scholarships and grants, so there is really no need to call them free.
Calling them free scholarships is more of a marketing gimmick to try and get someone to visit a website or purchase a product by indicating that they offer scholarships that are free. This only serves to confuse the person searching for scholarships.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are a few instances where you might need to pay back a scholarship and it’s actually not the scholarship money that you would need to pay back. There are a few larger scholarships in the $8,000 and $10,000 range that may have a student loan attached to them in addition to the scholarship money.
The student loan would certainly need to be paid back but not the scholarship money. In most cases, if you’re awarded on of these you’ll be required to accept both the scholarship and the loan as a complete package. This typically happens if your tuition costs are high and your financial need is high as well.
All college scholarships and grants are free to apply…At least they should be. Are there some that require you to pay a fee? Yes…Beware!
I recommend you stay away from any scholarship that requires a fee with the application. After all, they’re meant to help put money into a students pocket not take it out.
I’ve found several scholarships during my search and made the mistake of applying to one that required a fee. Learn from my mistake and stay away from them.
There’s a lot of advertising out there for free scholarship searches. Everything is free to search after all that’s what Google is in the business of providing.
When a website offers free searches for scholarships and grants, be cautious of what you have to give up for information about yourself in order to get any information back. The question you often have to ask is…What is the quality of the information that I’m receiving?
Always exercise due diligence when exchanging personal information during searches for free scholarships.
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