Why scholarships myths are wrong

July 23, 2012

When you begin applying for scholarships for moms and other financial aid options, you're likely to hear certain myths about the application process from others. As you fill out these applications, keep the following points in mind.

Scholarships are for students with severe financial need
This is a common rumor circulating among college students, but it turns out that not all awards are granted to individuals with great financial need. While the aim of scholarships is to assist those who struggle to pay for university, several awards weigh other factors more heavily. For example, the Target scholarships value an individual's community service primarily, and many awards are based on writing samples or particular talents.

Only the smartest win scholarships
Again, scholarships based on academic achievement are one of the most common types of financial aid available, but are not the only option. There are awards for those with the most need for economic support, as well as scholarships for those who volunteer. Plus, awards that evaluate academic achievement often consider effort and improvement, not simply the candidates with the best grades.

Applicants need a million extracurriculars and activities
Even though a page-long list of extracurriculars may look impressive, you don't need that many activities or lines on your resume to win a scholarship. In fact, many awards value dedication to one or two activities over a light commitment to many.

Scholarships are just for high school seniors
It seems that many scholarships are aimed at graduating seniors, which can make the process frustrating for moms returning to school. Don't give up hope, though - there are awards out there catered to you, like those for women offered by the Patsy Mink Foundation.

Chances of winning are so slim, there's no point in applying
This myth may be the worst of all because it discourages students from submitting their applications. You never know if you could be the winner of an award, and even if your chances are small, you'll never know if you could have won unless you apply. Submitting your forms can't hurt, and the more chances you give yourself, the more likely you are to receive some sort of aid.

Carefully research scholarships until you discover the ones that fit your educational goals and are looking for someone like you. Remember that in the end, myths are exactly that.

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