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Will a scholarship cover my basics?

I haven't finished my basics. Will a scholarship pay for the basics to, or go straight to what I'm majoring in? #scholarships #college

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Paula-Ann’s Answer

Every school is different, but I went to a private university, and they would decrease my financial aid package depending on the amount of scholarship money I received. For example, if I was granted a financial aid package of $55,000 for one year, and received a scholarship of $20,000, they would decrease my financial aid package to $35,000. Also, my scholarship rarely affected my "parental contribution." Even if I received a scholarship, the amount I had to contribute on my own usually stayed intact.

However, we did not have "common curriculum," everyone took classes according to their major's requirements and prerequisites. According to my associates who attend public and community colleges, many of their scholarships were used on core curriculum or basics first because they completed these classes before their major requirements, so inside and outside scholarships were used up on those classes first.

Also, it depends on the type of scholarship. Some outside scholarships allow the money to go directly into your account, but some require the money to be sent directly to your school's financial aid office. If the money is sent directly to the school, it is up to the discretion of the financial aid office to distribute funds, but I would contact them by phone/email to ask if I could decide how and when the money is distributed. Some financial aid offices are more flexible than others, so they might have a strict and enumerated way to distribute funds. If it is an inside scholarship from the school, then again I would contact financial aid to ask if I could have any input about what classes or expenses the money is put toward.

Hope this helps!

Paula-Ann recommends the following next steps:

I would contact my financial aid office to inquire about the specific policy of my school. Due to COVID, they might take a long time to respond to an email so I would call them.
I would ask my scholarship about the options I have to distribute the funds.

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Paul’s Answer

It depends upon how much scholarship money you received and what you consider to be your basics. Schools have various criteria for how much they decide to award in scholarship money so no one can give you a definitive answer until you see the amount. For example, if tuition costs $10,000 per semester and you are awarded $4000 per semester in scholarships, you have to come up with the difference of $6000. It doesn't matter whether the classes are your core requirements, required courses or electives. The $4000 scholarship is applied to your term bill off the top so it isn't allocated among your classes.