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Where does scholarship money go?

How is the money you earn from scholarships organized. I applied for scholarships through multiple websites and paper applications so if I win any how would I even request to use it in college? Do colleges automatically take it out or would I have to contact the people I received the scholarships from?
I don't know if this information helps any but I am a high school senior.
#scholarships #college

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi, Tatiana!


You ask great questions. Financial aid and scholarships are confusing, but the university financial aid office where you'll be attending (once you have made your final decision by May 1) will be able to help you. Most universities have a financial aid counselor dedicated to each student (sometimes by alpha, sometimes by geography). Once you're admitted, you can contact the Financial Aid Office and speak to the person assigned to you.


Scholarships through the university will be credited toward your bill but outside, or third-party, scholarships would need to be listed and applied to your account. Multiple scholarships can be "stacked," meaning that they pile on top of one another and all applied or they may be used until they meet your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Depending on the stipulations of your financial aid package, including scholarships, the excess could be given to you for the semester. Often, however, the university will adjust the scholarship to meet the EFC only. Your financial aid counselor can help.


Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! I hope you have a wonderful senior year and good luck to you in the future --


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Amit’s Answer

Hi Tatiana! Great question, it is not always obvious where scholarship money will go. There are many types of scholarships out there. Based on my experience, scholarships that were provided by the college usually were first used against any tuition costs, with any remainder applied to housing costs. In high school, the scholarships I was awarded by applying to outside organizations, required documentation that I was officially enrolled in and taking classes at a college before awarding the money. In this case, I received the scholarship money during my first term of college. The money then either went straight to tuition cost, or into my account; it really varies by the organization providing the scholarship. At the end of the day, any scholarship that you are awarded is free money, so they are worth applying for. When awarded a scholarship, the organization will notify you on the process to obtain the money.

Amit recommends the following next steps:

Speak with the career counselor regarding what scholarship opportunities are available to apply for, you would be surprised sometimes on how small the applicant pool is. There may be scholarships that are specific for your school.
Search online for scholarships and apply for those that fit your background. If you are already admitted into college, inquire with the college on what type of scholarships you can apply for.
If award a scholarship, speak with the organization on what is required to obtain the funds.
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