Wednesday’s Parent: Scholarships with Strings Attached


scholarships with strings attachedEveryone knows that you must do something to win a scholarship: write an essay, complete an application, or simply enter. Scholarships won’t give you money for nothing. Some scholarship sponsors ask for more, and these are scholarships with strings attached to the award. gave these examples:

Required Job or Career Commitments

Many scholarships require that you work for a number of years in a certain field, such as healthcare or teaching, once you graduate. If you don’t provide evidence of such employment, the sponsor will usually recover the scholarship money. Some scholarships require you to work for the sponsor, such as the military, after graduation. If you don’t follow through on your agreement, sponsors will recover the money or treat it like a loan and add interest to the amount to be repaid.

Sole-Source Scholarships

Some scholarships aim to be your only source of funds for a particular project or for your participation in a certain major. For instance, if you received a scholarship for an independent study project—and then received another grant or scholarship for the same project—you might be required to return the first scholarship.

When You Must Go Home

You may be required to return to your hometown or state after graduation, no matter what career you pursue. Proof of your residency after graduation may be required.

The Washington Post gave this example:

Scholarships with Rigid Requirements

Some scholarships have rigid requirements—moving beyond the typical GPA or test scores. Take this unusual scholarship for instance:

Joseph H. Deppen, a 1900 graduate of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, established a scholarship in the name of his sister, Gertrude. He asked that his money go to students from the sparsely populated borough of Mount Carmel who “are graduates of Mount Carmel Public High School, who are not habitual users of tobacco, intoxicating liquor, and narcotics, and who do not participate in strenuous athletic contests.”

You may find what looks like the perfect scholarship and then discover “the catch.” Before you sign on the dotted line, check the terms of acceptance carefully to see just what you are promising to do—and then decide if you can live with it.

Read Wendy’s Post: Yikes! Scholarships Can Be Lost


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

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