When are scholarships awarded?
Students who attend college often need to keep track of their financial aid and college funding quite closely, and this means that they need to be aware of when their scholarship money is awarded to them. Many scholarships that are provided through third-party sites like Bold.org are awarded based on the scholarship deadlines, winners are usually announced within one to three months of the scholarship deadline.
Scholarships that are awarded through a university however are often awarded in the fall before a university's payment deadline. Students should contact the financial aid office at their school to see when their school's scholarships are disbursed. It is important to note that scholarships are disbursed entirely separately from federal loans, even though your financial aid office also handles loans and grants.
How do you know if you won a scholarship?
Scholarship winners are often announced within three months of the application deadline. How you will find out about your scholarship success will depend on who is awarding the scholarship. Often, you will be notified via the phone number or email address you provided in your application.
If you are using a third-party provider like Bold.org you may be notified through the notification system on the website. And if your scholarship is being hosted through your university, you will likely be notified by your financial aid office.
How long does it take to get approved for a scholarship?
After scholarship deadlines, it often takes one to three months before a scholarship winner is announced. This is due to the time it takes to go through scholarship applications. However, if there are any additional processes required by the awarder or your school it may take longer for the money to be disbursed to you.
Many scholarships, including prestigious scholarships and merit scholarships, award funds for the following school year, meaning that if you apply and win the scholarship in the fall semester, you'll get the free money in the following fall semester.
How is a scholarship awarded?
When a student receives a scholarship award, the majority of the time the money will be sent to the financial aid office at your school in order to be applied to their education fees. Usually, this will be done soon after you are announced as the winner. However, some scholarships award money a year after the scholarship deadlines, meaning if scholarship deadlines are in the fall and you apply to more than one scholarship, you will not receive the aid until the following fall semester.
Occasionally, if you apply to independent scholarships, the award may be sent directly to your bank account.
Frequently asked questions about scholarship awards
Do scholarships go directly to you?
While some scholarship opportunities send money directly to students, most other scholarships will send all scholarship money to your school and your financial aid office will report to you that it has been received. This is because many scholarships are dispersed exclusively to be used for college expenses.
What happens after winning a scholarship?
Different scholarships will have different requirements for you to follow after you win. Some scholarships will not require anything from you, and the money will be directly deposited in your account.
However, some scholarships do have additional requirements for applicants who win. These requirements may vary from having to complete a winner's interview to having to commit to maintaining a certain GPA. Always carefully read the requirements before you apply for scholarships, as the details will vary between each individual scholarship.
When are scholarship deadlines?
Most scholarship deadlines occur in the early fall or in the middle of the spring semester, however, there are still dozens of opportunities for students year-round.
How can I improve my chances of winning a scholarship?
The narrower the requirements of a scholarship you qualify for are, the more likely you are to win the scholarship. Use the filters available on Bold.org's scholarship search feature to find scholarships that apply to your interests, hobbies, major, and career. Some scholarships are state and even city-specific. Local scholarships, scholarships for religious groups, and scholarships for students experiencing extenuating circumstances all exist for students to apply to.
Apply to scholarships sooner rather than later, if you start early and apply to a few scholarships at a time, you’ll have more time to apply for more scholarships later. The more scholarships you apply to, the better your chances of winning are. There is also no limit to how many scholarships you can win on Bold.org.
How can I create a good scholarship application?
Put real effort into your essays, and make sure they answer the prompt you are given. Think about what you are going to write, and proofread when you’re done. Make yourself stand out by following Bold.org’s tips for essay writing: grab the reader from the first sentence, stay focused on the essay prompt, write your essay in multiple, separate paragraphs, and use correct grammar.
Are scholarships taxable?
While the majority of the time, scholarships are not taxable, there are situations in which they can become taxable. Generally, a scholarship is not taxable if it is being used for education-related costs, if the money is used to pay for housing, travel, or a meal plan, it becomes taxable.
Additionally, if the total amount of your scholarships is more than your net tuition or if it is disbursed directly to your bank account it will be considered taxable income.