Scholarship aid can cover anything from tuition, room and board fees, meal plans to study abroad opportunities. It’s important to note that NOT all scholarships are created equally. Some give you full autonomy of your disbursement while other scholarships are distributed with stipulations. Here are some helpful tips to help you better navigate the scholarship terrain.Generally speaking, there are two ways scholarship aid can be disbursed: they’re either paid directly to the student, or directly to the school.
Few scholarships are paid in a check directly to the student. You’ll find that scholarships that are paid directly to the student are smaller awards from local groups (ie. student boosters, church groups, or other community organizations). Like receiving a check from your parents, this money can be used for anything school-related. Many trust that the funds will go towards your education while others require receipts ensuring the money was spent towards education although you have the choice of what specifically you purchase. Once that money’s in your account, it’s pretty much up to you how to spend it.
When Scholarship Funds Come Directly to the School
Larger scholarship awards and more established scholarships are generally sent directly to your school’s bursar or financial aid office, where they’ll be applied directly to bills that are owed directly to the school. And with good reason, would you trust an 18 year old with $10, 000?
Assuming the amount of the scholarship is less than whatever it is you owe to the school, you won’t physically see any money—you’ll only see it reflected on your account. If, however, the scholarship money exceeds what you owe to your school you’ll receive some sort of refund, either in the form of a check or a direct deposit to your bank account. Once that happens, it works just like scholarships that are paid directly to the student: the money is yours to do with as you wish.
Spending Your Scholarship Money Wisely
About the Author