Scholarship terms and conditions guarantee compliance with laws and protect the benefactor from financial or legal risks involved. This is the same for websites, apps, and other programs that ask us to provide our agreement before use. But what about scholarship terms?

When you undertake a charitable endeavor, the need for terms may not be your first thought. However, setting conditions is a crucial step to creating a meaningful and impactful scholarship.

Defining Scholarship Terms

Most scholarships come with criteria regarding who is eligible to receive them. These criteria are part of the scholarship terms, and they can be as broad or specific as the donor chooses. A scholarship might only be intended for certain students or it could be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for any student with financial need.

The scholarship agreement, which might be found in the scholarship award package, is a contract between the donor and the recipient. It often states what requirements a student must meet not only to be granted the scholarship but also to continue receiving it.

For example, the scholarship may have guidelines such as requiring the student to take at least 12 credit hours per semester or maintain a 3.0 GPA. If these requirements are not met, the scholarship might be revoked. It may also specify what the funds can be used for or require the student to write a thank you note to the donor.

By signing the scholarship agreement, the recipient accepts the scholarship funds as well as the terms the donor set. The donor, in return, agrees to provide the specified funds, as long as those conditions are met by clearly stating your criteria for a scholarship upfront on your application form, and even including a link to your full scholarship article, you help to deter unqualified applicants and streamline your process.

Stating your criteria upfront on your application form, and even linking to your full agreement, helps to deter unqualified applicants and streamline your process.

Why Is It Necessary? 

Without a written agreement, there may be confusion regarding what the scholarship covers and what is expected of the student. The student may assume, for instance, that a $1000 scholarship is $1000 per semester for the rest of his or her college career. The donor, on the other hand, may have only intended to offer a one-time $1000 scholarship or $1000 divided equally between semesters of each academic year.

A strong scholarship agreement is crucial to ensure your money makes the biggest possible difference and meets your goals. For instance, you might consider it wasteful to spend thousands of dollars on a student who isn’t taking his or her classes seriously. By setting GPA and course load requirements within a scholarship agreement form, you can help avoid that situation.

You might also want to avoid paying for unnecessary classes. To do that, you can require that the student graduate within a certain number of years or stipulate that you won’t pay for study-abroad or summer classes.

What Are The Inclusions? 

The specific terms of a scholarship agreement will vary, depending on the goals of the donor and, in some cases, the policies of the university. However, every scholarship agreement should cover the amount of the scholarship, how and when the scholarship is disbursed, the duration of the scholarship, and what the scholarship covers.

Most importantly, it should clearly define the minimum GPA and course load required and other additional requirements.

Other important details such as under what circumstances the scholarship may be canceled or adjusted or what happens if the student withdraws or takes a leave of absence must also be detailed. Lastly, if a student decides to change his or her major or ceases to meet other criteria, how will this change the course of your agreement?

Once you have your terms and conditions down pat, manage and streamline your entire process with our scholarship management platform.

Create a smooth-running process with Scholars United, a platform to help universities, colleges, and corporations manage their entire scholarship application lifecycle in one centralized solution:

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Flexible Scholarship Matches 

With our “One-Click Apply” option, students can apply for all available scholarships in just a few seconds.

Match Applicants To Funds 

Scholars United automatically matches all the applicants who qualify. Easily set up a scoring rubric and have the system create a pre-sorted list of applicants based on the highest relevance to the fund’s criteria and find the most qualified applicants.


Put students’ success first and award the right candidates with Scholars United. Make your work easier, automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and focus on what matters – increasing your impact.