Though it may seem odd in this day and age, some students will not apply for a scholarship because they don’t believe they stand a chance of being awarded one. This may be the result of scholarship myths that have been around for years causing students to underestimate their own abilities. When a student debunks scholarship myths, it could lead them to apply for – and receive – more money to fund their education. The experts at Communityforce have compiled a collection of the most common scholarship myths that students will want to avoid:

1. Scholarships pay for every part of college

Most scholarships only pay for a portion of your education, meaning they will not cover all your expenses. Scholarship programs usually only fund things like tuition, and do not pay for the cost of other things, such as room and board, books and computers.

2. A lot of scholarship money goes unclaimed

This is a myth that is typically used by scholarship scams to trick students. The fact of the matter is, very few scholarships go unclaimed because students are always looking for financial assistance. It is true, however, that some scholarships cannot be awarded because no students fit the very strict criteria. For example, the John Gatling Scholarship for North Carolina University is awarded to people attending the university with the last name Gatling. If there are no students with this name, it will go unclaimed.

3. Only elite students get scholarships 

Yes, having straight A’s means you will be more likely to receive a scholarship, but just because you are not at the top of the class does not disqualify you from the running. Fastweb reported that while 54 percent of scholarships are awarded to A-students, over 30 percent are given to B-students. A lot of scholarships are not even based on academic achievement. Colleges often give out athletic scholarships, for example, and many programs still look at grades but are based on an applicant’s heritage.

4. Getting a scholarship means less financial aid 

Paying for college means juggling financial aid, scholarships and student loans all at the same time. Schools typically have a set amount of money a student can receive for financial aid, and that sum is typically affected by a scholarship, but this isn’t always a bad thing. For example, say you were to receive a $2,000 scholarship from a school, $2,000 from financial aid and$6,000 in student loans. You are then awarded a $1,000 scholarship from a private foundation. You can receive the same amount offered by the college, but take $1,000 less in loans, which reduces the debt you’ll carry once you’re out of school.

5. Only seniors get scholarships

Though students start applying for college scholarships when they are in high school, many believe the process is exclusively for graduating seniors. This is a myth, and many scholarship programs accept high school applicants at any age. When younger people win scholarships, they are typically held by the foundation until the students are of age to accept them. Don’t wait until your senior year to apply for scholarships. The sooner you get a start on funding your education, the better.

6. Scholarships are just for poorer students

Many students from middle class families believe scholarships are out of reach because they are only awarded to students who are less financially fortunate. The reality is that students in the middle class are more likely to be awarded private scholarships than their upper- or lower-income classmates. A study from Monster.com found the percentage of students winning scholarships with family adjusted gross incomes lower than $50,000 was 10.6 percent, and the percentage of students winning with family AGIs of $50,000 to $100,000 was 13.8 percent.

For more information about scholarships, please visit Communityforce website!