The financial aid director for the University of Oregon, Jim Brooks, once sent out a report about how someone can lose consideration for a scholarship for which they might qualify.
In an example, about 300 scholarship applicants failed to turn in their required recommendation letter. A notice was sent to those affected and yet not everyone responded. Those who didn’t respond lost out on a scholarship of up to $6,500.
Below are some very important measures to take to avoid your scholarship or grant being revoked:
1. Provide follow up information by deadlines
Every scholarship or grant always comes with specific deadline and also a deadline for follow up information. For example, you could receive a letter by email or mail that requires extra information beyond what you provided, take some time to search for the date the information is due by.
Highlight this date on your calendar or any device capable of reminding you about important due dates. When you have successfully sent out the information, confirm with your financial aid office by phone or email that your correspondence was received.
In the case of the scholarship mentioned above, there’s another person involved since the missing document was a recommendation letter. Politely remind your recommender to write the letter a week before the letter is due and provide instructions on where the letter needs to be sent.
Important note: Grants and scholarships are free money, but either can have conditions for approval and renewal.
2. Ensure you provide all needed information
Failing to provide one piece of information can cost you a scholarship you might have otherwise received. For instance, if you didn’t provide an evidence of family income information on a scholarship that considers financial need, you might lose the scholarship. To ensure that you don’t miss out any important information or anything required at all, always read scholarship and grant directions carefully.
3. Send applications for renewal
Most grants and scholarships alow for renewal through out the stipulated years of your study. Always find out from your financial aid office when renewal applications are due. Failing to ask for the money again can lead you to loosing a scholarship you had already won.
4. Fulfill and maintain the scholarship or grant requirements
As scholarship and grant boards differ, so do their requirements differ. Some will require specific classes or community service. Most will require a certain GPA to keep the scholarship for the following year or semester. What ever the requirements are, it is important to first know them in details and then work hard to fulfill them.
5. Fill out the renewal FAFSA
Filling out the renewal FAFSA annually helps you to avoid losing need-based financial aid. Plus, you may be surprised that if you quit your job to go back to school you’re qualified for more need-based grants and scholarships. Filling out the FAFSA should be done as often as needed.
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