Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

Scholarship myths debunked

Separate fiction from fact:

Myth – Scholarships are only for students with 4.0 GPAs

FACT – Many scholarships are do not require any specific GPA, and are considering more carefully what you are doing, rather than what your GPA is. Having a high GPA opens more scholarship doors, but it is never the only factor taken into consideration.

Myth – Scholarships are only for students with financial need

FACT There are many scholarships that do specifically support students who have financial need, and there are many scholarships that do not take financial need into consideration at all and are based instead on merit, which includes all the various ways you can demonstrate your interests academically and beyond (beyond GPA). And scholarships are more than just the money. Simply going through the application process can help you to clarify your goals and receiving a scholarship is recognition of your potential, direction, commitment and hard work.

Myth – Scholarships are too competitive, so there’s no point in applying

FACT Scholarships are competitive, but that’s no reason not to apply for those that are a good fit for your interests and plans. If you don’t apply, you definitely won’t get selected to receive anything. It does take effort to search out those scholarships that are a good match and worth applying for. And taking advantage of our office to assist you through the application process to make sure you’re submitting an application that will best represent you to the selection committee is critical. Just going through the application process is a learning experience, which can help you to clarify your interests and goals. This is helpful for all future applications, whether they are for jobs, internships, graduate school, or other scholarships. So even if you apply for a scholarship and don’t get selected, you will come out of that experience more knowledgeable and in a better position for future applications than if you don’t apply at all.

Myth – There are no scholarships for me because of my residency, age, status, identity or...

FACT There are scholarships out there for everyone, it just takes careful searching to locate those for which you may be eligible and a good fit. There are scholarships that don’t require US citizenship, scholarships that don’t require Washington residency, scholarships that don’t require a social security number, etc. Because many scholarships are based more on what you are doing and plan to do in the future, actively engaging in your education and gaining experiences beyond the classroom are the best ways to broaden the scope of scholarships you might be eligible and competitive for. And scholarships are more than just the money. Simply going through the application process can help you to clarify your goals and receiving a scholarship is recognition of your potential, direction, commitment and hard work.