Tuition? Books? Visiting Cancun over spring break? If you’ve earned a scholarship, it’s likely that you’re considering how you can use the money.
Scholarship organizations have standards for applications, and they also have guidelines for how to use your grant. Additionally, how you use your scholarship could have an impact on your tax returns, financial aid package, and the amount of student loans you borrow.
To make the most of your well-earned award, here are some tips on how to spend your scholarship money.
Your scholarship money can be used for school expenses. You can nearly always utilize the money from scholarships toward tuition because they are designed to help you pay for school. In fact, a lot of scholarship providers send the money directly to your college’s financial aid department so they can put it against your tuition.
For instance, the McDonald’s HACER Scholarship Program requests proof of attendance at approved institutions from its five Hispanic student recipients. The children receive $100,000 throughout the course of the program, but the funds are given straight to their schools. Similar to this, the Shofur National Video Scholarship delivers the winner’s school’s bursar office their complete tuition award.
In these situations, you are free to choose how to spend your scholarship money. But you should take action to find out how the award might change your help package.
According to financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz, “If a college is aware of a scholarship, it will cut the student’s need-based financial assistance package dollar for dollar.” Grants, or free money, or student loans with lower interest rates are two examples of need-based financial aid.
Your college may change your financial aid package after you receive a scholarship by lowering the grants or loans you receive.