Scholarships are a popular way to pay for college, as they can greatly reduce the cost of tuition and save you thousands of dollars over the course of your education. Despite these benefits, however, scholarships do have some downsides that should be considered before you sign up or accept any offers. These are the top six disadvantages of scholarships to consider before signing up or accepting an offer.
Table of Contents
- Time – Main Con Of Scholarships
- Less Financial Aid Opportunities
- Lack of A Real Job Experience
- Maintain Academic Success
- A lot of Paperwork
- Students take it for Granted
- Know More About Scholarships, Internships and Career
Time – Main Con Of Scholarships
The first disadvantage to scholarships is that they take a lot of time. You can’t just apply for a scholarship and wait to get a check in return, as with some types of grants or loans. With scholarships, you have to be proactive; checking on your status and making sure you meet all deadlines. There’s also usually an essay component to them, which means writing on top of everything else. It may sound like there are a lot more benefits than drawbacks for those who qualify for scholarships, and there are, but it’s not always easy getting that check in your hands.
Less Financial Aid Opportunities
When you apply for a scholarship, you’re essentially telling colleges that you want their money. If they’re giving out fewer scholarships than last year, there will be less aid available to students overall. Even if your school is still giving out as many scholarships as it did in previous years, other students are competing for them too, meaning that there will likely be more competition and stiffer requirements to meet. You might even find yourself fighting over larger awards that were previously available to only one or two students. In order to win a scholarship, it helps to stand out from other applicants, but with more people vying for each award, standing out is harder than ever before.
Lack of A Real Job Experience
If you’re lucky enough to land a scholarship, chances are you’ll have more free time. And if that free time goes to partying and late nights, your GPA will likely fall while your debt will rise. And eventually, that lack of a job experience may impact whether you can get an internship or entry-level job at a company when you’re finished with school. You might be able to make up for it by using your good grades and relevant volunteer work to secure work in other ways. But that type of plan takes major dedication and planning on your part, and sometimes even then it doesn’t pay off.
Maintain Academic Success
One of the major disadvantages of scholarships is that they often result in lower academic performance. The theory behind scholarships is that a student will work harder to keep up his or her grades to ensure future funding. But research suggests that may not be true: One study found that students who received large merit-based scholarships had grade point averages 2.4 points lower than those who did not get any aid. The exact cause was unclear, but it might have something to do with the pressure to maintain a high GPA, since [scholarship] committees typically look at your grades in previous years, says Robert Kelchen, assistant professor at Seton Hall University’s department of education and an expert on financial aid.
A lot of Paperwork
Applying for a scholarship is a great way to save money on college tuition, but it can also be a huge pain. The FAFSA requires you to list many details about your family’s financial situation. There are other scholarship applications that ask similar questions, some even going as far as to ask if any family members have ever been arrested. (No matter what answer you give, though, it’s unlikely that’s going to factor into whether you win.) There’s also all of your personal information: height, weight, GPA, SAT scores and just about anything else required on forms these days. Talk about feeling stripped down!
Students take it for Granted
It’s easy to take scholarships for granted, but they also have their disadvantages. One of these disadvantages is being overly dependent on them. Students who rely too heavily on scholarships are often in a position that makes it difficult to say no when an assignment isn’t appealing or a professor seems difficult. While it can be tempting to ask for extensions and make excuses for poor performance, students shouldn’t forget that scholarships are based on merit. If you don’t earn good grades and complete your assignments as well as you could have done without a scholarship, chances are that you won’t be able to keep it once you graduate.
College is a time for personal growth and learning, but it can also be a bit stressful. Scholarships can help reduce some of that stress by eliminating tuition costs and cutting down on student loans. But scholarships aren’t perfect, they come with their own unique set of pros and cons. At Student Loans Hero, we believe that it’s important to think about your financial aid options carefully, so you can choose what works best for you. If you take advantage of some scholarship opportunities in college, that’s awesome! Just make sure to look at all your options before making any big decisions; there are plenty more opportunities out there just waiting for you.