Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Misconceptions about scholarships still exist

Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020

Back in the day, it was often said that only certain kids got scholarships, and that one could forget it especially if their grades weren’t at the top of the class or their household wasn’t well known in the community. Sadly, these misconceptions still exist today, thwarting many qualified students from even attempting to apply.

The Huntington County Community Foundation (HCCF) has identified the top five misconceptions that students, and/or parents believe to be true about scholarships: Misconception #1 – In order to get a scholarship, a student must be in the top 25% of his/her class. Disproved – While there are some scholarships that require a GPA of 3.0 (“B” average) or higher, most of the HCCF scholarships require 2.0 (“C” average) or have no GPA requirement at all. Misconception #2 – Only students from affluent and/or well-known households receive scholarships. Disproved: Many of HCCF’s scholarships are geared towards assisting students who show evidence of financial need regardless of community or financial status.

Misconception #3 – Scholarships are only awarded to students attending four-year colleges. Disproved: Although HCCF has many scholarships that do require this criterion, there are also many that do not. Students wanting to attend two-year colleges and/or trade schools are also funded. Misconception #4 – Scholarships are only awarded to graduating seniors. Disproved: Scholarships are also awarded to students who have already graduated from high school and are enrolled in college, or adult students who are looking to further their education later in life. Misconception #5 – Scholarships are awarded only to student athletes or valedictorians. Disproved: It is true that there are some scholarships that specify involvement in sports or status as a valedictorian. However, the majority of the sixty HCCF scholarships that are available have neither of these requirements.

Many scholarships facilitated by HCCF have a specific mission or goal in mind when created by the benefactor. For instance, there are those that promote specific degrees, such as nursing, business or science. Then there are those that specify the benefactor’s alma mater as the college of preference. HCCF even has a scholarship that is specific to students wanting to learn to fly an airplane.

There is no guarantee however, that a scholarship will be awarded even if the student meets the criteria. One reason being, the application requires students to provide essay-style answers to questions that address scholastics, extracurricular activities, and community involvement, all of which are considered when being rated by the scholarship review committee. Taking time to carefully and thoroughly answer these questions can make all the difference. Another reason that being awarded a scholarship isn’t a shoo-in is because scholarships are competitive with many applicants vying for the same award. Thus, it is very important for students to take the application process seriously in order to increase the odds of being awarded in their favor.

The most important message HCCF wants to stress to students is this – don’t let any misconceptions stand in your way of applying for a scholarship. For anyone still unsure about applying, please contact HCCF. They are here to help answer any questions students and/or parents may have. Applications are wanted.

Applications are due March 18. To apply, go online to the HCCF website: www.huntingtonccf.org/hccf-scholarships. For more information or questions, contact the HCCF office by calling (260) 356-8878, or send an email to Matt Ditzler at matt@hutingtonccf.org, or Jo Ellen Bradley at jo@huntingtonccf.org.

The Huntington County Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that is built to be a funding hub for all charitable organizations and causes within Huntington County. Its mission is to connect people and resources with opportunities that enhance quality of life for all.