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Are outside scholarships even worth applying for?

toomanykiddostoomanykiddos Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
There are a few outside scholarships that my D19 may be a strong contender for. But from the research I’ve done, I’m not sure it’s worth her even applying. My understanding is that colleges will deduct from our FA packet (specifically need based) and ultimately we will still be paying the same amount of our expected family contribution. Am I understanding this correctly? If I am, then what is the point of applying for them?

Replies to: Are outside scholarships even worth applying for?

  • dygibbsdygibbs Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    @toomanykiddos: Each college has its policy on how it handles outside scholarships.
    The following article should provide more info to answer your question:

    https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-and-scholarships/how-outside-scholarships-affect-your-financial-aid-package#

  • dygibbsdygibbs Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    Just to add, there are some colleges that will credit the funds to the student's account, apply toward direct charges first, and refund the student any excess funds.
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member
    It really depends on the school and the unmet need in your package. My DS's school says they use outside aid to first close the gap between the school's family COA and the federal EFC. They would then reduce need based Fed sources, such as loans and work study. Last, they reduced institutional need based aid awarded. (Merit aid is not reduced unless it exceeds COA.)

    I think it is worth it to apply, especially if you don't have award packages yet. I'd rather my student work on scholarship application in high school than have to work a job to make ends meet, especially with a difficult major. His two small outside scholarships end up being money for books, travel to and from school and spending money. I appreciate it.
  • toomanykiddostoomanykiddos Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
    Ok so I really need to look deeper into each school. But it sounds like loans, work study and possibly the gap may be reduced prior to need based FA? Is that the general consensus?
  • LoveTheBardLoveTheBard Registered User Posts: 1,794 Senior Member
    Yes, you need to check each school's policies.

    Scholarship money will often cancel out expected student contribution, summer employment, loans, etc.
  • dadof2ddadof2d Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    D18 has received enough in outside renewable scholarships to eliminate loans and work study from her financial aid package. They are definitely worth it!
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