In your quest to attend college as affordably as possible, you’ve likely spent time applying for various scholarships. When you get the big news that you’ve received one or more, there are still several steps you need to take to make the reward work for you.
Learn what to do after winning a scholarship to minimize the risk of large tuition costs when you go to class. First, take the opportunity to celebrate. Then follow these basic steps.
1 – Accept the Scholarship Award Officially
Do not assume that scholarship money will be automatically deposited into an account or appear in the form of a check. You must officially accept it and find out how to receive the funds and use them in the future. You should get instructions with the approval letter or other notice.
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2 – Express your appreciation for the award
Since most grants come from companies, organizations, or individuals who make their own decisions about who receives the money, it makes sense to send a thank you directly to them.
After all, you were chosen from an undoubtedly long list of candidates. It is always etiquette and professionally advantageous to express gratitude in this way.
3 – Carefully keep all the necessary paperwork
Please retain the award letter, all instructions, and the contents of your application packet for your own records and possible future use.
This is especially important if you have to write an essay, submit a creative report of your achievements, or create part of the scholarship application yourself. You may be able to adjust it for future use.
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4 – Notify the Scholarship to the Financial Support Office of the School
The financial aid office at your college or university should have a notice of the scholarships you win in order to make appropriate offers for student loans, grants, and work-study programs. Most require you to share all of your prizes with them right away.
5 – Receive and use the money to pay the monthly installments
Scholarship money is sometimes sent directly to the school and applied to your tuition, room, and board, or other bills related to your education. Track the process, review your account often, and follow up if things don’t seem to be going the way they should.
Request an estimated delivery time so you can manage your finances more accurately. If you receive the prize yourself, get it from your bank and apply it to your accounts as soon as possible.
6 – Look for refunds and tax documents
If you won too big a scholarship, you may have some money left over after paying your tuition and college fees. Look for an excess check or a refund automatically deposited into your account.
Also, you may be required to pay income taxes on the scholarship money in some cases. Learn about the possibility and look for a W-2 form in the mail.
Earning scholarships is a great way to earn money for college, whether you’re a recent high school graduate or a returning adult student.
There are a surprising number of scholarships out there, but you need to know how to manage your money once you’ve won one. Don’t let anything stop you from getting the advanced education and degree you’ve always wanted.
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