It may seem like once you earn a scholarship, the hard part is over, right? Well, you still have to work hard to maintain that scholarship. Not all scholarships automatically roll over to the next year. If you don’t earn good grades, it's possible to lose your scholarship eligibility.
Before you worry about keeping your scholarships, you have to find the right ones for you. If you have an above-average high school GPA, GPA scholarships may be the quickest ticket to some money for college. You may also qualify for full-ride scholarships based on SAT scores. You can apply for scholarships and grants online, so start looking while you’re still in high school.
How Long Do Scholarships Last?
Although many scholarship granting institutions anticipate that students will continue to receive their scholarship all four years of college, that money isn’t automatically a given. The fine print for most scholarships says that they renew each school year based on a student’s performance in the last school year. If you do well, you should be able to keep your scholarship throughout your four years of schooling. However, if you flunk a class or your GPA drops below a certain number as dictated by your scholarship, you might risk temporarily losing financial aid. So the best way to maintain your scholarships is to stay on track with your grades, pass all of the classes you sign up for and enroll in a full course load for each semester you're in school.
How to Find Scholarships
You can find scholarships by searching websites like Fast Web and Scholarships.com, as well as perusing your college’s website. Apply for scholarships and grants online well in advance of starting college. That way, you'll have all the money you need when you begin.
Scholarships for Students with High GPAs
GPA scholarships are an excellent route for students who earned high GPAs in high school. Many states have merit-based GPA scholarships for state schools. You can apply for these through your university’s financial aid office. You may even be able to apply for scholarships and grants online through your school’s financial aid portal.
Full-Ride Scholarships Based on SAT Scores
You may also be eligible for full-ride scholarships based on SAT scores. While the National Merit Scholarship is based on PSAT scores, you'll find a variety of other scholarships—either through your state, your school or from private entities like companies—that factor SAT scores into the application process. If you have a high SAT score, it's likely that you'll be able to qualify for several scholarships.
Rebecca Renner is a teacher and college professor from Florida. She loves teaching about literature, and she writes about books for Book Riot, Real Simple, Electric Literature and more.