There is a lot to think about when you start applying for colleges, as well as for scholarships. Just knowing how to fill out your applications requires a decent amount of research, but knowing the difference between what will be expected of you at a private school, versus what will be expected from you at a public school is an important distinction to make. If you don’t go the extra distance to really understand the nuances between the two, you could find yourself paying a lot more for your education than you thought you would. Plus, you might be able to win a scholarship, but that doesn’t mean that you have what it takes to maintain it. Every school will have a different policy, so when you start getting your acceptance letters, you’re still going to have quite a bit of research to do. Here are five things you should know about private college scholarships.
- They are Competitive
If you thought that public college scholarships were competitive, they pale in comparison to private college scholarships. In most cases, the education that you will get at a private school will be much more comprehensive, and that’s why people are willing to pay so much more for it. You won’t have as many students to compete with, but the students you will be competing with are going to be the best and the brightest in the nation.
- They’re Not Always a Full Ride
You may be able to get the majority of your college expenses paid for with your scholarship, but you want to make sure you know exactly how much will be covered before you choose a private school over a public school. If your scholarship doesn’t cover room and board, cafeteria and textbooks, those expenses could add up quickly. So before you choose a private school scholarship over a public school scholarship, you want to make sure that you’ve thoroughly compared the costs.
- You Will Have to Keep Your Grades Up
Just because you win a scholarship for a certain school, doesn’t mean that the scholarship is guaranteed for all four years. If you are going to a school like University of New England, you will need to maintain a certain GPA if you want your scholarship to be renewed from one semester to the next. If you allow your grades to fall too low, you may have to decide between going deep into debt, transferring schools, or even dropping out.
- They are a Serious Privilege
Before you start complaining about how difficult it is to win and keep a private school scholarship, consider how fortunate you are to have one at all. Most of your cohorts will be paying a lot of money to get the same education, and while some of them may have trust funds, a lot of other students will be paying off student loans for most of their adult life. Plus, in the long run, it can be much better for you to have the obligation to keep your grades up, just in case you would allow yourself to fall behind otherwise.
- You can Always Take Out a Loan
If your private college scholarship doesn’t cover the whole tuition, you can always take out a loan. Of course, the scholarship will be a huge boon and it will subsidize a lot of costs, but a loan may help you seal up all those additional cost. A private college can be expensive, so you want to paint a picture of your entire tuition before you make the leap.