First of all, congratulations to all the newly graduated seniors! You have hit a major milestone in your life, and there are many more in the near future! College acceptance season is over and seniors should know which school they are attending next year by now. It’s always a good feeling when you open up that bulky envelope from a college and find out that you were accepted. It’s even better when you find out that you received a scholarship along with that acceptance letter. However, a lot of scholarships are conditional, meaning that there are requirements in order for the scholarship to be renewed. After reading this article, you will know what to look out for and remember during your first year in college!
1. Enrollment Status
This is one of the most basic requirements for scholarships. Usually, to retain a merit scholarship, you must be enrolled as a full-time student. Maybe at your college, being a full-time student means your workload has to be at least 12 units. Maybe it’s less, maybe it’s more. There are many reasons for this type of requirement. One reason is because if you are a part-time student, your tuition will most likely be cheaper and this will not result in a net profit for the college itself. Also, being a full-time student means a heavier workload. To be able to get good grades along with a busy schedule means that you are able to manage your time well, which is a quality many employers look for.
Several colleges such as Arizona State University also require that you be continuously enrolled at the university in order to have your scholarship renewed for the next academic year. However, this is only if you were not approved for that gap semester(s).
2. GPA Requirements
Most of the time scholarships are merit-based. Based on your performance in high school, colleges see if you were hard-working, and then decide whether or not to give you a scholarship. For example, my school, University of the Pacific, has the following requirement for the Regents’ Scholarship: “To retain your scholarship, you must earn an overall University of the Pacific grade point average of 3.0 or above.” However, do not worry if you do not make the GPA requirement after your first semester! Usually, GPA checks are done annually, so you will still have your second semester to make up for it. Also, once your GPA gets back to above the scholarship requirement, you should be able to appeal to your financial aid office and receive your scholarship again.
3. Declared Majors
Some scholarships require for you to stay a certain major in order to have the scholarship renewed. If you switch, you lose the scholarship. For example, University of the Pacific has accelerated programs in which undergraduate studies are less than 4 years. Scholarships given to students in such programs will only last for 3 years. However, if they decide to opt out of the program and switch to another major, they will still only have the scholarship for 3 years instead of 4 years.
4. Violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct
This requirement is self-explanatory. Every school has a set of rules to be followed by their students. Each violation has its own set of “punishments,” and can vary from a warning to expulsion. According to Arizona State University‘s policies, violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct resulting in a suspension, expulsion, or administrative withdrawal will result in loss of your scholarship. This decision may not be appealed, so be careful of anything that will cause you to have a violation.