Richland Student Media

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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

Dallas


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Richland Chronicle 2/20/24
Richland Chronicle 2/20/24

Unused scholarships with a new purpose

Applications are open now
The financial aid office has applications for unused funds from unclaimed grants. (Staff Photo/Christian Reyes)

Every year as students begin their studies, many find themselves facing the daunting task of paying for their tuition, books and other costs. With financial aid, however, it becomes possible to relieve some of that stress.

Thousands of applications are filed every semester. While it can seem like a game of chance on whether a student will win or not, hundreds of thousands of recipients are chosen. Scholarships are a big portion of this aid that is won, and as we approach National Scholarship Month in November, it’s time to talk about a lesser-known problem.
What many may not know is that despite the rising number of scholarships being applied for and awarded, a good number of those scholarship recipients don’t actually end up using the money that they won. According to the NSPA (National Scholarship Providers Association), nearly $100 million go unclaimed every year.
But why? Sometimes even after winning a scholarship, students will go to different schools, and sometimes they will win multiple grants which require them to pick one scholarship over another.
The other main reason is that when a scholarship has little-to-no applicants, the donors for said grant may choose to forgo that year, and that money remains unused.
So, what happens to that unused money? It sits, waiting for either another recipient to be chosen, or for it to be given to other causes. Oftentimes, however, the money is forgotten and remains unused for years until repurposed for other reasons.
And so how exactly do students take advantage of these unused funds? The process is simple. Another application; and this one may have greater chances of getting money than the average scholarship.
As of Sept. 1, the Office of Financial Aid opened the applications for the unclaimed scholarships and will continue to offer these applications until Dec. 1.
These applications can be picked up from the financial aid office to be filled out and re-turned. Then, assuming that the students meet the proper requirements, the funds will be awarded accordingly.
And the more that students take advantage of these opportunities, the more likely it is to provide greater ones in the future. So, if you’re in need of aid in upcoming semesters, remember that pile of cash, and consider putting in an application. And worst case, if you don’t win the first time? Just try again.

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