SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY: LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING

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Is this two faces or one vase? Are you eligible for a scholarship or are you not? Sometimes, it depends how closely you look.

Is this two faces or one vase? Are you eligible for a scholarship or are you not? Sometimes, it all depends on how you look at something.

If I told you that the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was offering a scholarship, you’d probably safely assume that being a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority would be a requirement.

Well, that’s actually not the case.

It turns out that scholarship eligibility isn’t always obvious.

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Last week, I posted the scholarship matchmaker infographic to help all of my readers find a scholarship. I bet a lot of white, female readers were really confused when, at the end of all of the questions, you were matched to the 100 Black Men of America Scholarship. This begs the question…

How can one white female possibly be eligible for the 100…BlackMen of America scholarship?

The answer is simple: Just look at last year’s scholarship application.

If you scroll down to page 3, you’ll see the eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Undergraduate student or high school student transitioning to college
  • Minimum grade point average of 2.5
  • Attending a post secondary, accredited institution or planning to attend
  • Plans to attend school for entire academic year, beginning in the fall
  • Completed 50 hours of  “active” community service within past 12-months with certified documentation
  • Leadership involvement

There is no mention of race or sex in these eligibility requirements. I even called the organization, and sure enough, you do not have to be black or a male to apply. Go figure!

(Hint: Think about all of the qualified students that will not apply for this scholarship because they think they can’t. If you are not a black or male student, then this could be a great opportunity for you because few non-minority students will apply! You can apply for this scholarship starting January 1, 2013.)

DON’T ASSUME DURING YOUR SEARCH

When I conduct a scholarship search, I like to think of myself as automatically eligible for each scholarship and that I’m simply looking for reasons to disqualify myself—not the other way around. When you bump into a potential scholarship, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why CAN’T I apply for this scholarship?
  2. Do I WANT to apply for this scholarship?

The answer to the first question shouldn’t be a guess. Look for specific words/phrases that would disqualify you from applying. The second question is in reference to your interest level. You may be eligible for a scholarship, but have zero intentions of designing a holiday greeting card for a scholarship.

The only way to know for sure that you are qualified for a scholarship is to read the eligibility requirements listed on the scholarship’s website or on the scholarship application itself.

Happy scholarship hunting!

(Photo: Wikipedia)

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  1. Josie August 14, 2012 / 4:06 pm

    Wow! That scholarship definitely has a misleading title. If I was applying to school again, I would never expect that the 100 Black Men of America Scholarship wasn’t exclusive. Do you think this is intentional?

  2. Diane Melville August 17, 2012 / 2:57 pm

    Great question!

    I don’t think it’s intentional. My best guess is that the organization, 100 Black Men of America, was started to promote that specific cause. The scholarship most likely came along later and happened to have different requirements.

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