Congratulations! You did a great job and won a scholarship. Your hard work has paid off. The final step is to be sure that you keep your scholarship in succeeding years.
Be sure you understand whether or not your scholarship is renewable. In some cases, scholarships can be renewed yearly for the entire four years. However, the renewal may not be automatic. You may need to apply again, demonstrate financial need again, provide tuition bill copies and/or meet other criteria to receive a renewed award. Most colleges have the policies for the renewal of different scholarships that can be downloaded from their websites. Make sure to check the deadlines for renewal beforehand. Keep in mind that a number of scholarships are for the first year only.
You must also understand the terms of your scholarship. Otherwise you could inadvertently lose funding by failing to provide a progress report or not carrying the necessary course load.
Here are some of the issues to fully understand.
Athletic scholarships usually require that you play the sport for which the award was granted. Be sure you understand what will happen if an injury takes you out of play for a season or you are barred from playing due to academic probation.
Field of Study
If you received an award based upon study in a particular field and you made a decision to change majors, you may lose the award. Be sure you understand the ramification of decisions about course of study so that you can prepare for any loss of funding.
Your scholarship may require that you maintain a minimum GPA and/or make satisfactory progress toward a degree. Be sure you understand the consequences of taking a lighter course load, skipping a semester or failing to maintain a satisfactory GPA.
Choice of College
If the award is tied to attendance at a specific school, you will lose the scholarship if you choose to transfer.